Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

How to Swim Successfully at the Big Meet Part II

   Another critical aspect of the physical preparation is the taper. The general rules of an effective taper are:


To change your training schedule by sleeping in and giving up on morning swims, can be counter productive ( the big challenge is to convince the parents about this)


Don’t be afraid to include some high intensity training during the taper period. It’s important to stimulate the swimmers nervous system and energy systems activity during taper.

3. DECREASE TRAINING VOLUME – Swimmers can benefit from a significant reduction in training loads over the taper period.

In summery, training sessions during the taper should be at the same times and on the same days as if it were during the regular training cycle, but they should be lower in volume. Keep in mind that young swimmers are very resilient and too much taper can result in flat, tired and lethargic performances.

December 30, 2007 Posted by | Age Group | Leave a comment

How to Swim Successfully at the Big Meet

 What if you qualify for your JO’S and you have only one shot at getting it right? Think about the time and effort that goes into qualifying for the JO’S, traveling to the meet and not performing at your best. The following information could help you reach your personal best time and get into the finals.

Success at championship meets is largely dependent on preparing effectively to meet the challenge. You must be physically prepared. No one can expect to do their best, without doing those hard yards in workouts in training months in advance. The key to physical preparation of a swimmer is, your training in workouts should be more challenging and demanding than the physical demands of the competition

Training sets and intervals need to be tough and challenging you must swim your workouts out of the comfort zone. If you are prepared in the manner, there should be no challenge that you will face at the JO’S

Prepare Mentally for the meet, without a doubt the mental aspect of swimming successfully at a championship meet is crucial. I would like you to think about the JO’S as just another meet. The pool is the same length, the water is still wet, the event is still the same. The fact that there are more swimmers entered in the meet, a few more clubs from different areas, and a bit more noise makes no difference: the job is a simple one: if you are prepared for the reality of the meet environment you could relax knowing that you will swim fast when you need to.

Prepare technically– Races are won and lost by fractions of and inch. Swimmer who win at championship meets are those who have prepared to do the little things well under the pressure of the race by practicing them well in training

For Example:

  • Not breathing inside the flags during starts, turns and finishes
  • Streamlining until your feet go past the flags on every push off
  • Learning to kick at a high rate of speed under water in fly, back and free

At championship meets ….there are no little things, everything can make a difference

December 27, 2007 Posted by | Age Group | Leave a comment

How the Iron Man Trained

Masters 002 Matt Juall won the lottery to compete in the Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon, after the initial shock of winning this chance to compete in the most grueling of all triathlons Matt made a decision to train as hard as he can for the next nine months. Matt was ok on the bike, pretty good on the run, but suffered on the swim. We found out after his swim that Matt did not have a proper air exchange. Upon his return from Hawaii, he contacted Coach Pete and set up some private lessons.

What I did with Matt was to get him to have the proper air exchange by teaching him to by-lateral breathe and change his body position from swimming flat to getting on his side using the hip -tip method. I also lengthened his stroke which enabled him to get a better catch of the water. Today Matt is a dedicated Masters Swimmer, who works out three times a week swimming an average of 4,000 yards a workout. Here is Matt crossing the finish line in Kona, Hawaii


December 21, 2007 Posted by | Triathlons | 1 Comment

Coach is not a mind reader

 What I mean by the statement, “Coach is not a mind reader” is that we can not know if there is a problem with your child unless you tell us. Sometimes parents don’t want to share with the coach that their child may be A.D.D or may have an ailment that will hamper her/his training. We can deal with any problem, if we know about it. Be open with your coach explain to him what the problem may be. It makes life so much easier for your child and the coach.

The above photo is Coach Pete with Olympic Gold Medal Winner Gary Hall and one of coach Pete’s age groupers. Gary suffers from Diabetes as well as little Maria. This problem has not stopped them from training as hard as they could, however the coach knew about it and dealt with it.

Be fair to your child, be fair to the coach…….Discuss your problem, don’t hide it!

December 21, 2007 Posted by | Parents | Leave a comment

Attitude or Atta-Dude, What’s this all about

What kind of an attitude does your son or daughter have? When your swimmer comes home from practice do they complain about how tough Coach was on them? Or do they come to you and say, “Mom what a great workout we had today.” Or do they ever talk about it at all? The difference between a good attitude and a bad attitude is very prevalent in this scenario.

In my most recent article I referred to the work ethic of world class swimmers and their desire to work hard. One of the most important aspects of this type of desire is ATTITUDE or as I like to refer to it as ATTA-DUDE! Swimmers who are in this atta-dued frame of mind know that when their Coach is on their back to train harder and swim faster, they realize that he/she cares about them and only wants to get the very best out of them.

Swimmers who come home complaining that the coach doesn’t like me he is always picking on me have the wrong slant on what it’s all about. They are developing a bad attitude to training properly.

Coaches work hard on trying to develop good relationships with all their swimmers. We do our job every day to get the very best out of each of our swimmers…This is what you pay us to do!

What we ask is to be supportive of the ATTA-DUDE in your swimmer, when they complain try to turn their negatives into a positive. Please don’t join them in the bad attitude… 

December 20, 2007 Posted by | Parents | 1 Comment

The development of the will to overcome fatigue

The will to overcome fatigue is an important factor in your success. Swimmers who use the method of how far and how fast they wish to swim learn to tolerate fatigue under the pressure of physical stress.

Doctor James Councilman ( former coach of the University of Indiana and coach of Olympic Champion Mark Spitz) recognized the need to motivate swimmers to withstand fatigue. Therefore he created his “hurt-pain-agony” scale to assist the feeling of fatigue at different levels of work intensity – or as he would say it “different levels of suffering”

Councilman showed differences in effort by hard workers and comfort swimmers-during practice. Comfort swimmers rarely ventured out of the comfort zone and into the pain zone. Dedicated swimmers, hard workers most always swam straight through the hurt zone and into the pain zone and finally into the agony zone.

Success is not cheap; you must be committed to work out of the comfort zone and into the agony zone. You have to examine yourself and say “will I be a better swimmer tomorrow because of what I did today.

Challenge yourself to make a commitment to train like the best swimmers in the world, you will make a difference…live and train by making excellence a habit!

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Workouts | Leave a comment

Setting Your Goals

Take pride in setting your goals, make goals that are realistic. Take ownership in your goals; be proud that you have taken the task of setting goals for yourself. It is meaningless if you don’t take pride in setting your goals – Let everyone know that you have set goals for yourself, especialy your coach. Write them down on paper and post them where you and others can see them. Make yourself accountable to others about your goals. If it means something to you, it means something to others too.

December 17, 2007 Posted by | Age Group | Leave a comment