Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Working on Your Start

TWA4 100


    With the JO”S around the corner I hope you have been working on your starts. I know that most of the time you get up on the start blocks at the end of a workout and you are sprinting 25’s or 50’s…Don’t be nonchalant about those starts. Make each and every start the big race start you will use at the meet. Be focused on Coaches command to start, be explosive, be powerful, be quick to respond. When entering the water, enter as clean and slick as you can…hold that tight streamline and don’t lose the forward momentum that you got from the dive into your breakout! Starts and turns are to be practiced over and over again. Winning is measured in inches, the more you practice your techniques the more you turn those inches into feet and feet into yards. Be smart don’t waist your time by dogging it during sprint time. 

Only 36 days until the Speedo Champions Series – Southern Zone – South Sectional Championship – Fort Lauderdale – July 17-20, 2008
Only 43 days until the FGC Long Course Junior Olympic Championship – Plantation – July 24-27, 2008


June 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many have asked "Why did I move all the way to Colorado and leave Sunny South Florida"?





This is the answer. Here I am on a morning hike with my camera ready for that next great picture. This is Sprague Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This location is just about 30 miles from my house. Where in South Florida can you do this? Every day is is so exciting….It is all that I thought retirement would be. By the way, today’s humidity was a whooping 25%..Have a good day, Coach Pete

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s New Here in Colorado


This is the Cache la Poudre River, It’s waters are flowing full stream from all of the snow melt off. We live about a 30 minutes drive from where I shot this Photo. Rafting and Kayaking are a bit too much for us right now,only the very experienced rafters are on the river. Even the strongest of swimmer would have a hard time in these waters. In the last three weeks there have been several drowning’s in the river. We did some hiking near here and the scenery is just beautiful. We are going to try to hook up with a rafting company in the next few weeks and give it a try. We have been doing a lot of cycling, it’s a lot different than Florida, you really get to know how to use your gears…That’s about it for now…..Coach Pete

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coach Pete’s tip on Flip Turns

The Arm-Less Flip-Turn: Virtually all young swimmers use their hands to help them somersault or flip through a turn, but the hands can actually get in the way and hurt a flip-turn more than help it. To execute a great flip-turn you need to rely more on your core and momentum.
Here’s How:
Swim into the wall with eyes facing down, use the “T” to judge distance from wall
Pull second last stroking arm to side of body
Pull last stroking arm to side of body
Both arms should now be straight with fingertips pointing directly to the other end of the pool

Somersault through arms by tucking chin to chest, thighs to tummy, and heels to butt

As body somersaults towards wall, connect hands to create streamlined arms

When feet land on wall, knees should be bent approximately 90 degrees with toes facing upward
Blast off wall on back rotating to side, to split water, then onto stomach

Kick off wall using rapid-fire body-dolphin kicks, transition to fast freestyle kick, add break-out arm to rise to surface

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peanut Power


       I checked out the results of the Sunrise Age Group Invitational, and I was so impressed with the four little peanuts in the girls 10 and under 200 free, Andrea Vallejo, Annie Schultz, Jessica Modrak and Kylie Herman….Great performances ladies, you are keeping up the tradition of “Peanut Power”

I was also impressed the the performance of Lindsay Schultz you are doing a great job preparing for the JO”S…Happy to see Jennifer Marquez back swimming with Team Weston.

I was extremely happy to see the progress that Haley Wright, Ben Fruitman and Matias Faret have made…Keep up the good work

Only 49 days until the FGC Long Course Junior Olympic Championship – Plantation – July 24-27, 2008

Less than 50 days to prepare for the big meet….have you been focusing on your Starts


Have you been focusing on your Stroke…

  If you have been lazy, and not giving your all in workouts…It will result in a bad performance at the meet…It’s time to really get with it.

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wake up and Smell the Coffee…Before it’s too late!



The 10 Commandments for Swimming Parents
By Rose Snyder



With the Summer JO’S only 50 days away I think it may be a good time to review these Commandments,they have been posted on your Team Weston web-site. I think that they are well written and deserving of your attention.




1. Thou shalt not impose your ambitions on thy child.

Remember that swimming is you child’s activity. Improvements and progress occur at different rates for each individual. Don’t judge you child’s progress based on what you think they should be doing. The nice thing about swimming is that every person can strive to do their personal best and benefit from the process of competitive swimming.

2. Thou shalt be supportive no matter what.

There is only one question to ask your child after a practice or a competition.- “Did you have fun?” If meets and practices are not fun, your child should not be forced to participate. Remember though, that “fun” is often defined individually; reaching a goal, doing your best can be fun.

3. Thou shalt not coach thy child.

You are involved in one of the few youth sports programs that offer professional coaching! Do not undermine the professional coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to provide love and support and a safe place to return to at the end of the day. Love and hug your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job.

You should not offer advice on technique of race strategy or any other area that is not yours. And above all, never pay your child for a performance. This will only serve to confuse your child concerning the reasons to strive for excellence and weaken the swimmer/coach bond.

4. Thou salt only have positive things to say at a swimming meet.

If your are going to show up at a swimming meet, you should be encouraging and NEVER criticize your child or coach. Both of them know when mistakes have been made. Please remember that “yelling at” is not the same as “cheering for”.

5. Thou shalt acknowledge they child’s fears.

Your child’s first swimming meet, 500 free or 200 IM can be a stressful situation. It is totally appropriate for your child to be scared. Don’t yell or belittle, just assure your child that the coach would not have suggested the event if your child was not ready to compete in it. Remember your job is to love and support your child through their entire swimming experience.

6. Thou shalt not criticize the officials.

If you do not care to devote the time or do not have the desire to volunteer as an official, please don’t criticize those who are doing the best they can.

7. Honor thy child’s coach.

The bond between coach and swimmer is a special one, and one that contributes to your chil’s success as well as fun. Do not criticize the coach in the presence of your child, as it will only serve to hurt your child’s swimming.

8. Thou shalt be loyal and supportive of thy team.

It is not wise for parents to take their swimmer and jump form team to team. The water isn’t necessarily bluer in another team’s pool. Every team has its own internal problems- even teams that build champions. Children who switch from team to team ar often ostracized for a long time by the teammates they leave behind and are slowly received by new team mates. Often swimmers find that switching teams does not improve their performance.

9. Thy child shalt have goals besides winning.

Most successful swimmers are those who have learned to focus on the process and not the outcome. Giving an honest effort regardless of the outcome is much more important than winning. One Olympian said, “My goal was to set a world record. Well, I did that, but someone else did it too, just a little faster than I did. I achieved my goal and I lost. Does this make me a failure? No, in fact I am very proud of that swim.” What a tremendous outlook to carry on through life!!

10. Thou shalt not expect thy child to become an Olympian.

There are 250,000 athletes in USA Swimming and we keep a record of the Top 100 all time swimming performances by age group. Only 2 of the swimmers listed in the 10 7 under age group made it to the Top 100 in the 17 – 18 age group. There are only 52 spots available for the Olympic Team every 4 years. Your child’s odds of becoming an Olympian are about .0002%

Swimming is much more than just the Olympics. Ask your coaches why they coach. Chances are, they were not Olympians, but still got so much out of swimming that they wanted to pass the love for the sport on to others. Swimming teaches self – discipline and sportsmanship; it builds self-esteem and fitness; it provides lifelong friendships and much more. Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far outweigh any medal they may have won. Swimming builds good people, like you want your child to be, and you should be happy your child wants to participate!

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Parents | Leave a comment

Dr.Keith Bell’s Books

I received an e-mail from Sandy Nelson-Bell today and she informed me that Dr.Bell has a few new books that might interest you guys. You can view his web-site by going to the Dr.Keith Bell link on my BLOGROLL at the right hand side of the screen or read the comment on the Nuts and Bolts article….have a good night Coach Pete

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Age Group, Books to Read, Coaches | 4 Comments

Nuts and Bolts of Swimming

I recently received an e-mail from one of my former swimmers, telling me that he has finally found the key to swimming competitively. He explained to me that his thoughts and concentration were always on bettering his time or making the cut for whatever meet he was in. He never experienced the fun of just racing! Then one day he said to himself, “all I am going to do today is win my heat”…And what do you know, he is having fun and bettering his time.

It brought me back to a book I read some years ago written by Dr.Keith Bell, called the “Nuts and Bolts of Swimming”… Nut’s and Bolt’s is a great book for the aspiring swimmer. This book includes tips about how to keep yourself on track in training and the psychological aspects of swimming. I would recommend it to any swimmer who is having difficulty keeping their goals in sight. This book helps swimmers to understand they are not the only ones feeling the pressure and the psychological strains involved in swimming at a higher level. This is also great for coaches who are having a hard time motivating their swimmers. It gives ideas and advice to swimmers and coaches alike and I would recommend it full heartedly to any swimmer or swim coach. I hope it is still in circulation, you may be able to find it on

nuts and bolts

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Age Group, Books to Read, Coaches | 1 Comment