Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Keeping your age grouper motivated


During this period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is sometimes the most difficult time to keep you team of age group swimmers motivated. With all the festivities of the holidays, your kids have a lot on their minds besides swimming…They have relatives visiting, Christmas break from school is just around the corner, final exams, families getting ready for their Christmas vacation…So what do you do coach?…The way we did it while I was at Team Weston was to keep up the pace of presenting to you team quality meets right up to Christmas. Check you local US Swimming calendar and I am sure there are plenty of meets to satisfy all levels of swimming. Look for Holiday Classics, Santa Sizzlers, Candy Cane Meets….believe me they’re out there . You can conduct a Holiday swim clinic, invite college swimmers who may have swam for your team to come and help you with this. We ran a very successful clinic every year, we used videos from Eddie Reese and then brought his drills into the pool, we had a Sports Psychologist spend one hour a day at the clinic to help them with the mental side of swimming, we presented them with photos of their starts,turns and strokes….There is just so much you can do, if you really want to keep them excited about starting the new year on the right tract. Most importantly you must be motivated to do this!!!        

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Speedo Florida Gold Coast Winter Championship……

Congratulations to the Davie Nadadores for an Outstanding performance at the Speedo Florida Gold Coast Winter Championships, swimming at their first big meet they placed 4th overall and 2nd in Boys Competition. Special recognition to Yousef Alaskari 1st place most points 13-14 boys Daniele Tirabassi 1st place and Julio Galofre 3rd place Open boys. The Davie Nadadores Swim Team is a new team in the Florida Gold Coast Coached by the former Team Weston Coach Tomas Victoria. The Speedo Winter Championships attracted over 1200 swim teams from all over the country and is one of the biggest age group meets in the country….The City of Plantation should be proud of there Coach Jimmy Parmeter and his staff for conducting such a fine meet



November 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thank you all for your interest in my blog

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 It has been nearly a year since I started writing this blog. I admit I am not much of a writer, but I just try to convey to you what I feel and think about this great sport of competitive swimming. I loved every minute of my coaching career and admit I still have a hard time  over not being on the pool deck any longer. This blog has been my way of still being a small part of the sport I love so much. I want to take this time to thank all of you who have been readers of my blog. I am proud to say that we have reached 25,000 hits in this year and again I thank you….I especially want to thank my faithful swimmers from South Florida for their kind support……

As Ever….Coach Pete

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Great Christmas Present for Your Swimmer….

The Will to Succeed (Michael Phelps)

No Limits: The Will to Succeed (Michael Phelps)
One of the most anticipated books of 2008 is almost here! Pre-order No Limits: the Will to Succeed now at this special price and reserve your copy for the book’s Dec. 9 release.

With an unprecedented eight gold medals and world-record times in seven events, Michael Phelps’ performance at the 2008 Games set a new standard for success. He ranks among the most elite athletes in the world, and is both an inspiration and a role model to millions. The incredible focus he exhibits in practice and during competition propels him forward to his unrivaled excellence. In No Limits, Michael Phelps reveals the secrets to his remarkable success, from his training regimen to his mental preparation and, finally, to his performance in the pool.

Behind Phelps’s tally of Olympic gold medals lies a consistent approach to competition, a determination to win, and a straightforward passion for his sport. Like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, he has learned to filter out distractions and deliver stellar performance under pressure. The road has not always been easy; from the very beginning, Phelps had to overcome physical setbacks and emotional trials. When he was younger, he was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; other kids bullied him; even a teacher said he would never be successful. Later, he had to work through injuries that jeopardized his career. In this book, Phelps talks for the first time about how he has overcome these and other challenges – about how to develop the mental attitude needed to persevere, not just in athletic competition but in life.

His success is imbued with the perspective of overcoming the obstacles that come your way and believing in yourself no matter the odds.

No Limits explores the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice that go into reaching any goal. Whether it is on the starting block during an Olympic swim meet or in the weight room on a typical day, Phelps’s dedication has led him to unparalleled excellence. Filled with anecdotes from family members, friends, teammates, and his coach, No Limits gives a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of a real champion. One of Phelps’s mottos is “Performance Is Reality,” and it typifies his attitude toward achieving his goals. It’s easy to get bogged down by doubt or to lose focus when a challenge seems out of reach, but Phelps believes that you can accomplish anything if you fully commit yourself to it. Using the eight final swims of the Beijing Olympics as a model, No Limits is a step-by-step guide to realizing one’s dream.

This book can be ordered by going to

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I just love this poster !

I saw this poster on Sankar’s Web-site….I just love it and thought I would share it with you:


November 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Food for Thought….

It is my opinion that the word responsibility in swimming terms is defined as the ability of how you respond to different situations. For instance: Coach does not put you on the “A – Relay”. Are you responsible enough to respond to his decision in an appropriate manner? If you swim hard and don’t make your JO cut, or your sectional cut. Do you have the ability to respond in an appropriate manner? Or if you make your cut and set a team record, do you have the ability to respond in an appropriate manner?….to be a CHAMPION you must be RESPONSIBLE  

In my opinion accountability and responsibility go hand in hand no where in this post do we find the word “entitlement”. Last year I watched a TV segment on Dateline called the “Eco-Generation”. It was about children of baby boomers that were born in the 1980′S and beyond. This group of people have a sense of entitlement; they have high self esteem for no real reason, mostly because all their life they have been told that they have done a good job…therefor they are entitled to all the rewards. All you have to do is to participate, and you get a reward. All you have to do is to show up …and we give you a trophy! This is the way our society is going today. In Canada’s school system, schools are not giving failing marks any more they simple call it delayed success.

Swimming makes an attempt to give your children high levels of self esteem through hard work and strong effort. Coaches try to have them think and believe in themselves as winners. Coaches want them to think that they are not entitled to anything unless it’s earned! Coaches want them to learn how to handle situations that effect themselves as well as other people

Coaches want to teach them how to get up after being knocked down. Coaches teach them how to know when something good happens to them, we want them to not only see the flowers; we want them to smell them too!

In closing I want to share this short story with you. Someone asked, “why do you spend all day with your son fixing his bike when the bike shop down the street could fix it in an hour” and the father replied, “because I am building a son-not fixing a bike”

Swimming is all about building character, building people,building tradition,giving a sense of self and skills…this is what we teach in US Swimming, I hope you agree I would appreciate your comments

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Luck


Good Luck to all of my former swimmers in the Florida State High School Championships this week end. As always I have some advice for you all. Keep your head screwed on right!!! Stay Focused and don’t get caught up in the hoopla of the meet. If you have a chance read my article of how to swim at the big meet, you can find it in the archives of my blog….I’ll be thinking of all of you…have a great meet.

As ever….Coach Pete

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lactate Testing at the Club Level


I would like to hear the opinion of you coaches out there on lactate testing on the club level. Do you think it’s worth the effort? Here are some points of interest to read on the subject.


Lactate is the unique metabolic variable that indicates the capability of the muscles for an athletic performance. We emphasize “unique” in the preceding sentence because no other metabolic parameter provides the same information. Lactate is an output of the anaerobic process and a fuel for the aerobic process and levels of it in the blood during exercise is indicative of the strength of each system. No other parameter provides this same information.

The ability of the muscles to reach a peak performance during an athletic event requires that the energy systems providing energy be “fine tuned” or “balanced” properly so the athlete can generate the highest amount of energy per unit of time during a race. Proper training is what accomplishes this fine tuning or optimal balance and it is lactate testing that lets the coach know if the balance has been obtained or how each energy system must be trained in order to obtain the balance.

Coaching is a profession requiring both art and science. The building blocks for an optimal performance are many and must be constructed in a proper sequence and must recognize that each individual is different. Some of these building blocks are correct technique, positive mental attitude and a proper diet. However, the cornerstone for this building is precise physiological training. That is the main reason an athlete spends so much time in the water, on the bike, on the track or the road, in the weight room or wherever training is best conducted. Ask yourself, do you know if all those miles/hours of training are paying out?

But what is appropriate physiological training? It is not volume or else those who put in the most hours/miles would be the winners. It is not intensity or else those who pushed themselves the hardest would be the winners. It is not someone’s favorite workout or else everyone would be copying the magic workout or training pace. It turns out that each individual has their own way of adapting and any smart training plan must recognize this. This is a fact of life. Each has to find his or her own way to the proper balance of the energy systems and peak conditioning on the day that counts, race day.

With proper protocols a portable lactate analyzer enables the coach to measure both the aerobic and anaerobic conditioning of each athlete. Information about both is necessary for the coach to optimize the conditioning of each athlete whether they are a 50 meter freestyle swimmer (about 22 seconds plus per race) or an Ironman triathlete (over 8 hours per race for the world’s best). With information on each energy system the coach can plan, control and monitor the training of athletes with a precision not available before. Lactate testing provides the important information that enables the coach to individualize the intensity of each athlete’s workout and control their training so they reach performance objectives. No over-training and no surprises come race day.

How Does Lactate Testing do This?

Provides a multi-dimensional profile of conditioning. Because lactate is produced by the anaerobic system and used by the aerobic system it is the only marker available for measuring each system. The amount of energy an athlete can produce per unit of time depends on the development of both systems which is why they have to be balanced. (Essentially this means training the anaerobic system to a level that is appropriate for the athlete’s aerobic capacity.) This balance will depend upon the event for which the athlete is competing and will also depend upon which part of the training cycle the athlete is in. The closer the athlete gets to the “big” event the balance will have to be “fine tuned” for a peak performance.

Show adaptation in each system. Over time changes in blood lactate levels tell the coach what physiological adaptation has taken place in each system. It tells the coach which forms of training are working or not working. Training time becomes much more efficient as the athlete performs only workouts that work. Your analyzer becomes a “training compass” that “steers” each athlete in the right direction. It is much more relevant than heart rate monitoring which reflects a general overall body response to stress and doesn’t necessarily reflect what is happening in the muscles or with the anaerobic system. It is much more versatile than VO2 testing which requires very expensive equipment and requires experts to administrate the test properly.

Teaches coaches and athletes what is required for a peak performance. Lactate testing is also a learning and motivating experience for coaches and athletes as they become much more aware of the interactions of variables and the other nuances that affect workouts as well as performance. Since the emphasis will be on training energy systems and not the use of very broad training zones, coaches will understand what works best for each energy system and why, what may be counter-productive and when and in what sequence various types of training are appropriate

November 8, 2008 Posted by | Coaches, Masters Swimming, Triathlons | Leave a comment

Florida High School Swimming


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Even though my coaching career came to an end last year when I retired, I still keep my eye on swimming results. I guess it’s just something that you never get out of your system. This morning I was looking at the South Florida High School District Championship results and it amazed me to see how many former Team Weston Swimmers were in finals. No matter where I looked I found names from my past. St.Thomas, Cypress Bay, Flannigan, McCarthy, Pinecrest…you name the team and someone from Weston was there. This truly is a testimony of the fine training they received while they were members of Team Weston…..I now have this opportunity to voice my feelings about this, in my opinion the foundation that was set by Coach Tomas and myself will carry these swimmers even on to greater heights. I wish all of those former swimmers of mine, all the best in the upcoming Regional’s and State Championships. To view results go to: 

Swimmingly…Coach Pete

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