Beyond the Pancakes: A Different Take on the “Club Team Mentality”

In Practice + Pancakes, SwimSwam takes you across the country and through a practice day in the life of swimming’s best athletes. It breaks down training sessions, sub sets, and what every team is doing to be at their best. But why are they doing things that way? In Beyond the Pancakes, we dive inside the minds of coaches and athletes, getting a first hand look at why they do the things they do, and where their minds are pointed on the compass of evolution as a swimmer.

When SwimSwam went to visit Lone Star Aquatic Club, we saw some things there that we thought were pretty novel. However, perhaps the most novel thing we witnessed was head coach Adam Depmore’s philosophy on how to run his team, which can be summarized into: Safe and Scalable Fun.

As opposed to many teams, which run through rigorous 6K+ yard workouts morning and night in which attendance is mandatory for the top groups, Lone Star puts more of an emphasis on what each individual might want or need. Adam wants the kids to enjoy their time at Lone Star and gain general athleticism as well as a good swimming skill set.

He also encourages trying other sports, even at the high school level. If they decide to commit to another sport, Depmore can be happy knowing they enjoyed their time in swimming, hopefully gained something they can take with them, and may come back to it one day.

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Erik

Love it!

TexasFlyer

Great philosophy on what the club team experience can and should be. Loved this!

M d e

The problem I’ve found with being very accomadating of multi-sport athletes is (somewhat ironically given swimmings reputation in this area) that the coaches etc. Of other sports are completely unwilling to make any concessions, so you give and you give and you give and then you end up in a situation where a swimmer who is a District champion/state finalist level swimmer is being told that they can’t miss a single regular season game to go compete at states without losing their spot on the football team. A sport they arent even good at. Obviously ability isnt everything but for me it has gotten to the stage where it’s hard to justify making these concessions all the time where there… Read more »

Steve Nolan

I sorta agree on this – kids should have more flexibility in everything – but in MA HS swim at least, they basically try to make it feel like the compulsory EITHER YOU’RE HERE OR YOU’RE CUT sports like football.

(I’m mostly just bitter I couldn’t run track and swim at the same time. I would’ve just shown up to track meets and been fine, MA was lame.)

Adam Depmore

We had a situation like this before with a swimmer who was a McDonald’s All American basketball player. We just let it go and let the college recruiters talk to him.

Lucky for us, Eddie Reese is a very convincing guy…

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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