Beyond the Pancakes: Mizzou will Suit Up for Every Meet Moving Forward

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.

After seeing 2 of the University of Missouri’s practices (see below if you haven’t), we sat down and talked with hew head coach Andrew Grevers. Grevers broke down the 4 pillars of change he will be implementing that he thinks will make Mizzou stand out as a trail blazer among swimming schools.

  1. Splitting the men’s and women’s teams: In the afternoons, Mizzou has single gendered practices, meaning that all 5 of their swim coaches + their 2 volunteers can work with the men’s and women’s teams. This makes 7 coaches for a group of 22-24 athletes
  2. Weights program: Mizzou‘s strength coach, Joe (who you can learn more about here), is training the men and women separately now as well, and Joe has spent the last year studying what is specific to the needs of male and female swimmers
  3. Psychology: The head of the mental performance center within Mizzou Athletics is working with the males and females once a week to give them mental tools to carry with them when they are in a performance environment
  4. Suiting Up: Mizzou may be the first American collegiate team ever to announce that moving forward, it will be suiting up for all competitions. This isn’t a new concept for professional swimmers, but during the collegiate season it’s rare to see technical suits worn at meets that aren’t prelims/finals.

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Becky D
2 years ago

If there’s a way to incrementally increase the cost of operating a college swim program — especially a men’s program — by all means, let’s do that. That’ll come in handy in the future when the economy turns and the AD needs to make some hard decisions. /s

2 years ago

I want my swimmers to swim fast, to expect to swim fast and to believe that they are fast. Too often, kids have a blasé attitude about dual meets and then step it up at the last meet of the season.
As a coach, I want these kids to jump the gap and believe that they are elite. This build enthusiasm around training and an expectation of greatness at the season enders. If suiting up creates that excitement, I’m all for it.

2 years ago

A lot of the videos I see show teams having practice in tech suits. Not sure if they is just for the camera or maybe a monthly thing, or just something you do in practice like a kick day. But 10 years ago that was not a thing.

I feel that swimming is the only sport where athletes train or compete in the equipment they intend to use for the highest level competition. I don’t think I’ve heard of runners or any kind of track and field doing that.

Couldn’t imagine a baseball player not practicing or playing with the glove or bat (brand/type) they plan on using I’m the playoffs.

Most swimmers have a drawer of… Read more »

2 years ago

Glad they are wearing suits…wil they also be wearing ties?

Wait What?
2 years ago

7 coaches for 22 athletes. Boy does that sound boring to me as a coach.

Reply to  Wait What?
2 years ago

With that kind of ratio you’re only limited to your imagination. 7 staff: 7 stations, or 2 dedicated to filming and 5 coaching, or getting more accurate splits during timed sets, 3:1 ratio means more attention given and feedback during sets when they need it. Consistent feedback leads to more productive training sessions and engaged swimmers. Being expected to give consistent feedback means more engaged coaches…

If someone is standing around doing nothing because there are 6 others there, then why are you on deck to begin with?

Reply to  Erik
2 years ago

great points

Reply to  Erik
2 years ago

Sometimes doing nothing is better than being harsh or detrimental.

2 years ago

Bravo. Coaches all the time preach daily about race specificity, yet when it comes time to race, we don’t race specifically the way we will at the end of the year. Why does that make sense? This shouldn’t have any impact on end of the year results, it just means they should be swimming closer to their best times throughout the season. Racing in a suit or no suit, one should suspect about a 3% improvement when it comes time to rest and shave from their PB.

2 years ago

Will be interesting to see if other teams suit up in their dual meets against Mizzou just to balance it.

Reply to  swimgeek
2 years ago

Well, there’s one team that almost certainly won’t, and they’ll be swimming them in Gainesville at the O’Dome this weekend.

Reply to  Aquajosh
2 years ago

No gators are swimming in Columbia

Reply to  Gatorhalf
2 years ago

Thank you. I stand corrected.

Club oach
Reply to  Aquajosh
2 years ago

The meet is at Missouri

2 years ago

I think this will make swimming faster and more college teams will start doing this, a good bit of teams have already worn tech suits this month.

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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