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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.