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 visited Virginia Tech for Practice + Pancakes, we sat down with head coach Sergio Lopez to see how he approaches working on technique with swimmers. Sergio noted first off that he doesn’t believe in using the same technique for every swimmer; rather, he will look at a swimmer and see what their specific physiological needs may be, or how they move through the water, and then go from there.
Sergio also doesn’t believe in teaching drills as the collegiate level. He recognizes that at the club level they can be useful, but at the collegiate level his priority is teaching them to swim well when they are going fast, and doesn’t find drills useful for this purpose.
In a similar light, he also believes that the best thing you can work on with a swimmer is the last 25% of their race, and making sure they can maintain their stroke throughout it. If they can, that’s when the true potential of their race starts to show.
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