Beyond the Pancakes: Sergio Lopez Shares How he Coaches Technique

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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4 years ago

One of the best coaches to ever walk this planet

Reply to  BFs
4 years ago


Reply to  BFs
4 years ago

On 4 legs

4 years ago

Looking at the Greensboro TYR Meet Results it seems like a lot of the pros that were there last year are no longer there or are swimming for other teams? Is this common in an Olympic training year?

4 years ago

Great video! Would it be possible to filter out the background noise?

The Importer AND Exporter
Reply to  DLSwim
4 years ago

Absolutely love the work Coleman is doing but agree it’s time to add a lapel mic or two to the setup. Restaurant scenes typically have too much background noise as well.

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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