Caeleb Dressel keeps daily practice logs (Video Interview)

After his monster performance at the SEC championships, we as swim fans were fortunate enough to see the rising sprinting savant race against the big boys in long course at the Orlando pro swim series. And what a show it was.

Getting right back into the swing of things, this was just opportunity to get some long course racing in for Dressel in the lead up to Olympic Trials. In what was quite possibly the first time we have ever seen Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel go head-to-head in the splash-n-dash, Nathan nabbed the win in a convincing 21.7, but Dressel was hot on his heels, putting up a very solid 22.0.

Recently the New York Times put out an article on Dressel (after he smashed multiple American records in Columbia, Missouri), and in it he talked his time with Bolles, and how his coach there, Jason Calanog, would have him write daily journal entries about his workouts.

When I asked Caeleb about those journal entries this past weekend, he said that he had started writing them again, and hadn’t missed a single day this entire season.

Seeing the level of introspection and reflection that Dressel commits to on a daily basis in order to understand where his stroke is and how he performs in different environments is nothing short of incredible. After understanding how well Caeleb knows his own stroke and body, and how they change under different circumstances, it’s no surprise that he is on the fast track to being one of the greatest sprinters we have ever seen.

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The data guy

Am I doing this right? I am a father to a young boy who is just starting swimming. He is 8 years old and at the last meet he crushed everyone in the 25 free with a time of 15.41. I am teaching him how to keep a practice log. So far we have kept a log for 1 week and he already has 20,000 logged over 5 practices. He will see that the yardage increases while the weeks go on. Next week I will have him do a total of 25,000 yards, and then 30,000 yards, and so forth until we reach 45,000 yards a week spread over 9 practices. He is excited but a little nervous. But you… Read more »


Make sure they’re your kids dreams, not your own.


You shouldn’t be doing 9 practices a week for an 8 year old. You are asking for him to get burned out. I assume his dreams are around the college and Olympic level, he will not continue swimming until that age if you have him doing 45,000 yards a week. Now is the time to lay a good base for technique.


I’m sure (I hope!!) he’s joking.


45,000 yards a week for an 8 year old is a terrible idea. You are going to not only burn him out mentally, but also cause long term physical issues potentially leading to injury. At 8 years old, no matter how good you may think he is, his technique is far from perfect. Ramping up to more yards than most senior level clubs do for high school kids is going to exacerbate his bad habits while also promoting an increased likelihood for injury in the future. At 8 years old the focus should be on technique. Yes he does need some volume in his training to maintain and improve aerobic conditioning but that requires no where near that many yards.… Read more »


Obvious troll is obvious.


Whoa! I hope you’re joking! No child should ever train that much.


April Fool’s Day is still nearly 4 weeks away. The Data Guy really should have waited until then. You almost had me with this one.


I hope you’re joking. If you’re not, I suggest that you watch ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Todd Marinovich and his dad.

Your kid won’t remember how great they were at 8, and it won’t matter. If anything, heavy training now will stunt his growth. There is plenty of time later to work hard.


This is wrong. If you do this, your child will be under too much pressure and will likely quit the sport by age 10, which I don’t think you would want that. As a 16 year old swimmer, I have increased my swimming ability by adding yardage by season. I started out at even 5,000 yards/meters per practice when I was even 12. Give your son a chance. No one likes that amount of pressure.


Agree. I am sure that no adult (or even adolescent) champion attributes their success to their volume of training at age 8. Rather, at age 8, they developed great technique (e.g., Ledecky) and a sincere love for the sport (e.g., Phelps). I think goals based on volume at age 8 undermine both.


I would pay good american money to read that training log. I bet there is a lot to learn from what Mr. Dressel has written down.

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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