Courtesy of RITTER Sports Performance, a SwimSwam partner
Caeleb Dressel is doing things that many fans of the sport find unbelievable. Whether it’s making an 18-second 50 look easy, or going 40.00 in the 100 Free, to not breathing on the last lap of fly, the list of his feats keeps growing.
It’s important not to lose the perspective that he’s actually been preparing to do many of these feats for most of his swimming career.
Jason Calanog, the assistant coach for Men’s Swimming at Texas A&M, was one of Caeleb’s developmental coaches at The Bolles School. While on the Coaches Corner Jason talked about the approach that went into Caeleb’s progression and what he still does with the “sprinters” he coaches.
“I don’t just do 2,000-3,000 yards with them. You know sometimes these sprinters are doing 5,000 or 6,000 yards a practice. It’s a little bit of a different approach in that I want them to become ‘swimmers.’
“My goal is for you to be a swimmer not just a ‘sprinter’ and when you’re 25 or 26, when you’re a man or a pro swimmer that’s a little bit different situation. But as a college person who’s 18 or 19, I want you to be called a ‘swimmer.’
“I think that’s what’s special and what’s impressive about what Caeleb’s doing right now. The world is seeing him do things that they never thought sprinters would do but he’s been training this way his entire life.
“When he was with me he was doing 20x400IMs and he was still going 18-seconds in the 50. It’s a matter of telling these guys that they’re swimmers.
“He always considered himself a swimmer. So I do the same thing with the sprinters here at Texas A&M.”
Caeleb’s success is proving out this approach more and more. But this isn’t really unique to Caeleb. Michael Phelps of course is THE example of diversifying in swim training and many others like Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte, all the way back to Tracy Caulkins and Shane Gould have used the same formula.
So what’s the key that coaches should focus on if they’re wanting to set their swimmers up for future success?
Jason puts it to his swimmers like this: “You know we need you to be good at certain places. That’s where we need to be good. But also, be ready for anything.”
Jason Calanog was recently featured in the Coaches Corner on RITTER Sports Performance, where he explained, in-depth a four-week training stretch for the team. It even included all the workouts leading up to a historic dual meet performance against the Texas Longhorns in which Texas A&M won for the first time in 55 years!
What’s really unique about Jason’s coaching position at Texas A&M is that he and the Head Coach, Jay Holmes, rotate what groups they coach on a regular basis. So, in the Coaches Corner you’re able to see how Jason approaches the “sprinters” and the “distance” swimmers and sometimes how similar the workouts end up being.
Jason is also candid about what he’s even picking up from being around the women’s team and Head Coach Steve Bultman.
“I’m always learning and experimenting. I never wanted to always do the same thing. I want to test out what other coaches are doing and how to incorporate my style in my type of practices so I’m always learning. I think it’s important that I’m always challenging myself and trying to be two steps ahead of my swimmers.”
You can get full access to the training discussions with Jason and all the past featured coaches of the Coaches Corner, including: Dave Salo, Gregg Parini, Todd DeSorbo and many more.
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