How many drill sets did you do? What percent of your training was IM? Most competitive swimmers couldn’t tell you basic statistics about their training, but that’s not because they don’t care. In fact, both coaches and athletes want to know the numbers behind the hours of effort they put in every day.
Unlike cycling, running, and rowing, swimming has limited software available to properly capture this valuable information. Swim coaches often write practices with paper and pencil or with Microsoft Word, which makes calculating basic workout statistics labor intensive.
Despite the few extra minutes it may take to write workouts with “statistics-friendly” software, more coaches are doing so because the benefits are well worth it.
Coaches that look at graphs related to their practices are often surprised by the patterns they see. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day sets; so stepping back and viewing overall training trends from week-to-week helps coaches better understand their own program. Try recording your practices with a workout management application. Maybe your athletes aren’t doing as much kick yardage as you thought!
Viewing practice statistics also helps coaches stay in line with their training goals. Many coaches structure their season into different macro cycles, and for each cycle, there are certain metrics they want to achieve. Logging practices in a way that makes it easy to view or calculate those metrics later on allows coaches to successfully execute their season plan. Are your athlete’s on track to achieving a stronger aerobic base this season, or do they need to increase yardage compared to the beginning of last season?
Perhaps the most important benefit to logging practices and calculating training statistics is that it keeps athletes interested and engaged in their training. Some athletes individually calculate their weekly yards by hand because it’s fun to see how much (or little) they’ve swum over time. Viewing these numbers is a great reminder of the hard work they’ve put into their training.
In addition, coaches find that sharing training metrics with their athletes increases effort and engagement throughout practice. It’s the same phenomenon that occurs when you download a fitness application: the simple act of self-tracking makes you more inclined to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you take the few extra minutes to log your practices with a workout management application, your team will soon benefit from the insights and engagement that comes with it.
Commit Analytics is a performance analytics company that specializes in optimizing training plans using data-driven models. Although Commit’s performance algorithms are not yet available for public use, the Company released a web-based application for swim coaches to easily record and view trends in their training. Visit www.commitswimming.com to learn more and sign-up for a free trial. To partner with Commit and participate in the innovation of swimming technology, contact [email protected]
Commit Swimming is a SwimSwam partner.