“We like to use lots of different ways of coaching,” is how Crawley Swimming Club head coach Will Philpot describes his staff’s approach to the wide range of age swimmers eagerly awaiting the next set in the pool.
Philpot was recently ‘mic’d up’ during practice at K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, Sussex, England, giving us a glimpse into how the former British national swimmer inspires his high-performance athletes with a blend of fun and purpose.
Addressing the current coronavirus pandemic environment, which translates to grinding away the meters with no meets in sight, Philpot and his team are constantly looking for ways to change up practices and liven up training groups.
“I was a big fan of when American coaches like Greg Meehan and Bob Bowman were mic’d up before the 2016 Olympic Games and we wanted to introduce the concept with our team, too”, Philpot told me today.
He also said that, with parents unable to view practice due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the ‘mic’d up series’, produced by Jack Newnhan, offers insight into what their athletic children are accomplishing day in and day out in the pool.
As far as his own coaching philosophy, Philpot says, “We like to keep things very short and very simple.
“Crawley swimmers have strong bonds with their coaches due to this type of rapport. We know that line between banter and getting work done.”
Believing that if swimmers are enjoying what they’re doing that they’ll end up working harder, Philpot offers up some of the following tips within this brief mic’d up session:
- In breaststroke, he reminds his swimmers that, instead of lifting up, send the motion forward
- Philpot challenges swimmers to take 8 kicks off the start and 6 kicks off their turn
- Counting your strokes can help recognize and hold your rhythm
Look for additional mic’d up episodes from Crawley Swimming Club. Additionally, the club has launched crowdfunding in order to assist with funding in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Details can be found here.