Online Coaching: Does It Add Any Value For Swimmers?

by SwimSwam Partner Content Off

March 12th, 2021 Training

Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.

At The Race Club, Head Coach Devin Murphy and I have been coaching swimmers virtually (online) for over two years now. In this role, we consider ourselves to be assistant coaches, adding value wherever and however needed. When a difference of opinion occurs, we always defer to the Head Coach. Too many chefs can ruin the kitchen. The function we serve varies with each client’s needs (Lane 4 Clients), and they can be all over the map. As Lane 4 coaches, we know our role, and we LOVE to play it!

I can now safely say that Devin and I have made a difference to our clients. If they have not swum faster because of our coaching, which is rare, making the clients happier, improving their attitude, building their confidence about swimming, or even tolerating their situation better has been helpful. 

You don’t need to take our word for it. Here is what a few of our Lane 4 clients and their parents have to say about their own experiences:

   We have been Lane 4 members for several years now, and it has been a real asset to us in so many wonderful ways! Scheduling calls with Coach Gary before big meets and then having him review race footage after the meet really helped my daughter, Olivia, learn what she needed to be focusing on. It’s tough for coaches with 50 or more swimmers at a meet to really be able to analyze a race the way Gary can. We are fortunate to have a coach who appreciates the resource we have available in Gary with our Lane 4 membership and has even taken advantage of the opportunity by joining us on calls if needed. – Olivia in Arkansas

    Lane 4 provides a perfect blend of additional technique, race skills, race analysis, coaching, and mentoring for a swimmer. Just having one more person in your team to encourage you and sharpen your focus on the skills that will make a difference has made such a difference to my swimming. Bad habits have been systematically flushed out, and my focus is now on the techniques required to take the fractions of a second off my time to hit Nationals. The whole ethos of Race Club sits really well within my club training – I get the opportunity to elevate each practice to purposeful practice for myself, and I have seen the results in both my swimming and reduction in niggling injuries. I always get a boost after my Lane 4 sessions. – Evie in the UK

    The Race Club lane 4 subscription has made a huge impact on our son’s swimming and personal growth. When our local swim club dissolved, the lane 4 became our sole source for swim training and guidance. What makes lane four unique is that it becomes a partnership with the swimmer and coach. Where many coaches in the swim community are not open for input and discussion on training methods and techniques, Devin has always encouraged feedback and discussion. Our son has become a student of swimming, constantly analyzing techniques from world-class swimmers. He frequently asks Devin questions about things he has noticed and they discuss the pros and cons and, if they don’t come to a consensus, Devin always says “let’s put a clock on it”. This goes toward training plans as well as Devin frequently asking our son for input on how he would like to train and plan for the season, before he develops the training program for him. I think the two have grown together in the journey of working towards college swimming and have developed a relationship to help our son always progress and grow. – Julian in Oregon

   I decided to sign up for the lane 4 subscription. The access to aqua notes and videos helped to retain all that I learned from camp. Also, The Race Club is constantly doing research and providing up-to-date studies on swimming. Along with camps and lane subscriptions, I also attend personal training sessions with Gary Hall Sr twice a year. Although I learn so much from these sessions, the continual online coaching throughout the year allows me to retain my skills and expand on them. Gary Hall Sr. will customize a training program specifically for you and work with your club team coach along with helping you retain and improve your technique. – Kenzi in Florida

   The Lane 4 membership has given our daughter a whole new level of coaching that has proven to be invaluable. The mental coaching provided by Coach Devin has helped our daughter overcome a major impediment to her success, race day anxiety! He has given her the tools and support she needed to become a mentally stronger swimmer. Devin has also taught her how to set seasonal goals and race plans, which has greatly accelerated her time drops and performance. She is more focused than ever, she’s swimming best times, and she’s become a more confident swimmer. We wholeheartedly recommend the Lane 4 membership to anyone looking for that competitive edge. – Olivia in Kentucky

   I have been a Lane 4 member for almost 3 years now. I think it was one of the best decisions I made to further my swimming. My favorite part of Lane 4 is being able to have virtual meetings with Devin after a meet. He can analyze my technique and show me what I need to fix. Additionally, Lane 4 offers a video for almost every technique question I’ve ever had. It is nice to be able to watch those videos any time that I want. Being a Lane 4 member has given me the opportunity to work with an elite coach outside of my club team and I think without that, I wouldn’t be the swimmer that I am today. – Baily in Pennsylvania

For that little extra edge and a little more help in coaching, we hope you will join us in Lane 4!

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (courtesy of TRC)

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Because Life is Worth Swimming, our mission is to promote swimming through sport, lifelong enjoyment, and good health benefits. Our objective is for each member of and each participant in The Race Club to improve his or her swimming performances, health, and self-esteem through our educational programs, services and creativity. We strive to help each member of The Race Club overcome challenges and reach his or her individual life goals.

The Race Club provides facilities, coaching, training, technical instruction, video, fitness and health programs for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Race Club swim camps are designed and tailored to satisfy each swimmer’s needs, whether one is trying to reach the Olympic Games or simply improve one’s fitness. Our programs are suitable for beginner swimmers, pleasure swimmers, fitness swimmers, USA swimming or YMCA swimmers, or triathletes; anyone who wants to improve swimming skills. All of our Race Club members share an enjoyment of being in the water and use swimming to stimulate a more active mind and body.

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