Practice + Pancakes: Mason Manta Rays Taper for TYR JNat Cup (Video)

SwimSwam wants to give you an inside look at what a normal day-in-the-life looks like for any given swimmer, and how that differs from team to team or city to city. We send our head of production, Coleman Hodges, to be a fly on the wall at practice, then relay what he discovered back to you over pancakes. Or at least breakfast.

Recently in Ohio for the Women’s DI NCAA’s (see coverage on that here), SwimSwam couldn’t resist branching out from Columbus and seeing what a couple of club teams were doing at this time in March. The Mason Manta Rays, whose senior group is run by Ken Heis, was coming down in a big way, preparing the the infamous TYR Junior National Cup. As it turned out, this meet got a little more recognition than the fast swimming it produced. 

However! Don’t let that distract you from the fast swimming that did occur there. Even though they didn’t end up getting a NAG, the mason boys swam the 2nd fastest time by a 15-16 200 medley relay ever. So something must have gone right. From what the boys on the team told me at breakfast, this practice was essentially their one day of real, full-on taper. And what a day it was.

After 2,000 of general warm up, including some kick and fast 50’s, it was all down hill. First everyone did 5 turns from the middle. Then the boys and girls broke into 2 groups for speed and power stations.

Station 1:

  • 2 stingers w/ chords (partner creates high resistance for 2-3 cycles then releases once released, sprint 3-4 cycles)
  • 3×25 @ 1:00 Fins + Paddles SPRINT
  • 75 EZ

Station 2: 

  • 2 Starts + Breakout
  • Relay exchanges

These kids were diligent about what they were doing, and stayed focused while doing the little work they had been assigned. But you could also see that they had a lot of fun with it, and each other. The best part of practice was the get out swim at the end, with the entire team cheering for their teammate. And the results from the meet last week speak for themselves. Regardless of the .39 discrepancy.

The team did a couple taper activities after the get out swim, but it was such good content that we decided to make them their own video. Stay tuned…

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6 years ago

Thank you. Insightful look at a fantastic team with a beautiful facility. Thanks for sharing. Nice memory for the team down the road too.

6 years ago

Thank you I enjoy these!

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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