Practice + Pancakes: Springfield Aquatics Rocks Tempo Trainers and Touchpads

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.

SwimSwam took a visit down to Springfield Aquatics and stayed for a practice with their senior group with lead coach, Thomas Baumann. Coach Thomas is great at innovation and trying new things with his kids, both in and out of the pool. You can see that with his dryland work, as he has his kids doing all sorts of fun exercises including rope climbs, weighted wall sits, and whatever you call those things where you’re laying down and you pull the band with your foot. I thought those were great.

In the water, their main set had 2 parts. The first was a good, old-fashioned game of Beat the Beep with a tempo trainer. If you’ve never played Beat the Beep, you set your tempo trainer to your goal pace for a 25. So say your goal pace is holding 30.0, you would set your tempo trainer to beep every 15 seconds. That way, you leave the wall when you hear it beep, then you have to get to the other wall before it beeps again.

For the second part of the main set, Thomas actually put the touch pads in before practice. The kids went through 5 rounds of a 75 off the blocks that were 25 build+50 (2nd 50 of your 100 goal pace). With the touch pads in, Thomas didn’t have to worry about getting times because the kids could just look up at the board and see their splits.

The kicker for practice was 2 different kick sets, both challenging and both seeing very fast times thrown down. The first set was (all kick, with fins):

300 Best Average (dolphin) @ 5:00

50 moderate @ 1:00

200 FAST!(dolphin) @ 3:00

50 moderate @ 1:00

100 ALL OUT (dolphin) @ 1:00

The 2nd set was as many 25’s flutter kick as you could make on :20. Although they could have kept going, Thomas stopped everyone who didn’t miss any at #30… which included a 12-year-old girl. I’m fairly certain that may be a National Age Group record, anyone want to check me?

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The Screaming Viking!

Good stuff!

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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