Practice + Pancakes: Team Elite Starts Taper for World Champs, Pan Ams

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.

With World Championships and Pan American Games both on the horizon, that means one thing for elite athletes: taper time. Recently in San Diego, I visited with Team Elite to see what they were doing 3-4 weeks out from their big meets. But first things first: we went to Fig Tree Cafe for breakfast, a team elite staple according to many of their Instagram accounts, and I didn’t get pancakes. Michael Chadwick said that the bananas foster french toast was the best thing I’d ever eat… and I must admit that it was pretty good. Now on to practice.

Team Elite started things off with some intense core-work, in some ways that I find pretty unique. They use those little half-circle-squishy-things (that’s the technical term) to balance on while they’re going through motions, forcing you to focus on balancing with your core. They rolled on mats without using their hands. They did partner abs. My favorite was when one person was holding the other persons feet up, but then they would let go of one of the feet… extreme balancing act.

In the water, the workout was pretty easy, and much more detail oriented. After a quick warm up, they went through a circuit that included starts, underwaters, and my personal favorite, kettle bell dolphin kick ups (called stingers on the whiteboard with the workout in the video).

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Kettleballs in the swimming pool. Who thought of that? They’re called stingers cause they burn (or sting)?

The shot of the breakfast table at the beginning was mouth-watering.

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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