Practice + Pancakes: Texas A&M Men Go Scary Fast on Halloween

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 just couldn’t wait until the Texas-Texas A&M dual (which is happening today, by the way), so we went to go visit the men’s team in College Station to give you a little sneak preview of the speed you can expect tonight.

Practice with the Aggie men started with dryland, a workout that consisted of a lot of things that I really liked. Boxing, somersaults into squat jumps, isometric pull ups; a ton of fun stuff. Once they got in the water, the main set for 80% of the guys was the last piece in a 4-week progression. The set was:

3x (8×50) Off the Blocks

2 @ 1:20

3 @ 1:00

3 @ :40

They had done a set like this for the last 4 Tuesdays, but the intervals had gotten tighter every week. When I asked Jason about it, he said you could slowly see their times getting better as they adapted to the set throughout the progression.

Being on the pool deck was electric. These guys really supported each other and cheered one another on, and you can see a taste of that in the last clip of the video. We got a little halloween treat at the end of practice. Brock Bonetti and Mauro Castillo, both seniors and team captains, went a 100 for time off the blocks. Gotta watch to find out how they did!

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6 years ago

They aren’t the first team to limit open turns in practice. Nort at Cal used to only allow the breaststroke group to do open turns at full speed. During sets they would do flip turns. But each practice they would spend 10-15 mins practicing on open turns at full speed. Depends on how you look at it, but it seems like only practicing turns at full speed is pretty specific to training how you want to race.

6 years ago

Good set, but doing flip turns on breast and fly is one of the stupider things I’ve ever heard. Why would you train something when you can’t race it.

Reply to  Klorn8d
6 years ago

I completely agree. You should be practicing the way you swim in a RACE.

Reply to  Klorn8d
6 years ago

Yea you may as well never use equipment or do any drills because you can’t race that way!

Delusional thoughts from fantasy island
Reply to  Confused
6 years ago

sarcasm aside…. your suggestion is a prominent school of thought. See Michael Andrew.

crooked donald
Reply to  Klorn8d
6 years ago

Maybe not. The point was to yet overspeed (carry the momentum) off the walls and to feel what that’s like if you were going max speed. When you’re getting crushed with training in the fall and are nowhere near where you’ll be speed-wise compared to a full taper, you’ll never feel a true taper race-pace turn. If you’re a 44 flyer and are going a 48 (at best) in a fall practice, you’re not neurally training the taper race momentum you’d feel off a turn. It’s just like using stretchcordz to assist with overspeed swimming. I thought it was kinda clever.

6 years ago

Coleman is the new and improved Garrett. Loving the practice coverage.

Reply to  dude
6 years ago

There can be only one.

crooked donald
6 years ago

Need to call adult protective services for that extreme cupping on that dude.

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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