Practice + Pancakes: West Swim Club Plays Massive Game of Swimming “War”

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 the Chicago area, SwimSwam headed over to West Swim Club in Willowbrook, Illinois. The first thing to note about WSC is that they have their own pool, and it’s probably unlike any other pool you’ve ever seen. It’s actually horse shoe shaped, having 2 4-lane, 25 yard pools connected with a middle part (that is maybe 5 yards). This makes for some interesting usage of the space that they have.

Their practice consisted of 2 main parts. The first was stations, of which there were 4, which went as follows:

  1. 1 pull up, 25 underwater, 2 pull ups, 25 sprint (repeat but add 1 pull up every time)
  2. 2 x 25 sprint with parachute, take parachute off, 50 FAST
  3. 5 x 75 @ 2:00 OTB All Out
  4. Buckets – 25 Max Underwater + hold there for 10 seconds, 25 Sprint

The second part was a good old fashioned game of war… but in the pool. Head coach Adam split the kids up into 4 teams (spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds) and gave each swimmer a rank (ace, king, queen, jack, 10). He would pick 2 cards, and those 2 values would race. 1 swimmer would pick a card to determine the distance while the other would pick a card to determine the stroke. Aces would go head to head, while a king would get a 1 second advantage over an ace, a queen would get a 2 second advantage, etc.

Needless to say when there’s a possibility of racing a 50 IM, there were some great battles to be had.

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joe bonham
1 year ago

A bunch of great ideas to mix up the training and keep them out any routine.

1 year ago

Can we all MUTUALLY agree that practice and pancakes is the best invention EVER

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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