Superior Results from Data-Driven Coaching

by SwimSwam Partner Content 1

December 13th, 2016 Gear, Industry

The sporting world is evolving quickly. New technologies are revolutionizing coaching and changing the way athletes train, and swimming is no exception. Coaches all over the world are finding innovative technologies to integrate into their programs in order to collect information and increase their swimmers’ engagement and accountability.

Dave Salo, head coach at the University of Southern California, believes that data-driven coaching is the way of the future. As an elite coach who makes training decisions based on information, Salo is always looking for the next best technology to collect and compile data on his swimmers – and he believes wearable technology is the direction the sport is headed. “The day of just training harder than anybody else and resulting in an Olympic gold medal or world record is gone. You’ve got to be smarter.” The more information that you can assemble to help guide you in your training, the better. “Wearables is the direction we need to go to generate enough information to guide us.”

Data can be used to track the athlete’s development over time.

An advocate of using data to inform coaching decisions, Salo uses the TritonWear technology in his program and praised it for its effectiveness as an evaluation tool. “It’s a vehicle to moderate, modify, and make decisions about all your athletes… a tool that I think can help your athletes be better.” Salo commended the simplicity of the technology and its ability to capture and compile data in real-time as key features that give it serious potential.

Other coaches around the world are finding TritonWear to be a huge asset in their program. Bruno Langlois of the Bergens Svømme Club in Norway uses the systems with his athletes almost every day. He believes one of the clearest benefits of the technology is receiving the data in real-time. With two coaches on the pool deck, one is able to watch the swimmers while the other relays information from the mobile app. That way, they’re able to give immediate feedback to swimmers. “It gives us another tool to give feedback,” he explained. “I think we need to use it. We, the coaches, could calculate the metrics, but it would take so much time to calculate everything for all the swimmers. It makes our jobs so much easier to get the data in live time.”

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Jeremy Organ, Head Coach at Vanderbilt University, finds that he’s able to put down his stopwatch and give more attention to his swimmers while using TritonWear. With the confidence that data is constantly being collected and compiled for all swimmers simultaneously, he can forget about routine tasks like taking splits and focus on coaching. “You know that the splits are going to be there, so you can focus on the kids more and you don’t have to worry about blasting times away,” he described of using the systems. “You miss a lot of the action when you’re reading times for the whole practice. With TritonWear you can watch a lot more swimming and provide a lot more feedback and still give kids those times when they want them or need them.”

“We, the coaches, could calculate the metrics, but it would take so much time to calculate everything for all the swimmers. It makes our jobs so much easier to get the data in live time.”
— Bruno Langlois

The TritonWear system has made it easier than ever for Brent Mitchell of Metroplex Aquatics to educate his swimmers on the importance of stroke efficiency. He extended TritonWear’s application to become “a coaching device outside the pool” by tasking swimmers with determining what length of stroke creates the most power per stroke. “We’ve been looking at formulas for having a powerful stroke,” he explained. “There are various ways to get a time, but you want to be efficient.” This inquiry-based method has swimmers really familiarizing themselves with the metrics, helping them to become more involved in the technical aspects of their races.

Coaches are adopting technology to save time and get more accurate data with minimum effort

Brent has also found that this tech-savvy generation of swimmers responds very well to using the technology in the water and examining their data at home. “It’s easier to talk to swimmers because they can see all of the variables that I see when they’re swimming.” The data is especially important when working with today’s kids, who always ask for the reasoning behind decisions. “You need to go into depth into why you’re doing something and convince them that it’s the smart thing to do.” Using hard data to justify coaching decisions has made swimmers more receptive, and they take greater ownership when they can see their efforts translate directly into immediate, fact-based results.

Kevin Anderson of Mississauga Aquatics agrees that TritonWear has made his tech-savvy swimmers more invested in their training, and claims they’ve actually become more coachable. “They stay engaged in their day-to-day training, and it keeps them focused on their performance,” he explained. With the ability to sign into their online profile to access all of their data and track their progress over time, swimmers have more opportunities to become “students of the sport” outside the pool. It makes them more accountable and increases awareness on the part of both the athlete and the coach.

Coaches at Texas Ford Aquatics have effectively incorporated multiple technologies into their program. They invested in a projector system to connect to their iPads so that their TritonWear data can be displayed for the whole pool to see – a constant reminder that keeps swimmers focused on their technical skills. The large display can also be used as a competitive tool that increases individual accountability, since swimmers can clearly see their own data compared to everyone else’s. The display can be differentiated, with specific metrics shown for different swimmers depending on their needs. After pinpointing issues with certain athletes, coaches give them target numbers to hit on specific metrics, and they can use the technology to guide them toward meeting those goals.

Athletes are faster and more engaged with technology.

“If you’re a coach and you’re not keeping up with the evolution in our sport, then you are doing a disservice to your athletes.”
— Kevin Anderson

Some of the best coaches in the world understand how quickly the sport is evolving. New technologies are disrupting old methods of coaching and allowing for new possibilities in training. In order to gain a competitive advantage, they’re staying ahead of the curve and investing in the future. Data and technology will revolutionize this sport we love – don’t get left behind!

Don’t miss the chance to take your practice to the next level.

This month only, TritonWear is giving away a TritonWear Starter Pack.

Click below and you can start your training camp like a pro.

Swimming tech news release is courtesy of Tritonwear, a SwimSwam partner.

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4 years ago

Do you have it in french?