The best swimmers in the world often have a swim coach who guides them to their goals every step of the way. From writing workouts to offering technique feedback and even motivating swimmers when they don’t feel like getting in the water, a coach’s job is to help their swimmers develop into the best version of themselves, both in and out of the pool.
So, what does it mean to be a good swim coach, and why should you consider one? Read on for three key aspects of good swim coaching, and what to do if you can’t swim with a coach.
What Does a Great Swim Coach Do?
Before you even start training, a good swim coach is going to ask you one question: What are your swimming goals?
They want to know what you’re trying to achieve so they can create the best training program for you. Whether you want to lose weight, swim faster, improve technique or compete in an open water event, be honest with your coach to ensure you get the best program for your goals.
Related: How to Set SMART Swimming Goals
Once your coach knows your goals, they play three key roles in your training:
1. Provide Structure
If your coach is on deck, they’ll facilitate a guided workout in person, walking you through each set and explaining intervals and goals for each part of the workout. You’ll probably train at the same times each week, at the same pool.
If you train with an online coach, they may provide a weekly or monthly plan with guided swim workouts designed for you.
2. Technical Instruction
Any coach can just provide a workout, but a good coach will go beyond that, providing additional instruction to make the workout even more personalized to you. Some examples include:
- Assign intervals for each set based on your speed
- Assign rest intervals between sets
- Prescribe equipment for specific sets (fins, paddles, etc.)
- Set target goal times for sets and explain how hard you should be trying during each set
- Modify workouts as needed for injuries or time constraints
- Give real-time technique feedback and guidance, with personalized drill recommendations
- Give in-person feedback on performance during workouts (tracking splits, etc.)
3. Athlete Interaction, Engagement and Encouragement
An in-person coach plays a huge role in your overall motivation, too. They hold you accountable and empower you to reach your goals every session.
But they also make swimming fun! A good coach should strive to create a supportive atmosphere that fosters camaraderie between swimmers. Your enjoyment and social interaction can play a huge role in your swimming performance.
Why Does a Coach Matter?
If you want to swim faster, you need the right guidance, support and motivation. And the right coach can provide that for you! Ultimately, you need a defined path that will get you to your goals as quickly and as safely as possible. Building a relationship with the right coach can do just that!
Just look at Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman. They worked together for decades achieving Michael’s dreams (and then some).
What to Do if You Don’t Have a Swim Coach
All this talk about having a coach is great, but what if that’s not a possibility for you? If you can’t swim with a coach in person, MySwimPro Coach is just what you need. Here’s how MySwimPro Coach works:
1. Enter Your Goals & Times: Do you want to swim faster? Lose weight? Improve your endurance? Select your goals and skill level, enter your best times, choose your pool length and the days you want to swim.
2. Get a Personalized Training Plan: Using your swimming information, MySwimPro Coach builds a personalized Training Plan for you. No two Training Plans in the app are the same! In addition to your Training Plan workouts, you get access to the daily, customized Workout of the Day and Test Sets to help you measure your progress.
3. View Your Personalized Workouts: Each Workout in MyswimPro is uniquely designed for you:
- Personalized Intervals for each set
- Goal times for each rep – understand how fast you should swim!
- Effort Levels to help you understand the goal of each set
- Equipment recommendations for each set
- Drill recommendations with instructional videos to help you master your technique
4. Sync Your Smartwatch: Sync your workout to an Apple or Garmin smartwatch to get Guided Workouts on your wrist. Track each split in your Workout and get haptic feedback when each interval starts and ends. If you don’t have a watch, print the Workout and bring it with you to the pool.
5. Review Your Analytics: After your swim, open the MySwimPro app on your phone to review your performance, including splits, heart rate and SWOLF data. If you swam especially well, MySwimPro Coach will recommend updating your best times for better interval personalization in your next Workout.
Sample MySwimPro Coach Workout
This drill-focused workout is an example of what you might see in the MySwimPro app. Remember, these intervals are personalized for MySwimPro CEO Fares Ksebati, so your intervals may look different based on your personal swimming speed.
- Distance: 2,000 yards/meters
- Duration: 35-40 minutes
- 1 x 400 Freestyle @ 6:00
- 4 x 100 Kick @ 1:50 Descend
- 4 x 25 Drill @ :30 (FLOW Drill)
- 4 x 50 Drill @ :50 (Pull buoy between feet)
- 4 x 50 Drill @ :50 (3 Strokes + 12 Kicks)
- 4 x 100 Pull @ 1:15 Descend
- 4 x 50 Drill @ :50 (Bow & Arrow Drill)
- 1 x 100 Freestyle @ 1:40 Silent Swimming
If you liked this workout, this is your sign to give MySwimPro Coach a try! Download the app on iPhone or Android and start your personalized Training Plan.