Why is it important to have a good training plan?

Are you one of those coaches that feel like you want to achieve more, but always get frustrated, because you don’t have enough time to cover every little technique to perfection in our sport?  Welcome to the club. That is how you should feel.  Unless you are like the Russians that go crazy with the basics and don’t move on until the base is perfect …hint hint… Then you won’t be working on them your whole career.

People, let’s be rational, we need goals. Goals are good, they are really good, to accomplish things in the sport, to feel like you are at least moving forward in that aspect of the sport. But hey, if you are one of those coaches that can achieve things without planning or writing anything out, hats out to you. I’m not worthy 🙂

Most of us do need a training plan; do need to study the needs of our club, our swimmers to focus on what is important for their future. Some mistakes I see often are: not planning ahead, working only on what will come in the near future, focusing only on the event instead a more general ability that could easily transfer to tons of work in other areas… For example, vertical line on land that transfers on to figures, stability, core strength, control, etc.

I know, there are coaching extremes…from the ones who talk on the phone and are stuck on Instagram while their athletes is showing them figures to the one that wants to control the diet of the athletes. Let’s, as coaches, focus on our job. Plan, coach, study, rewrite plan or even choreography, set goals, be thorough with them, guide your athletes through a training with mind and body. That last one is really hard, but we get the most results out of it.

So, going back to planning. Study your team and take three priorities: one to work in the long future, one in the near future and a basic ability that must be more than perfect. Keep this goal for about two months and plan around them. Focus your trainings on them and you will get results.

Example: I have a 12 and under team. My three goals will be to work on the introduction of spins (as a long term future goal), vertical line (so many ways to train this on land and in the water) and eggbeater height (as the perfect base). So, having this in mind I will plan ahead, taking time from training to work on these aspects of our sport. Maybe I can do them every day or maybe it’s better to do one each day (so three days per week if I train six days a week). You decide and you will talk about it with your athletes because this will engage them in the process and your goal will be their goal. Also, sharing the goal with your athletes can lead to achieving it faster and moving on to other goals.

There is so much more that goes into a training plan, taking into consideration the hours you have, what you will make a priority, making time to dryland, preparing the calendar towards competition with its increasing loads to tapering, considering extra workouts, or a motivational speech, or sometimes even planning a night out. Everything should be considered, not only for achieving goals, but to get the best performance out of the athletes.

I invite you to reflect on this subject, sit down with a blank piece of paper and just write out what do you want for your team, how do you believe you can achieve this goal and GO FOR IT!

My training plan would look like this, but it might have about three macro cycles since we usually have three major competitions in one year.

Hoped you liked this article about the training plan written by me @SynchroSwimCoach, Leilani Torres.

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