Plan, Plan, Plan


All planning should be done in writing. Working out the plans on a large calendar can be helpful. All of the planning should include goals and objectives. What do the coach and the swimmers want to accomplish? Determine how the goals will be accomplished and develop a timeline to meet the goals. Finally, consider how to measure success and achievement of the goals. Develop individual and team goals and objectives and have personal goals and objectives for professional development. Goals and objectives should not be limited to times and rankings. The long term development of athletes is more important than short term performance at meets.


In planning the overall season, coaches should focus on development of the athlete rather than meet performance. Consider developing new events and training capacities. In planning each month, pick a focus or goal for the month such as a skill development or a particular meet. Moving down to the weekly plan, again have an overall goal for the week. Then consider what type of work or teaching will be the focus each day and be sure to balance or cycle through different types of work, recovery and skill development. Finally, plan each day, having a goal or purpose for each practice. Balance the different activities during each practice to achieve the practice goal or objective. Be flexible and don’t try to accomplish too many different activities within one practice because the swimmers may be confused rather than challenged.


All of the following should be included in the planning:

  • Team Development
  • Stroke Training
  • Training Improvement
  • Mental Skills Improvement
  • Strength and Flexibility
  • Skill Development
  • Race Technique
  • Times and Rankings

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