Create speed--and maintain it--with the breaststroke
Of all the competitive strokes, breaststroke provides the most variety among world- and national-class swimmers, though over the past several years the trend has been moving away from lifting the shoulders and head high out of the water and toward a flatter, more forward stroke.
Goals are important, coaches can help achieve them
Elite athletes are goal-setting machines, and the habit of continual goal setting is a primary reason they climb the ladder to the elite level. An important part of creating an environment of excellence is encouraging continual goal setting.
Freestyle and backstroke are the two variations of flip turns. Done correctly, they speed up a swimmer while allowing a brief respite from swimming, thus explaining why short-course times are faster than long-course times for the same events.
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Talent, skill, and a passion to compete: These are the characteristics that define elite-level swimmers. But as the sport’s best coaches know, even the most gifted of athletes won’t develop these traits without a plan—one that recognizes talent, develops skills, and nurtures success.
Developing Swimmers is the only book to offer a comprehensive, long-term plan beginning at an age-group level. Renowned coach Michael Brooks shares the insights, secrets, and strategies that have transformed his athletes and swim teams from novice competitors to distinguished champions.
Developing Swimmers will show you how to
- evaluate and identify talent in even the youngest swimmers;
- establish realistic yet challenging short- and long-term goals for your athletes;
- assess and refine strokes for greater power and efficiency;
- improve starts, turns, and finishes for faster times;
- structure positive and productive practices for swimmers and swim teams; and
- foster your swimmers’ passion, bolster commitment, and instill winning attitudes.
From motivation to meet management to race-day tactics, Developing Swimmers covers it all. It is the guide every coach should have on the shelf. With Developing Swimmers, you will improve the performance of your swimmers—and your entire team.
Part I Recognizing and Developing Talent
Chapter 1. Recognizing Swimming Talent
Chapter 2. Developing Swimmers for the Long Haul
Chapter 3. Creating an Environment of Excellence
Part II Assessing and Refining Stroke Technique
Chapter 4. Recognizing What to Teach
Chapter 5. Teaching Technique Effectively
Chapter 6. Improving Freestyle and Backstroke
Chapter 7. Improving Butterfly and Breaststroke
Chapter 8. Improving Starts, Turns, and Finishes
Part III Training and Preparing Swimmers
Chapter 9. Training Age-Group Swimmers
Chapter 10. Planning for the Short- and Long-Term
Chapter 11. Providing Support Away from the Pool
Part IV Developing the Competitive Edge
Chapter 12. Racing Attitudes and Tactics
Chapter 13. Managing Meets for Racing Excellence
Chapter 14. Selecting Meets and Events
Michael Brooks is the veteran of more than 20 years of year-round club, high school, summer league, and country club swim coaching. He has worked with all levels, from novice to Olympic Trial athletes. He coaches swimmers ages 8 to 18 so that he can keep the beginning, middle, and end of swimmer development in mind at all times.
Since October 2006 Brooks has been head coach of the York YMCA swimming team in York, Pennsylvania. Before that, he spent two years as the head age-group coach of the Brophy East swimming team in Phoenix, Arizona, and five years as head coach of the York site of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (Michael Phelps' home club), where he worked with renowned coaches Murray Stephens and Bob Bowman.
Brooks was named both the state Age-Group Coach of the Year and the High School Coach of the Year two times, as well as Coach of the Meet at the YMCA National Championships. His swimmers have raced to well over 150 national top 16 and top 10 rankings, scores of Far Western and zone championships, and hundreds of state championships in all events on the program. Brooks resides in York, Pennsylvania.
“Coaches will find Developing Swimmers an invaluable resource in their efforts to evaluate talent, define realistic goals, and establish performance measures. Use this guide to set a successful plan for each swimmer.”
Jim Schmutz -- Executive Director, American Sport Education Program
“In Developing Swimmers, Michael Brooks delivers more than two decades of proven results with athletes. Coaches will use this book time and again to improve their swimmers’ performances.”