Age Group Swimming: Three Reasons to Give Your Child the Gift of Private Swim Coaching

Age Group Swimming:
Three Reasons to Give Your Child the Gift of Private Swim Coaching

By Julia Galan

When it comes to age group competitive swimming, parents want the absolute best for their children and will sacrifice considerable time and money to ensure that their swimmer will gain a competitive edge, be the best they can be and enjoy the sport to the fullest. But where should you invest your resources? While high-tech suits and pricey gear may be tempting in hopes of a quick, no-effort result, one of the best long-term investments you can give your swimmer is a proper stroke technique via private swim coaching. Here’s why.

1) Your child will be able to develop a proper technical foundation, which can help to prevent injuries and improve performance

Swimming is a highly technical sport which means that even small changes to the stroke can make a big difference in a swimmer’s performance and his or her potential for injuries. For example, incorrect stroke technique is one of the main culprits of injuries for many swimmers, particularly the infamous “swimmer’s shoulder”. Although greater flexibility at a younger age often allows for poor technique to form without consequences to the joints, continuous repetitive motion of poor technique over the years forms habits that can result in injury later down the line.

Private coaching can allow your swimmer to fine-tune their technique.

Private coaching can allow your swimmer to fine-tune their technique.

Swimming on a team offers enormous benefits, including strength-building, a sense of camaraderie and structured practices, among other things. However, coaches can only spend a limited amount of time with each swimmer, particularly when it comes to stroke technique for all four strokes. With a more or less large number of athletes to work with at one time, personalized feedback is difficult, as coaches are focused on many different responsibilities as they lead team practices. This means that age groupers will not have the opportunity to develop the excellent technical foundation that is so important in the sport. Finding a private coach who specializes in stroke technique will allow young swimmers to get ‘screened’ for trouble spots, thus helping to increase efficiency, prevent injuries, and consequently increase speed.

You can sign your swimmer up for a video-based analysis, allowing them to not only see their stroke but also to learn more about the mechanics of their technique and use that knowledge to improve efficiency, avoid injuries and have more fulfilling workouts. Read more about our video analysis opportunities here…

Alternatively, weekly swim consultations and on-deck sessions are perfect ways to ensure that age group swimmers are maximizing the time and effort spent in the water. Swimspire’s consultations, for example, include personalized feedback and customized workouts each week that are based on the athlete’s swimming background, current stroke technique and goals. Or, if you just need some reassurance that your swimmer is on track, you can simply send us a video of his or her stroke and a recap of their weekly workout plan and we’ll send you our thoughts and recommendations.

It’s important to note that private lessons or swim consultations do not replace team practices or the child’s main coach. Rather, the combination of private coaching with team practices will enhance the swimmer’s performance, and in turn result in a combination of good technique, speed and endurance.

2) Your child can practice their technique in controlled conditions

Private lessons offer the benefit of a calm and controlled environment to practice technique.

Private lessons offer the benefit of a calm and controlled environment to practice technique.

On a related note, private lessons provide the added benefit of a calm and controlled environment for age group swimmers. While swimming on a team builds a spirit of cooperation and group dynamic, it also means practice conditions that combine large groups of swimmers into a smaller space, causing distraction and an inability to practice “perfectly”. With many swimmers in the lane, each individual has to deal with distractions – too many swimmers at the wall to practice good finishes, the need to circle swim causing a habit of swimming in circles during a race, or pressure to sacrifice technique in favor of making an interval or keeping up with his or her peers.

Further, with the right private coach, a one-on-one session allows swimmers the ability to come to their own understanding of what swimming is all about and how to correct their own technique when they are practicing with the team or on their own. For example, Swimspire’s on-deck sessions or online video analyses break down a swimmer’s stroke and build it back up progressively, using drills that are specifically geared towards that individual’s needs. The purpose behind each drill is also explained to both the swimmer and the parent, and this progressive pattern allows them to develop an awareness of how they need to move in order to maximize their speed and efficiency.

3) By developing an understanding of the stroke technique, your child will feel more confident and derive increased enjoyment from swimming

Swimmers who understand the mechanics of stroke technique will develop a better understanding of the sport in general.

Swimmers who understand the mechanics of stroke technique will develop a better understanding of the sport in general.

In correlation with the second reason above, a swimmer who understands the mechanics of stroke technique will develop a better understanding of the sport in general. He or she will have greater ability to assess races and determine what went right and what may need to be improved. As in life, possessing education and knowledge leads to greater confidence and more enjoyment of swimming for both the swimmer and the parent(s).

Choosing the right coach for private sessions is, of course, just as important as making the decision to sign your child up for one-on-one sessions in the first place. You can choose from exclusively on-deck sessions or online video analysis, but above all be sure that the coach you select specializes in stroke technique. Given that the majority of your child’s swim training will take place with his or her primary coach and team, any private lessons should focus on areas of the stroke needing improvement and fine-tuning that are specific to the swimmer, rather than a generic coverage of stroke mechanics in general. Combining primary club training with private swim lessons that are individualized to the swimmer and geared towards stroke technique will lead to better performances and a reduced risk of injuries.

If you are interested in signing up for one of Swimspire’s online or on-deck coaching and consulting services, check out our website! 

 

 

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