Written By: Joe Turner
During the Pandemic, the facility Neptune Aquatic Club used was shut down, so we had to share a small public facility with the Community. In the morning, we swam from 5 to 6:45 and in the afternoon a local team was nice enough to allow us to swim with them.
We are a small club team that has one head coach and three volunteer assistant coaches. Our team's accomplishments include five swimmers from NAC swim at the collegiate level, two sectional qualifiers, zone team members and top 16 finished in various events at state championship meets.
At this very moment, we are back training in a 20 yard pool. Our team is much younger now as most of our members transferred to other programs because of pool access during the pandemic The sport of swimming at the lower level needs to catch up to the other sports because; watching videos of practice and competition are important to the athlete's progress during the season, and in the sport. We do both to keep kids interested in what we are working on.
Four major things we focus on are:
Kicking = kick speed
Stroke count= being effective in the water
Turns= speed inside the flags, measured by timing turns with a stopwatch - feet pass underneath the flags and when they pass the flags.
Endurance = developed from longer sprints
We switch strokes every three days to take the time on all four focus points.
For Free & Back & Brst: Count stroke regularly the first couple of weeks, then progress to 10x40fr hold stroke count for the 20 for the 40 now Fly is a little different, count stroke with fins to teach a quick tempo, then progress to swim without fins on.
A sample set for an IM day:
20x20 fr @ 50 20x20 bk @ 50
20 x 20 brst @ 50 correct pullouts 20 x 20 Fly @ 50 - 3/2/1 breaths to move to breathing pattern
Here is my favorite warm up set in our small facility:
15 min of this set
Give the athletes a number of underwater kick out and 5 breakout strokes with no breath
UWKStrokes4 x 204 x 25 233 x 203 x 20342 x 202 x 25451 x 201 x 2556
10 min of this set
Encourage a focus on perfect technique and turns
4x100 (80s) only take 65 stroke per 100
4x50 (40s) only take 32 stroke per 50
4x25 (20s) only take 16 stroke per 25
or you can do the set and have them focus on kick ratio
4x100 (80s) swim and get over a 100 kicks per 25
4x50 (40s) swim and get over a 100 kicks per 25
4x25 (20s) swim and get over a 100 kicks per 25
To build endurance in the 20 yard pool, we think about changing a set over a few weeks.
Week 120 x 40 FreeWeek 210 x 80 FreeWeek 310 x 40 6 x 80 5 x 100Week 46 x 40 8 x 80 8 x 100
Covid was really hard for small teams, but we have learned to adapt and are working to rebuild - even in a small pool. We just focus on the small skills and get a little better every day.
Joe Turner III is the current owner and head coach of Neptune Aquatic Club, which is affiliated with United States Swimming with 20 years experience in training athletes with a focus in health and fitness. Throughout his 20-year career, his main focus has been coaching swimming, at colleges and high schools within Michigan. He has worked at several prestigious swim camps at the University level, Joe was selected as an assistant coach by United States Swimming to attend the Midwest Zone Select Camp where he coached 56 top swimmers in the Midwest regional, among other USA Swimming posts at local & national diversity camps. Many of the Neptune Aquatic Club swimmers have competed at Michigan Swimming States Meet, earning top16 in several events. He also guided swimmers to USA Swimming Sectionals Meet and has placed three of his swimmers onto college teams at Wabash College (Kevin Sheridan), Ohio Wesleyan (Eric Blessman), and Nova Southeastern University (Jake Gray). Athletes have also qualified for the Michigan Zone team and local Sectional meets.