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Pursuing Your Passion: Mine is Dryland

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Written By: Chris Ritter

There’s excitement in the air! Yes Olympic Swimming is here again!

I was able to take my family to Trials a few weeks ago in Omaha and it was an incredible experience. It was the first time I was at a national meet as a “fan” rather than a coach. It was a little disorienting.

The last time I was in that building was in 2008. Time flies and there’s been a lot of change in-between that’s for sure. That experience in 2008 was pretty incredible. I had the privilege of playing my part on the coaching staff, which was focused preparing the athletes through their dryland training.

Looking back at that point in time I was incredibly driven to become a “big time” swim coach and continue to bring athletes back to Trials and hopefully beyond.

But as I kept digging deeper into my “why” dryland is what kept coming up again and again.

I realized that my passion was in helping both athletes and coaches experience those “lightbulb” moments of getting a little stronger, moving a little better, and hanging onto their speed for a little longer to finish a race well.

A few years after that first visit to Omaha I dove headfirst into my passion and haven’t looked back since. As I was reading some of the previous blogs it was very cool to see other coaches talk about their inner drive and how they renewed their energy towards it even more.

(Making a Career Change and Finding My Place, in particular caught my eye.)

I greatly appreciate Streamline Teams allowing me the opportunity to share some of my dryland thoughts with this community over the next few weeks. From what I can see this is a great network that’s not only growing but also helping coaches in so many ways and I’m happy I can contribute in some small part.

I don’t have to explain to many of you coaches how challenging this past year or so has been. I know we’ve never worked harder as a company or myself individually because we were trying to do everything possible to support the coaches and swimmers in our audience.

Much as my excitement is increasing for the Olympics to finally be there, so too is my excitement for the upcoming season. That’s one reason we’ve started to do a dryland training webinar series from July into September. We’re hosting a free webinar on various dryland topics every other week and I’d love for you to join us, learn, share and get excited about what your dryland plan looks like for this upcoming season!

I’ll go into sharing more on some dryland topics in the coming weeks but I wanted this first post to be a little more of an “introduction” to this community. As I scroll through the members there’s many familiar faces (even some that have been on my podcast!), along with others I’m excited to get more familiar with.

I hope you can register for our next free webinar in our dryland training series!

You can also find more resources on our SURGE Strength Website. We currently have a number of free Dryland 101 Courses in our SURGE Strength Academy, including on writing dryland workouts, building pull-up strength as well as core training.

Also if you’re on the new Clubhouse app I’ll be hosting some rooms to recap and just enjoy great discussions and banter about the Olympic Swimming over the next week. I’d love to chat with you then. You can follow me using the link below as well as join the swimming specific clubs I founded.

Follow Chris on Clubhouse 🥳

I’ll see you next week and enjoy the swimming!

Chris Ritter is the CEO of RITTER Sports Performance and the creator of SURGE Strength. Within a year of beginning to coach swimming, Chris earned his first strength & conditioning certification in 2005 before he had even earned his college degree. During his first few years of coaching he gained experience working with summer league swimmers, age-groupers, high schoolers and even college athletes at his alma mater. Having graduate from California State University, Bakersfield with a degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology, with an emphasis in Exercise Science; Chris was a part of the last class of swimmers under the the legendary coach Bob Steele. After receiving his degree Chris went on to earn numerous strength and conditioning certifications, including: CSCS, NASM-PES, USAW and NASM-CPT. As he gained more and more knowledge around strength training principles, Chris realized how much untapped potential there was for swimmers and swim coaches that applied these tactics appropriately to their program. He eventually made his way east and created an entire dryland training curriculum for one of the largest and most successful clubs on the east coast. Not only was Chris responsible for coaching most of the swimmers in their dryland training but he was also tasked with teaching the entire coaching staff how to implement his dryland training methods. This task was given to Chris in spite of him being one of the youngest coaches on staff at the time, but it also spoke to how much he had already mastered the art and implementation of dryland training. During this time Chris was also implementing dryland training for a number of swimmers preparing for the 2008 Olympic Trials and the Beijing Games. He was able to assist both Cullen Jones and Mark Gangloff in winning Gold Medals at those Olympics along with a number of other athletes that competed during the games. Shortly thereafter Chris left swim coaching full-time to pursue his dryland passion. Chris’s knowledge and excitement for dryland drove him to craft and hone programs that launched swimmers to another level of performance. His background in strength training combined with his passion for both coaching and competing in the sport of swimming has generated a brand unlike any other in the world of swimming: SURGE Strength. Through continuous improvement in both methodology and delivery, SURGE Strength has delivered dryland and strength training programs, via app, to over 1,000 athletes worldwide, logging over 20,000 workouts. SURGE Strength is also focused on dryland training education, through their regular webinars, podcast episodes, along with in-person seminars and workshops. More recently Chris and his team have created the first and only certification specifically for dryland training for swimmers, the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification. In about a years time they have already seen coaches from over 30 countries around the world become SURGE Strength Dryland Certified (SSDC). The goal of SURGE Strength is simple: Build Better Athletes to Generate Faster Swimmers.

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