Ever since there’s been competitive swimming, there have been get-out swims. A great way to encourage swimmers to go faster than they thought they could, with the cherry of getting out of practice 10 minutes early.
Why Do It:
Getting swimmers to emulate actual race-day emotions in practice is tough. Giving them a reward is typically a great way… and for many swimmers, the greatest reward is to get out a bit early.
How to Do It:
1. Whatever the get-out swim is, it has to be very difficult. If it’s a 100 free or, like our relay, a 200 underwater dolphin relay, the goal time is created by watching a previous set, and finding out what is possible, that the swimmers didn’t think was possible.
2. The reward, of "getting out" can’t be given too early in practice because the swimmers will either be too rested or they won’t have completed the required work for the day.
3. Get-out swims should also come with an… or if. Our "of if" was a 300 butterfly. While many people say you shouldn’t use fly as a punishment, for most swimmers, a 300 fly isn’t that much fun and, because they succeeded (as I knew they could), it worked and they didn’t have to do it anyway.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Get the swimmers involved in the decision. This group had to select four swimmers who could fit into our limited supply of Monofins, and who were also fast enough for the four to average under :25 for 50 meters of underwater dolphin. The goal time was 1:40.
Also, swimmers… always make sure you double check the clock. The coach may have seen the time a bit differently. Enjoy, and great job swimmers on a 1:35. I knew you could do it!