9/13/07

Thoughts on Speed Training from Stephan Widmer

Stephan is an outstanding sprint coach. He is the Head Coach of the Queensland State Swimming Centre in Brisbane, Australia. He coaches sprint swimmers, but the more I get to know him I am convinced he could coach speed in any discipline. Here are some ideas that he presented on speed development at the ASCA Convention last week in San Diego. It is interesting to note that he is a graduate of the Federal Technical Institute in Zürich Switzerland. He has an excellent foundation in sport science, but also has the practical foundation of being of being a top class swimmer and a graduate of a program that required proficiency in at least ten sports (very much like our traditional Physical education majors used to be in the states). I think regardless of the sport you will find these ideas to be common sense and useful.

Coach must have a passion for speed and power

Speed improves through skill

Attention to detail is necessary

Stresses to his swimmer – How good is your worst repetition

3R’s – Rhythm, Range and Relaxation

High Level of concentration necessary and less space for error

Constant flow of energy and body parts

Specific training and race modeling necessary for sprint events (Could not help but think of Gary Winckler’s race models here)

Learn from TES (Top End Speed)

Training needs to be distance specific in terms of Top End Speed (TES), Front End Speed (FES) and Back End Speed (BES)

What is Back End Speed (BES) training without Front End (FES) stimulation?

Must account for difference between genders

Start with Speed – Early in the season the swimmers are fresh, this is a perfect time for speed. Good time to feel speed and teach speed.

Beware of training speed into the athlete versus training speed out of the athlete (This really hit home with me, especially in the middle distance and distance events where we have people thinking speed through endurance)

Speed demands high a skill level and fast execution of precise movements

Train different speed zones

Energy system readiness rather than energy system emphasis

3 Comments:

At 9/13/07, 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you go into further detail on this statement?

Beware of training speed into the athlete versus training speed out of the athlete (This really hit home with me, especially in the middle distance and distance events where we have people thinking speed through endurance)

 
At 9/13/07, 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern,
I'm not grasping the last statement about energy systems. Specifically I'm not getting the contrast between energy system READINESS vs energy system EMPHASIS. If you would mind elaborating I would appreciate it.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC
move.beyond@hotmail.com

 
At 9/13/07, 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you go into further detail on this statement?

Beware of training speed into the athlete versus training speed out of the athlete (This really hit home with me, especially in the middle distance and distance events where we have people thinking speed through endurance


Train Slow = Play Slow

Mark Day

 

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