When I am coaching at swim meets there are always a million things going on. Kids are racing, others are wanting to talk before their races, and others are wanting to talk after their races are over. Often times there is a line! How many times have I instructed "now go warm down" or "now go do a 400 easy"? With all the other swimmers in the pool hanging on the wall it can be difficult for younger swimmers to stay focused on the task at hand.
This year the groups that I am working with will have an "Official Meet Warm Down". For one of my groups this is the warm down:
3x100 IM Drill continuous
3x50 "get ready" with :10-:15 rest
They jump right in and have a plan to execute. The 300 should be a great start to the warm down - mixing the strokes and allowing all of the muscles to be involved. Then they can move to something that will help them prepare for their next event. They can work on some turns, finishes, breakouts, pacing, timing of race stroke - anything that will help them get ready. They can finish it off with a 100 of their choice. There is some structure in there - but also some room for personalization.
This is 550 yards and will be a great distance of warm down for swimmers ages 11-14. It should take less than 9 minutes. Swimmers should have time to do this warm down 95% of the time at meets. Only rarely are their events so close together that they can not. If so, they can shorten it how they need to.
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