I would say that our Introduction Group (8&Unders) does at least 400 yards of each practice kicking in one hour. Sometimes more. For underwater kicking sets we like to throw some orange hockey pucks on the bottom of the pool and streamline kick to those. We often use these hockey pucks as markers for different things and the kids love them. We have a lot of lines that we can use as markers (see in the picture) but there is something different about using a hockey puck! Some teams use cones, but the hockey pucks are smaller and easier to store. They only cost about a $2 each and will last forever. They work for us!
In our Age Group Development Groups (9-12) we do at least 600 yards of kicking each practice - but can do some sets that will be 1,500 yards of kicking. We have three Age Group Development Groups - so the ages and ability levels range here.
In our Age Group Performance Group (11-13) we generally do at least 1,000 yards but these swimmers often do kicking sets that bring them up over 2,000 yards on a given day. At least once a week we have a major kicking set that is 25-40 minutes long. Sometimes we mix in a little swimming with the kick, but we really try to give the legs at least one longer extended set each week.
Kicking is important for speed, power, and fitness. We like short kick repeats as well as longer kicking sets. We like everything except lazy filler kicking. We really try not to let swimmers fall into "slow kick" mode, especially while talking! Keeping a good attitude and continuing to move the practice forward helps set the tone of the practice. I will let everyone know about a kicking test set that we do occasionally with the age group swimmers in another blog post.
We added in a 50 Freestyle kick at the end of an early season swim meet recently. Touchpads and all. Trying to find interesting ways to show that kicking is important and throwing something different and beneficial in at a swim meet. It also gave our best kickers a chance to show their stuff. Check it out:
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