So you joined a masters swim club, or maybe your tween or teen is swimming with a local age group swim club… and you figure that’s enough exercise. Come’on, I’m swimming or my kid is swimming 3, 4 or maybe even 7, 8 or 10+ hrs a week (in the case of senior level age group swimmers)… how can that not be enough?
Sport specific training is not enough.
Why? Because when you are practicing the sport itself, as in training sport specific technique it is neither the time nor the place where training of the core and core movements of the body are possible. Sport specific technique is where agility, balance and coordination and the athlete’s core strength, mobility, and capacity are put to the test. When you are being tested, you are not training… you are testing what you built in dryland training.
What if you don’t do dryland?
What if you or your athlete don’t do any ABC work (as in agility, balance, coordination) or core work?
Well, then the assumption being made is that your core strength, mobility and capacity are sufficient for the sport specific work you want to perform in swimming sessions. The assumption is being made that the athlete has all the agility, balance and coordination needed in order to be able to actually attempt swimming any one or all five of the strokes (i.e. FLY, BK, BR, FR and the 5th stroke of UDK – the underwater dolphin kick).
This is a massive assumption to make… for athlete, for parent of athlete, for coach.
Problem is, when the athlete fails to progress in the pool… when all that the athlete knows is in-pool training, then there is only one conclusion to make… that they are failing or worse, a failure. How is it that others are progressing but they aren’t but everyone is doing the same in-pool training? The only possible conclusion when all you know is sport specific training is that YOU are the problem… YOU must not be suited to the sport, YOU must not be talented enough, YOU don’t have the natural ability to make it in the sport. BULL!
You are not the problem.
The problem is that you/your child are missing anything proper training which means you have a coach who has little clue as to how to coach properly.
No problem… click here to a webpage on our TOETT (Triathlon Team) website for the story of a former Burlington Aquatic Devilray [BAD] swimmer who started to train with jTOEST and was finally exposed to a full healthy training program for an age grouper. The before and after photos and the gif image showing what they are capable only 12 months after starting a dryland training program twice a week should convince you that swimming – and for that matter all sport specific training – is not enough.
Well let me provide some wiggle room… if you or your child are swimming on a swim team for the social aspect, for a good time, for a bit of regular exercise and improving is of little interest then no, you don’t necessarily need dryland training. For good ole simple fun… simply playing a sport is fantastic.
On the other hand… if you or your child are swimming and seeking progress, performance, your or their potential, then swimming alone is not enough; dryland training is mandatory.