This season I’m stepping into a new mode of coaching. One where I shut my mouth and use visuals. For example at my developmental practice yesterday I had my kids get our 4 different times just to watch another swimmer do the drill(s) correctly.

With my more advanced group I’m trying out the same thing.

But here’s why. When we try to explain a drill, or a concept to an athlete most of them can’t picture it in their head. Words only carry meaning if there is an image associated with it. My solution is to remove words and give them the images to see. An added benefit is teaching independence and ownership. When the athletes are working on a skill or technique, it’s on them. I might give them a “good” or “bad.” But for the most part I’m staying out of it.

I want them to rely on themselves for correction. I’ve noticed most kids blindly say they want to work on technique and its great while the coach is right there hand feeding them the skill but it just doesn’t seem to stick.

If my hypothesis is correct we will make the changes necessary, and everyone will buy into the process more.

I’m going to measure how this works by taking videos of key skills and technique now. And then another one in a couple of months and see if there is any difference. Who knows, I might be wasting my time! But it’s going to be a great experiment.

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