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  1. #1
    DrJAG2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Observations on warmups, kids, etc.

    In the last month or so, we've had some interesting threads on kids, warming up, etc. After seeing my three kids perform in swim meets the last three weeks, I am doing more thinking about warmups. My kids have swum in a time trial, two A meets, and two B meets. Every single PR has occurred when the kids have missed the warmup. The first time, their mom got them to the pool after the team had warmed up. All three kids hit all their PRs in every event that night. This Saturday, my oldest, not a great swimmer but getting better, was called in to fill for a scratch at the last minute in the A meet. NO warmup, but he blew three seconds off his breast time. My youngest is a diva and cried through warmups last week. Instant PR in the back. Granted this may not lead to automatic translation to other sports and ages, but I find it very interesting that these kids hit PRs only after NOT warming up.

  2. #2
    mc
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    Default what's in the warm up?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrJAG2 View Post
    In the last month or so, we've had some interesting threads on kids, warming up, etc. After seeing my three kids perform in swim meets the last three weeks, I am doing more thinking about warmups. My kids have swum in a time trial, two A meets, and two B meets. Every single PR has occurred when the kids have missed the warmup. The first time, their mom got them to the pool after the team had warmed up. All three kids hit all their PRs in every event that night. This Saturday, my oldest, not a great swimmer but getting better, was called in to fill for a scratch at the last minute in the A meet. NO warmup, but he blew three seconds off his breast time. My youngest is a diva and cried through warmups last week. Instant PR in the back. Granted this may not lead to automatic translation to other sports and ages, but I find it very interesting that these kids hit PRs only after NOT warming up.
    Jag

    the question perhaps to unpack here is: what's the warm up so called these kids have been put through?

    if by warm up you mean a lot of static stretching we KNOW now pretty conclusively that that is detrimental to performance - whether speed or power.

    I will bet you however, that if a warm up is to get your kids to a sweat by doing some combined mobility work and movement that they will have MORE and better muscle activation ready for the gun to go off, and better performance of the movements themselves.

    mc
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  3. #3
    powerlifter54 is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrJAG2 View Post
    In the last month or so, we've had some interesting threads on kids, warming up, etc. After seeing my three kids perform in swim meets the last three weeks, I am doing more thinking about warmups. My kids have swum in a time trial, two A meets, and two B meets. Every single PR has occurred when the kids have missed the warmup. The first time, their mom got them to the pool after the team had warmed up. All three kids hit all their PRs in every event that night. This Saturday, my oldest, not a great swimmer but getting better, was called in to fill for a scratch at the last minute in the A meet. NO warmup, but he blew three seconds off his breast time. My youngest is a diva and cried through warmups last week. Instant PR in the back. Granted this may not lead to automatic translation to other sports and ages, but I find it very interesting that these kids hit PRs only after NOT warming up.
    From watching my kids warmup in various sports, i suspect most swim coaches over do it to a fault in swimming, and mainly because that is the way it has always been. If you are going to race for a 100, 200, or 400 yards, why warm up doing more distance WITH NO TECHNIQUE CORRECTION? Then do it more than once?

    Baseball seems to do it better with baseball specific skill warm ups. Football and track can be all over the map. Women's sports teams warmups can be downright scary due to lack of coaching depth.

    jmo

  4. #4
    DrJAG2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerlifter54 View Post
    From watching my kids warmup in various sports, i suspect most swim coaches over do it to a fault in swimming, and mainly because that is the way it has always been. If you are going to race for a 100, 200, or 400 yards, why warm up doing more distance WITH NO TECHNIQUE CORRECTION? Then do it more than once?

    Baseball seems to do it better with baseball specific skill warm ups. Football and track can be all over the map. Women's sports teams warmups can be downright scary due to lack of coaching depth.

    jmo
    Jack - I think you may have nailed it here - Summer meets are no longer than 50m for a single event. Those kids are swimming 15 minutes of warmup then maybe 5 minutes of turn practice. Drives me nuts. Yes, "because it was always done that way". You should see dry land training. Corrections? My middle kid is far, far stronger than his peers but is stuck in bronze or near bronze finishes because they get nothing much more than directed lap swimming.

    My middle kid is type A. He will go hard in the warmup. In baseball, he gets three swings in the on deck cirlce because he'll exhaust himself.

    MC - You know, I think at this age, kids are pretty much prestretched and sweaty.

    The larger issue here is.....I want my kids to do well, but the coaches are holding them back training like they did in the 50s. How do you approach a college kid with a better idea for warming up without sounding like a know-it-all?

  5. #5
    sruiz is offline Senior Member
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    Wow! I can't wait for further posts to this thread. It is sad, but true, that much of what is considered a "warm-up" actually hinders performance in youth athletics. I would love for Comrade Jeff O'Connor to add to this thread as he has a great reputation in youth athletic conditioning.
    Stephen "Steve" Ruiz, RKC, Z-Health Movement Performance Specialist (R,I,S)
    [URL="http://www.agelessathletics.com"]www.agelessathletics.com[/URL]
    [EMAIL="steve@agelessathletics.com"]steve@agelessathletics.com[/EMAIL]

  6. #6
    mc
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrJAG2 View Post
    Jack - I think you may have nailed it here - Summer meets are no longer than 50m for a single event. Those kids are swimming 15 minutes of warmup then maybe 5 minutes of turn practice. Drives me nuts. Yes, "because it was always done that way". You should see dry land training. Corrections? My middle kid is far, far stronger than his peers but is stuck in bronze or near bronze finishes because they get nothing much more than directed lap swimming.

    My middle kid is type A. He will go hard in the warmup. In baseball, he gets three swings in the on deck cirlce because he'll exhaust himself.

    MC - You know, I think at this age, kids are pretty much prestretched and sweaty.

    The larger issue here is.....I want my kids to do well, but the coaches are holding them back training like they did in the 50s. How do you approach a college kid with a better idea for warming up without sounding like a know-it-all?
    you guys are the kid experts on kid state, but i go back to my original point: what's the warm up?

    If they are indeed already hot and sweaty as you say, then super, that part of a warm up's job is done. What you are describing in the pool is a work out, no?

    My point about movement and joint opening for best rom is to be able to apply their technique optimally so they can also RELAX in their effort and have more fun. More effortless motion is still satisfying and fun. The cost of 3mins of mobility pool side is pretty much nothing, especially compared with the benefit.

    So i'd still say that one doesn't need to negate a warm up, but not act like a dufus robot who doesn't take the athlete's current state into consideration.

    In z s-phase we just talked about this as the difference between having a plan for a session vs simply running a program. The former takes more awareness than the later.

    So i think Jag, if i hear you right - and Jack - is that it's not about warming up muscles, it's about not being stupid with kids before a swim meet, no?

    mc
    mc, phd, cscs,
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  7. #7
    DrJAG2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc View Post
    you guys are the kid experts on kid state, but i go back to my original point: what's the warm up?

    So i think Jag, if i hear you right - and Jack - is that it's not about warming up muscles, it's about not being stupid with kids before a swim meet, no?

    mc
    Good question.....where's the warmup? I don't call it a warmup, I call it a pre-meet workout.

    The next question is how to address this with the coach without being obnoxious.

  8. #8
    theoldone is offline Member
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    Default Why Swimmers Warm Up

    I'm not a swimmer myself, but one of my sons was a state champion in high school and later swam in college at St. Johns University. Unless, they are preparing for a very large meet, coaches want you to swim tired, because you reap the maximum benefit from swimming tired. That is why kids are worked very hard and then begin to taper when approaching a big meet (state championships, national meets, etc). The decrease in workload causes them to swim much faster and really decrease their times.
    Basically what I'm saying is that you have to work very hard to punish the muscles over a long period of time, then taper approaching a big meet. It wasn't unusual for him to swim 12-16000 yards in high school each day during the regular season, and then taper off to < 5000 yards before the state championships.
    You can set PR's during the season by eliminating yardage, but you will plateau after a week or two, and your times will beging to increase, until the workload increases again.
    An interesting topic, to be sure. This is all IMHO, and I have no facts to support my statements, other than being around swimmers and swim coaches for a number of years.

  9. #9
    mc
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrJAG2 View Post
    Good question.....where's the warmup? I don't call it a warmup, I call it a pre-meet workout.

    The next question is how to address this with the coach without being obnoxious.
    why not just ask the coach what s/he believes is the role/necessity of this 15 min effort before a 50m sprint - right before a race? that based on your understanding of the goal of a warm up, the kids seem to be working out not warming up. what's the dif.btwn what they're doing and a work out, in that person's mind? that might tell you alot.

    you could even offer to do an experiment:
    your kids will come to the pool "hot and sweaty" as you say and do 3 mins max of mobility work (i can think of 4 great drills that you know right now that will help) and swim; the others will do 15 min mini workout. See who's times go up.

    I could also put you in touch with a national swim coach who does this, if you'd like, for back up

    mc
    mc, phd, cscs,
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    coaching/[URL="http://www.begin2dig.com/2010/11/whats-movement-assessment-for-petes.html"]assessments[/URL] in person and via web cam -[I] meditatus radix/caveat emptor (i.e. "i'm not young enough to know everything" - o.wilde)
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  10. #10
    scors50 is offline Senior Member
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    Both of my daughters have been competitive swimmers--one in HS and College, the other just starting HS. I have been watching these meets since my oldest was 8, so that's 14 years now. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why someone who is going to swim each stroke throughout the meet would warm up with only freestyle and, at that, a sprinter (50/100M only) would "warm up" with endless laps of freestyle. It never has, and still does not make sense to me--it's like folks who "warm up" for a max attempt in the dead lift with light sets of 20. We all know how useless that is.

    For what it's worth, my daughters both swam their best times in their school team meets, where "warmup" time was severely limited, not in their club meets where the warmups often resemble the Bataan Death march on water. And if anyone has ever been on the pooldeck for a large meet, you know that being "warm" isn't an issue--even in January.

    A 400 to get the juices flowing and a few 25 meter sprints of whichever strokes you are going to swim that day should be more than enough. Heck, after your first race, you usually sit around for a good 90 minutes before your next anyway, so any positive warmup effect is negated by then anyhow. Back when I used to powerlift competitively, we used to follow the mantra of "not leaving your best lifts in the warmup room". I think that notion applies here as well, at least IMO after 14 years of observation.

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