TI enthusiasts: remember this name.
Over the weekend, I got to watch the swimming of an exceptional young athlete as we finished up our season at the Regional Swim Meet at the University of Minnesota. I see fast swimmers all the time, but this one was so far above the field that everyone stopped to watch him every time he raced. He is twelve years old, and has been breaking numerous national records.
"So what?" you might say. How does that have anything to do with TI?
I have been trying to adjust our practice planning over and over to adapt Terry's ideas and technical adjustments to our swimmers. One of my favorite things to do is a long, drawn out set of 25s where everything is at race pace, but nothing is done as "garbage yards." The interval is me: how long will it take me to summarize the next focal point? I absolutely love coaching this kind of workout, and the results outdo anything else in our practices.
Back to Michael. This kid, who is both freakishly tall but has incredible form and awareness for a 12-year-old, is the top national swimmer in almost every stroke, and has been coached by two Olympian parents. Imagine in your head his weekly practice volume. Write it down. How high is it? seven days a week? 10k a day? 20k?
He often swims three times a week...for 2500 yards.
He practices almost everything at race pace with constant form analysis and expert coaching. Not coaching that says "GO!" but coaching that says "see if you can speed up the hip drive to match your entry". His coach talks constantly about neural training for his swimmers, and he has no time to spend on "junk yards". So much of what Terry has been saying that he wished club coaches were doing was being applied to these swimmers. I was enthralled.
More on this kid later, but take a look at