Benefits of a Guest Coach

April 9, 2009

Our swim coach was out of town on Tuesday, so they set up a swim clinic for us with a master swim instructor.  Wow!  I think my form really improved in the one hour she spent with us.

Jim, our regular coach, is great at designing workouts and encouraging us but when he would suggest ways to improve my stroke, I had trouble implementing the suggestions.  For example, he told me I needed to use my legs less while swimming.  This makes perfect sense, since the swim is the only sport in the tri where you use your arms but you need to keep your legs fresh for the bike and run.  But logically knowing something and making your body do it are two very different things. 

I told Wendy (the master swim instructor) that I knew I was supposed to use my legs less but I didn’t know how to make that happen.  She explained it to me in concrete steps – lengthen your legs and make your kicks as shallow as possible. I still have to work on breaking my muscle memory but now I have something on which to focus.

To be fair, perhaps Jim would have explained it the same way but for some reason I had trouble asking him.  Maybe I felt like I ought to be able to figure it out on my own.  I think, in the end, the greatest benefits of a “guest coach” are:

a) you hear a different perspective

b) you aren’t afraid to ask the questions you secretly fear are stupid because chances are good you’ll never see them again!


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