Here are some tips I have come across for coaching triathlete’s swimming.
1. Grab this book and read it
Swim Speed Strokes from Swimmers and Triathletes, by Sheila Taormina. This book is a great way for coaches to perfect their athletes swim stroke. It goes into the biomechanics of each stroke and gives wonderful pictures and knowledge on how to coach your athlete through perfecting their swimming stroke.
You can order the book here!
I would recommend focusing on swim stroke and technique during off-season. During season, keep implementing stroke technique on the days they are doing long sets. This way you are able to keep technique while you increase yards during season.
2. Swim with your team of athletes one time per week.
This has helped me build rapport with my athletes. Also, this is a great way for you to visually see how your athletes are doing. From my experience, when I started swimming with my athletes one time per week, their times started improving because I was able to correct their skills at that moment.
3. Teach swimmers how to kick at a more consistent pace
A swimmer who doesn’t kick will actually be slowing down during the swim. You will sometimes hear athletes say, “But, I need to save my legs for the bike and the run.” Good news is, all 3 parts to our race utilize different muscle groups and use different energy systems. I have learned from my career as a triathlete that, as long as an athlete is well nourished through their race, their legs won’t give out on them.
Here is a great video you can use to understand kicking a little better!
4. Get a waterproof video recorder
If you have access to a GoPro or some sort of underwater recording device you can use it to videotape your athlete’s stroke under the water. This will help you see how their technique is coming together through your program that would otherwise be invisible. If you have multiple athletes for the season, I’d recommend trying to get all of your athletes recorded together. Being recorded at a young age has helped me decrease injury, increase my knowledge of technique, and it has helped lay a great foundation for the years I’ve been swimming.