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Cover: todd desorbo's all-encompassing approach to sprint freestyle training
Todd DeSorbo's All-Encompassing Approach to Sprint Freestyle Training

with Todd DeSorbo,
University of Virginia Head Coach; 2018 ACC Women's Championship;
former Associate Head Coach at NC State; helped the Wolfpack men capture three consecutive ACC titles and the women win the 2017 ACC title;
coached Olympic gold medalist Ryan Held (2016 Rio 4x100 free relay)

In this 7-part, three-video set, Todd DeSorbo details his overall sprint training philosophies as he shares his training phases, including examples of yearly, weekly and daily practice plans.

In the pool, DeSorbo shares how to blend speed, power, and technique training that melds with his philosophy of focusing on intensity and recovery, rather than relying on yardage, to build endurance. This video gives a fresh and contemporary perspective on how to train fast to swim fast for sprinters!

Part 1: Philosophies, Planning and Strategies for Training Sprinters

Training for sprinting is about developing the "top end speed" that is required for fast times. Coach DeSorbo believes that sprint training is similar to weight lifting in that both are progressions where you can keep getting stronger and faster.

DeSorbo uses a strength- and power-based approach to his training methodology that is designed to help athletes continually get faster throughout the season and from one season to the next. DeSorbo believes in continually challenging his swimmers in terms of stroke efficiency and speed and power development, and, ��in keeping sprinters `on their toes' and engaged in the training through workout structure and the use of a variety of equipment and training methodologies.

Training Planning and Strategies:
DeSorbo uses a progression throughout the season consisting of four main phases:1. Aerobic - The first 4-6 weeks of the season that mainly involve team-based training to help athletes of varying fitness levels get into shape.2. Power Endurance - Once swimmers are in shape, this phase includes shortened sets that require more explosiveness while extending rest time.3. Power Development - When swimmers focus on increasing strength and raw power; DeSorbo compares this phase to that of a 1-rep max in the weight room.4. Competition/Championship - Shifts the emphasis from training to racing - fast!

DeSorbo offers detailed explanations of each of the seasonal progression phases including weekly and daily training structure examples for each of the phases. He also shares great insights on sprint event race strategies.

Part 2: Speed & Power Infused Technique/Training

While putting four of his sprint athletes through a drill series/workout that vividly demonstrates integrating speed, power, and sprint technique, DeSorbo offers ongoing narration as to the 'how and why' of each of the drill combinations; every drill has a specific purpose that reflects DeSorbo's purposeful training methodology.

Part 3: Starts

DeSorbo details the components he feels are essential for a great sprint start. His preferred start method includes an emphasis on the importance of the timing of the arm swing along with the importance of the lifting of the trail leg. He shares a brief start drill progression that emphasizes incorporating the arms into the dive.

Part 4: Turns

DeSorbo's mantra for walls throughout this entire video is that of hard push-offs. Coupling with the hard push-offs in this turn segment is developing a tight spin, keeping the feet low to get them onto the wall for a very hard push off that transitions into dolphin kick breakouts. DeSorbo shares some invaluable nuggets for ensuring a very fast sprint turn.

Part 5: Finishes

In this shorter segment, DeSorbo shares the technical make up of a championship finish with tips on how to touch the wall.

Part 6: Power Wall Training

To train the underwater through breakout aspects of sprint wall technique, DeSorbo takes his sprinters through a 2-station power wall training session.�� One station is power rack work that

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Cover: 19 week sprint training program
19 Week Sprint Training Program

The daily yardage amount on the 19-week plan can be tailored to your needs based on the time you want to train. This program can be adapted to swimming 2-3 or up to 6 times a week, with any yardage amount you desire to swim. The important thing is to follow the regime and do all that is planned.

The 3 phases of this program are as follows:

  • The beginning of this program assumes that you are starting your season and eases you into practices while developing your aerobic base.
  • The mid-season weeks are the core that includes the main work-load of aerobic swimming while introducing speed.
  • The last six weeks will develop and fine-tune your speed and power while maintaining your aerobic base.

This 19-week program includes:

  • 200 Pages - easy to use and easy to follow.
  • 109+ Swim Workouts that follow a comprehensive plan.
  • Learn to use Test Sets in every weekly cycle.
  • A complete 6 Week Taper
  • A full introduction to guide you through the season.
  • The full program will enable you to swim multiple championship meets several weeks in a row while continuing to improve your times. If you only have one championship meet we can adjust work-outs to hit your peak. The weight lifting and dryland programs follow suit to the seasonal plan and are essential to speed and power.

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    Cover: best of club swimming: technical progressions for successful butterfly
    Best of Club Swimming: Technical Progressions for Successful Butterfly

    with Kevin Zacher,
    Scottsdale Aquatic Club Head Coach;
    American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 5 certified coach;
    ASCA Arizona Coach of the Year (2007, 2014, 2016)

    Kevin Zacher guides you through the technical building blocks for success in the butterfly stroke. With in-water demonstrations performed by two Senior Level swimmers, you'll see efficient, well-designed progressions that reflect a fast and powerful butterfly.

    For many, the butterfly is thought of as a power stroke that requires a lot of muscle to be able to swim well. But in reality, it's a rhythm stroke that requires a good body line with slight undulation that connects the catch of the arms to allow the energy to flow out the feet. It's swimming's most beautiful stroke!

    Butterfly Stroke Progression

    Using a multitude of drills, Coach Zacher puts the emphasis on staying low and driving forward. He encourages swimmers to eliminate any action that doesn't contribute to creating energy for forward movement. Zacher continually emphasizes the importance of focusing on driving the body forward, not up or down.

    You will see the demonstrators go through progressions of each piece of the stroke using creative ways to emphasize good technique, such as:

    • 1 Pull 4 Kicks: For feeling the rhythm of the kick and lengthening the stroke into an efficient body line.
    • Butterfly Pull w/ Flutter Kick: Focuses on a flatter stroke and sending energy forward.
    • The use of stretch cords on deck to get the feel of the catch, then transition to the water to transfer the feeling to the water.
    • Underwater body undulations at different speeds and amplitudes to help the swimmer discover which is most efficient for their personal stroke.
    • Transitioning from underwater kicks to a fast and powerful breakout.

    Starts and Turns

    For the butterfly start, the objective is to get into the water with as much speed as possible, carry that speed into the underwater kicks, and transfer to the breakout. Coach Zacher explains the set-up position and the take off from the block.

    For the turn segment, Zacher emphasizes the importance of getting to the wall after completing a full stroke so the body is in full extension and at maximum speed in order to perform the quickest turn. He includes a complete progression that will benefit all swimmers.

    Coach Zacher uses his skills as a masterful communicator in explaining each drill/skill and their purpose. During this video, you'll hear him speak to the swimmers in order to get their feedback, providing a comprehensive perspective of what the swimmer experiences as well.

    48 minutes. 2018.

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    Cover: best of club swimming: technical progressions for successful breaststroke
    Best of Club Swimming: Technical Progressions for Successful Breaststroke

    with Kevin Zacher,
    Scottsdale Aquatic Club Head Coach;
    American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 5 certified coach;
    ASCA Arizona Coach of the Year (2007, 2014, 2016)

    In this video, Kevin Zacher explains the importance of body alignment and kick to encourage forward motion in the breaststroke. He then gives several breaststroke kick progressions that will not only allow swimmers to practice their technique, but also allow coaches to see and address any inconsistencies that swimmers may be facing.

    Advanced Breaststroke Progression

    Coach Zacher provides drills that will strengthen a swimmer's breaststroke pull and help them maintain good timing and rhythm. The "Moose Drill" encourages swimmers to focus on feeling for the appropriate timing between the breaststroke kick and glide.

    Other progressions include:

    • 1 Pull, 2 Kicks: For feeling the power of the kick and getting into an efficient body line.
    • Breaststroke Arms w/ Flutter Kick: To develop fast hands.
    • 3 Sculls/3 Pulls: Helps find the ideal catch point.
    • Eggbeater Kick: For fast heel speed.

    Starts, Pullouts, and Turns

    The objective of the breaststroke start is to get into the water with as much speed as possible, carry that speed into the pullout, and transfer to the breakout. Zacher finishes by explaining the body position needed for a great breaststroke pullout and start. He also gives a simple progression for the breaststroke turn that will help any new swimmer properly execute his/her turn.

    Nothing has been left out of this video - building the stroke from the kick up, developing upon each step of the turn, and the importance of staying tight and straight on the start. By layering his breaststroke drills progressively, Kevin Zacher has created an easy-to-follow guide that will help coaches find better ways to instruct their swimmers, regardless of skill level.

    60 minutes. 2018.

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    Cover: best of club: swimming series
    Best of Club: Swimming Series

    with Jeff Julian,
    Rose Bowl Aquatics Head Coach and General Manager;
    8x All-American, Pac-10 Champion, and U.S. National Team Olympics Trial Qualifier; has coached of many Olympic Trial & Collegiate Swimmers.

    Jeff Julian teaches age group swimmers that while butterfly is a demanding stroke, it can be easier and more fun to swim when you focus on two things: keeping your power going forward and maintaining your rhythm. That creates momentum - easy energy for faster, more sustainable butterfly.

    Julian breaks down the butterfly stroke so that age group swimmers can learn to appreciate its power and rhythm. Stressing the importance of the pull & catch and keeping the body in a forward motion, he will have even the novice flyer swimming in a relaxed position while not compromising on power or speed. He explains what to look for in the stroke:

    • Develop a powerful catch and pull that propels the body forward, with no up-and-down motion that wastes energy and increases drag
    • Why hand entry and the shape of the pull is critical for maintaining power
    • How to time the breath so it's supported by the pull and doesn't disrupt the stroke's rhythm
    • Sustain rhythm that doesn't change between a breath and a non-breath stroke cycle, and learn why the non-breath stroke may be the culprit when the two are uneven
    • Learn to balance power and tempo for speed that even younger swimmers or tired racers can achieve

    Undulation and Kick

    Julian takes swimmers through undulation and kick drills to help them build maximum power by making sure the body motion starts all the way up in the core and that the up-kick and down-kick are balanced and strong. Swimmers that rely only on their arms tire quickly. Teaching the entire body to work together creates a smooth, sustainable stroke.


    Use the Power Catch Drill to focus on connecting a powerful catch and accelerating pull for a forward surge that maximizes momentum. Learn why the right catch sets up the entire stroke and how to spot catch flaws that create problems in the other phases of the stroke.

    Drills as Diagnostics

    Learn how developmental swimmers are not the only swimmers who rely on butterfly drills. Advanced swimmers learn to use butterfly drills during warm up to develop consistency and spot stroke problems before they become entrenched.


    The faster you can get your knees up, the faster you can get your body turned around. Learn to adjust strokes before the flags so that you can hit the wall with full momentum to take into the turn. Carry that momentum off the wall for a surge through your breakout.


    Learn to send power and momentum forward at the beep for a powerful start with no wasted motion. Engage arms to get your body over the water before your front leg pushes for the right angle of entry at the fastest speed.

    If you want to break down the flow of the stroke from the pull & catch, the timing of the breath, or the recovery of the stroke, this is the video you need. Julian's easy to follow instructions with great in-water demonstrations and below-water videos is a great resource for coaches of all levels. His drills are easy enough for novice swimmers, but still helpful enough to refine the stroke of the most advanced swimmers. This is a great butterfly video to add to your collection!

    Age group swimmers of all levels will learn what they can do to improve their butterfly now and keep getting it faster.

    65 minutes. 2017.


    with Kevin Zacher,
    Scottsdale Aquatic Club Head Coach;
    American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 5 certified coach;
    2007 ASCA Arizona Age Group Coach of the Year

    While biomechanical principles exist to inform coaches about effective technique, it becomes challenging to adapt these principles to each swimmer. Kevin Zacher guides you through the technical building blocks to success in the free

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