SSWIMT: Swimming Research


Research on swimming is broad and essential for the evolution of the sport. The level of swimming related scientific research is very advanced, as is the level of coaching. However, as both fields are very demanding, their connection, in terms of knowledge and experience diffusion, is difficult.

In-depth reading of scientific papers is needed for a thorough interpretation of their results. However, this is usually time consuming and difficult for non-accustomed readers. The short display (shorter than their abstract) of interesting articles in a simple manner, without meddling, for someone to figure out if an article is helpful (and then go on with full-text reading), is our main intention. Additionally, useful notes from the coaching practice that are based on testing will be posted. The purpose is to assist swimming coaches and relevant sport scientists to keep up with the swimming research progress.

So sswimt comes to accelerate the dissemination of information and updates on swimming testing and research with a focus on physiology, biochemistry, metabolism, nutrition and training!  Our goal is to set off the abundant information provided by eminent sports scientists and swimming coaches, thanks to whom swimming is evolving constantly. Hope you will enjoy it! More interesting things are on the way…

Visit the blog that houses all of the research:

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Coach Dave Ling: The Art of Making Mistakes


 I was asked to contribute a notion of coaching wisdom to this blog, my first thought was to laugh because the one thing those who know me will say is that I’m never at a loss for things to say.  The catch 22 of the situation is that I hardly consider myself the smartest guy in the room but how I deal with that situation is likely a key starting point for introductory article. 

 I have been coaching for 9 years, this is my first season as a Head Coach, running a 200+ swimmer club in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.  In a city with a prominent fishing industry, when it comes to this town I’m a fish out of water.  I’m coming off a successful 8 year run with the Toronto Swim Club where I moved my way up the coaching ladder to earn the opportunity to come Head Coach.  The road to working my way up to earning the right to take on a Head Coaching opportunity would probably be best represented by the following diagram…

  dave ling

 I was asked the question by my friend, the SwimNerd himself, Nate Tschohl… so what do you do best?

 Me… “Admit mistakes”

 Through the self-scout evaluation process, I find that attention to errors and being good at admitting when I have made a mistake (or multiple mistakes), when something is not working despite any and all supporting “evidence” that would lead me to believe it “should work” is critical to implementing impactful change.   I do not double-down because something has worked previously.  I keep a log of mistakes I have made and I look at it (and add to it) frequently and use that log to help myself evolve as a coach.

 A few years ago I had the opportunity to work under a head coach whose accomplishments could fill out a pretty resume.  I was fired up when he came to the club, I thought I could observe, contribute, and learn to be a better coach.  Sadly, the coach was a bust, a few years and out… but I did learn a lot because the root of his failures was in his unwillingness to evolve.  He had his ways and they worked (big time) in one specific situation, at one point in time, in one of conditions producing a number of Canadian National team members… but his process was not repeatable and his style did not evolve and it did not work in a new place.  It was during those years that I started keeping a log of coaching mistakes and it was at that point that I thought my coaching really started to improve and with it the results of my swimmers.

 I find that by being quick to admit mistakes, I don’t rely on the S.O.S.  (same old… you get it).  If something is not working, I love the process of brainstorming and finding a new way.  Scouring my network of coaches and former swimmers.  Looking at other coaches in the club, seeing what they are doing, looking for ways to scale and implement with my own swimmers.  Hitting the Interwebs, blogs, YouTube, whatever dark corner might have a kernel of knowledge that can be adapted to fit my program.

 The desired result is clear, when swimmers experience their inevitable plateaus, I want to lead a team that is driven to solve situation.  Be creative, look at both the basics and the specifics, the individual and the team, and if the current way is not working then evolve quickly, move on, try something different, and be fearless in the process.  The result, when swimmers come out of their plateaus as a result of teamwork and creativity, trust is built, respect is earned, and next-level excellence is ready to occur.  This to me is the art of coaching driven from the art of admitting mistakes.

 So where does this all lead?  Honestly, I don’t know.  Most of you smart enough to read this are clearly already reaching out, scouring for information, coaching in the year 2017.  You already know the coaches around you still coaching like yesterday was 2008, 2001, 1995, 1984 or worse.  You are the kinds of coaches I want to network with, evolve alongside, and help lead this sport into an exciting era of our sport.  With the retirement of Michael Phelps we enter an era of second-wave professional swimmers that will lead the improvement of understanding of swimming that when evaluated properly can improve our sport from the top of the mountain all the way down through the grassroots.

Dave Ling
Head Coach, St. John’s Legends
Twitter & Instagram @coachdling
Editor’s Note: Coach Dave Ling does an incredible job with his white board. He posts a picture of every swim practice’s white board on Twitter. Every day he makes writing practice a beautiful piece of art.


Cause for Action: Diversity in Aquatics Convention

Join us this year at our 2017 Diversity in Aquatics Convention, April 8-9, 2017 held at the beautiful Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. The Diversity in Aquatics Convention is an annual flagship program aimed to bring together one of the most extensive collection of diverse and passionate aquatic experts, professionals, athletes, enthusiasts, in the world.

The focus of Diversity in Aquatics is on empowering communities through education and involvement in aquatic physical activities, water safety awareness and drowning prevention efforts in traditionally underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations.

Diversity in Aquatics (DAP) 2017 Convention in Miami, Florida also provides the opportunity for participants to serve as think tank on progress in addressing “Drowning” as a “Neglected Public Health Threat” in historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations, as outlined in the World Health Organization’s (2014) Global Report on Drowning.

DAP Convention 2017 theme is “Cause to Action” where we will focus on the following areas:
● Increasing Knowledge & Awareness
○ History of aquatics in underrepresented communities
○ Research Symposium and Presentations on best practices and culturally relevant education
● Broadening Prevention Education and Aquatic Programming
○ Expanding Water Safety Education & Drowning Prevention
○ Sport specific focused efforts of the Aquatic Councils
● Creating Partnerships and Community Collaborations
○ National Leadership Summit with the American Red Cross
○ Think Tank with a body of experts providing advice and ideas on aquatics

This year marks our 5 year anniversary of the Diversity in Aquatics Convention where we continue to build and grow our mission. DAP 2017 Convention theme reflects the challenges of addressing the burden of drowning in traditionally underrepresented communities while developing solutions, action plans to make a difference. Come and gain insight into best practices that can increase diverse participation, reduce drowning statistics, while working with nationally recognized organizations and Governing Bodies of aquatic sports under the United States Olympic Committee.

In addition to our member-centered workshops, research sessions, and implementation of cutting-edge aquatic programs and strategies, Diversity in Aquatics has partnered with the American Red Cross to create a National Diversity Leadership Summit, bringing together diverse organizations as well aquatic professionals focused on working to create solutions towards both the organization’s missions of increasing water safety education and safe participation in aquatic physical activities.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring your aquatic gear, as it is a tradition of ours, for attendees to get in the water and experience for themselves new aquatics skills and disciplines (scuba demo, open water swimming, deep water running, triathlon/multi-sport training, rowing, etc.).

To register for the: Diversity in Aquatics Convention 2017 “ A Cause to Action” – Miami, FL.

About Us:

Mission of Diversity in Aquatics
The mission of Diversity in Aquatics, Inc. is to decrease the rate of drowning worldwide by educating, promoting and supporting target populations in the United States and abroad.

Organizational Goals

● Promote: To increase the knowledge and awareness of water safety and drowning prevention, and aquatic physical activities in historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations.
● Educate: To provide educational programming and collaborative relationships in traditionally underrepresented communities in order to equip historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations with the skills needed to be safe and participate in aquatic physical activities and environments.
● Support: To increase sustainability in water safety and drowning prevention efforts and involvement in a variety of aquatic physical activities in historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations.
Program Objectives

● To empower and improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of unintentional drowning deaths in historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations through aquatic physical activity.
● Create new paradigms while decreasing drowning disparities, and increasing diversity and inclusion.
● Collaborate along with inspired and accomplished aquatic professionals, athletes, program directors, and coaches.

Information on the Diversity in Aquatics (DAP) and American Red Cross National Leadership Diversity Summit

Meeting Purpose
● To bring together national/local leadership organizations to create a unified voice to inform and address the disproportionate impact of drowning deaths on historically underrepresented communities.

Meeting Objective:

● Raise the knowledge and awareness among national community leaders and influencers of historically underrepresented communities to empower and improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of unintentional drowning deaths in historically underrepresented communities and vulnerable populations through aquatic physical activity.

ISCA Sponsors the #1 Podcast for Swim Coaches

The International Swim Coaches Association is excited to announce the sponsorship of the Ritter Sports Performance Podcast — the #1 podcast for swim coaches in the world

Created by Chris Ritter, proud swimming alum of Cal State Bakersfield, the Ritter Sports Performance Podcast has just recently posted its 100th episode.  The 100th episode features ISCA’s President, Coach Doug Fonder. 

Coach Fonder talks about his days as a ball boy for Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, the underwater kicking revolution, and the story behind the creation of the International Swim Coaches Association.

“Doug has created an organization whose main mission is to educate coaches and give them resources so they can be better coaches and that’s definitely something here at Ritter that we are all about.” – Chris Ritter

“Chris’ podcast is the most listened to podcast for swim coaches because of the knowledgeable guests he interviews. We couldn’t be more excited to sponsor such a powerful learning tool for coaches anywhere in the world.” – Doug Fonder


Coach Nico Messer Gives Back

Arguably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, Coach Nico Messer is determined to give back. His constant mission of giving back to the swimming community is inspiring to say the least. Hailing from Switzerland, Coach Nico grew up knowing that he wanted to become a swim coach.

“Swimming has been a big and important part of my life as an athlete. And the last years I had the privilege to make swimming my lifestyle being a full time coach.
While my Age Group and Junior years seemed to have been quite successful, I never made it to the big stage. Swimming in Switzerland is rather small compared to most other places and it’s more than possible to be one of the better athletes when you’re ready to dedicate yourself to the sport and put in the work. Like many other athletes, I was trying to get a fresh perspective and take my swimming to the next level by going to the US and swim in college. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good enough understanding of the importance of this step in my “career” and wasn’t persistent enough when the first few teams on my wishlist turned me down. However, it was also the reason how I ended up in the Florida Keys with The Race Club and gained the swimming experience of a lifetime!
I got to meet, train and become friends with my swimming hero, Gary Hall Jr. as well as many other world class athletes. Everyone there expected me to behave, train and life like a world class athlete. The coaches set extremely high standards and pushed me the same way they would do with the ones that went on to Olympic glory.
Although, I didn’t have enough time to “digest” all of the things I learned and didn’t improve as much as I was aiming at there were two moments that had a huge impact on me. When I failed to reach my goals, Gary Hall Jr. told me that it wouldn’t mean I’m a failure. Not everyone is going to have a medal around his neck. I did provide myself with the opportunity to reach my goals and did day in and day out what many weren’t willing to sacrifice – I was a champion in his mind! The other moment came, when it was time to decide whether to keep going or leave the swimming world. The coaches there at that time, Mark Hill, Jon Olsen, Andy Deichert and Gary Hall Sr., offered me to start coaching and equipped me with the “tools” I needed to be successful at it.
Mark Hill was also the one that inspired me to start PSW. A platform for coaches to share their ideas. A place for all of us to learn from one another and give back to the sport at the same time. PSW grew beyond what I could have imagined and keeps evolving with every coach that joins and becomes a part of it. Hopefully, PSW will one day be a platform that will help improve the value and standing of our profession and daily work. The fact that all this does provide the opportunity to give back to the swimming community, still amazes me most days.” – Coach Nico Messer

Here are some of the organizations and elite athletes that have received support from Pro Swim Workouts’ Mission:


Total donations made with your help: $3’650

Elite Athletes Support

Total support with your help: $800

Fan Zone Partner Contributions

Total money sent to our Fan Zone Partners: $2’450

And this doesn’t include the revenue sharing between swim coaches that use his service of connecting professional coaches and sharing insights and workouts!

ISCA Memerbship Benefits: ProSwimWorkouts

ProSwimWorkouts provides swim workouts by professional swim coaches from around the world. Each workout is accessed through their website. All of the workouts are printable. ISCA Members receive 60% discount off any ProSwimWorkouts coaches plan, accessible for your entire coaching staff.

SPLURGE Swim Adds Value to ISCA

The International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) & SPLURGE Swim are thrilled to offer ISCA members revolutionary ease, speed and power to plan practices intelligently in a fraction of the time with our specially branded ISCA Coach Practice Planning Program.
SPLURGE Swim’s practice writing software makes writing sets simple and fast.
SPLURGE Swim boasts patent pending technologies including:
*smart interval suggestions
*artificial intelligence set generator
*automatic speed group adjustment
ISCA Members take advantage of enormous discounts ranging 20-68% on SPLURGE subscription rates.

“Epic…What you have created is absolutely incredible, and I am excited to be a part of it…I think it will turn some heads.”Scott Thacker, Head Coach Roanoke College Swimming & Diving

“If I’m stuck in a writer’s block…the software can suggest variations that inspire an idea, that’s useful…it can automatically make three different versions of sets for lower levels, that’s useful.”Dave Kelsheimer, Team USA 2016 Rio Olympics Coach / Head Coach Team Santa Monica

“Bridger is dedicated, passionate about swimming, and creating tools that save coaches an unrenewable resource: time. We are thrilled to add SPLURGE as part of our value added membership partners.”Doug Fonder