Catalina Channel swimmer Chris Dahowski of Paseo Aquatics understands swimming well from decades as a national-level age-group, high school and collegiate swimmer.
The KAATSU Aqua-certified coach from Santa Clarita, California has a unique view of enabling his athletes to concurrently enjoy a tough workout and the camaraderie of their teammates.
“We push our swimmers in fast-swimming sets for 12-18 minutes. Then we will build a social kick where the kids can grab their kick boards and talk as much as they want during specific times during a workout,” Dahowski explains. “But if they do not give it their all or slack off, then we subtract a minute from the social kick. So if we have a built-in 5 minutes of social kicking within a workout and they slack off, then we knock off a minute of their social kick time.
Believe me, when their social kicking time is reduced, the kids have a great way to focus.”
The social kick serves another purpose. It is a great way for Dahowski to gauge whether or not his athletes are reaching their potential.
“After a really hard set, they start their social kicking. But on the first 50, the kids are totally quiet, just kicking slowly with their kick boards. When they have really pushed themselves, they need time for their body – and minds – to recover. But by the 75, I start to hear murmurings and then by the 100, they are chattering like normal. This is a great indicator whether or not the intensity was there.”
When I start to hear giggling, I know they are ready to go for the next (hard) time."
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