I’ve had this book, by Bill Sweetenham and John Atkinson, sitting on my desk for a few weeks. It was recommended on the Swimming Coach course. I’ve started it a few times and struggled, largely I think because it comes across as being very prescriptive with inadequate information to back it up, but also because there are quotes such as “full recovery is not the same as complete recovery” that are left unexplained when to many people it would seem perfectly reasonable to consider them the same.
Anyhow, last night I couldn’t sleep so I got myself a drink and sat downstairs with the book (having handily left my glasses on the bedside table) to make another attempt. I still struggled with it for the above reasons, but also found much that was useful, both in terms of explaining the origin of the planning information I get to see and providing descriptions of many drills that I’ll attempt to make use of in the future.
I can see myself returning to this book on a regular basis for ideas about session plans and sets, just ignoring the bits that I feel don’t work for me or my swimmers.
I have a couple of other swimming texts to work my way through at the moment. “Science of Swimming Faster” arrived this morning and there’s an e-book by David Salo (who has coached the likes of Sarah Sjostrom and Katinka Hosszu amongst many others) that looks interesting. As someone with a background in science and engineering the former appeals to me. Backing up the demands we make of swimmers in training with scientific evidence (or even seeing that it’s open to challenge) is something I feel very comfortable with. The latter was recommended to me as an alternative view to the high volume training proposed in the Sweetenham book. That’s also potentially interesting as we have relatively little pool time as a club, so it’s important to make the best of that which we do have.