Once opportunities are created a coach needs to tackle barriers (both real and perceived) that keep swimmers out of the water such as a lack of time.
Here are some action steps:
- Allow off-site training such as at home recovery exercises. (There are apps and online resources to facilitate this with quality.)
- Encourage your swimmers to train at the time of day that allows them to be the most consistent (if possible). For a professional working late hours early morning or possibly even lunch time may be best.
- Have a set time. Sticking to a time increases the likelihood of working out and early morning practices are recommended over later practices to avoid unpredictable tasks that may come up as the day goes on.
- Avoid heavy training during periods when professional and familial demands are also high.
- Lastly, there is some evidence to suggests that Masters would be more active if they could workout with their children so let’s avoid making them choose between their children’s fitness and theirs. Give them both at the same time if possible. The authors pose this question:
In a six lane pool, for example, if four lanes are allocated for kids’ age-group swim practice, why are we not programming the remaining two lanes for their parents at the same time?
On the topic of time research indicates that Masters competing at a regional level spend around 5 hours per week and international-level athletes are putting in about double that amount.