Improving technique and style; Carroll Swim team improves using a style of their own

Valerie Julian wins the 50 free at. Shawn Lucchesi fourth in 50 free 24.82, won the 100 yard butterfly. In total eleven 11 records were broken.

Freshman swimmer Shawn Lucchesi “As a swimmer of Carroll University I felt like I had an amazing experience with the coaching staff and teammates especially on the training trip in Florida. The only challenges or struggles I had was probably the problem of homework over this conference meet. We didn’t have time really to do homework at all during the meet. My experience was amazing with winning two events, to be on that podium was just great. It was the most fun meet and the hardest. There was few but great competition that pushed me to do better. The experience was very scary from my point of view in the water and where I had to push extra hard just to win. I feel that the team’s performance at the meet was excellent, I mean both men’s and women’s teams finishing third is pretty impressive. I couldn’t have asked to be on a better team. This was an awesome year I had with them and I look forward to many seasons ahead.”

“The team had an outstanding performance at the Conference meet. While 11 school records are impressive, the amount of personal best times were far more important and what really drove the accumulation of points throughout the weekend. I think it is also important to note that all of those school records included personal best times for those swimmers. However, it wasn’t a perfect meet and a few swimmers didn’t swim their lifetime bests, but they continued to race and compete well, and that might be the most impressive part of all. It was a full team effort this weekend and from my understanding, it was the first time both Men and Women finished as high as 3rd in this conference in the same year. So I was pleased with combined effort by both teams. The divers were also a major component to our point total were a valuable contributor. They practice at Waukesha North at night and I can’t emphasis enough how much their dedication and sacrifice to the sport and the team means to everyone.”  Says Head Coach Andrew Multerer.

One method the swim team has been using is VR Simulation glasses.

Multerer says “I personally bought a pair of IKKOS Training Goggles to try out with the swimmers. It is a cross of virtue reality and simply watching really good swimmers swim. The video immerses the person wearing the googles into watching a short video clip of a repetitive action being done by a extremely talented swimmer. There is also a repetitive sound that accompanies the video. When the swimmer is done watching the video they enter the water and swim slowly, replaying what they watched in their head. Some of the results have been impressive as the swimmer will immediately mimic what they saw. We used it more the first half of the season and I’ll continue to use it again next year. I am always looking for ways to train our swimmers out-of-the-pool, and this is another tool that we will continue to use.”

The Carroll University swim team has for the past several years have taken a different approach to practicing. Traditionally, swim teams try to incorporate bulk swimming. This method of swimming focuses on the yardage a swimmer will do in one day of practice. Bulk swimming has the benefit that it gives swimmers endurance and technique improvement through repeated swimming. The Pioneer swimmers have taken on the antithesis of this philosophy.

“I feel we have a good holistic approach behind what drives our practice style…and that is what empowers our athletes to swim fast. We focus on swimming healthy and swimming with purpose. Traditional competitive swimming with high volumes of swimming and associating “constant sore shoulders” with good training are not part of our program. The top athletes in the world now focus on being a healthy athlete rather than just swimming endless yards, and it is leading to better athletic performances. Currently at Carroll, when a swimmer comes to me with shoulder pain, we rest the swimmer and have them go to visit our outstanding athletic training staff. Once that swimmer has a plan towards a healthy recovery, we discuss a plan with the swimmer plan to start training again. We also focus on having enough rest, which means limited morning practices. College students need their sleep and if they are stressed over classes plus sleep deprived, then their practice will be worthless. This is the difference between training for a 2 hour practice and training for the performance. We train for the athletic performance. We have terrific student-athletes on campus and as long as we can keep them healthy and stress free, there will be many more school records that will be broken.” Multerer explains further “Besides what you read above, we focus on the “swimming performance.” Most competitive races are 2 minutes and or less, so that is the time period I ask them to practice racing. Traditional swimming is obsessed with 2 hours of constant swimming in an attempt to accumulate as many yards as possible. The problem with that is it focuses on an aerobic medium-fast swimming style that burns out the mind and body after time. Plus there is no 2 hour event in swimming. So at Carroll we focus on being really good at giving a maximum effort during the time period of which we compete. So if your goal is to swim fast for 56 seconds in a 100 fly, we practice swimming fast for 56 seconds…then recovering, and then attempting another performance. As an example to other sports, you wouldn’t see the sprinters on the track team jogging 10 miles a day to prepare for a 100 meter dash. So why does traditional swimming think that is the correct way to approach our sport? Our distance group does more yards than everyone else, but their events are the only ones that require a aerobic base and a stronger build-up of distance swimming throughout the season. So if we had a group that struggled from having limited swimming opportunities this year with the renovations at Van Male, it was our distance group. Saying that, Hannah Egan broke the school record in the mile this year with possibly the least amount of swimming in a season, even breaking her PR from last year.”

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