This is a guest post courtesy of Pat Windschitl of Ellis Aquatics. Pat is one of the founding coaches of the program and has had much success coaching swimmers of all ages. He has coached athletes to top finishes at Junior Olympics and to nation top-10 time performances.
My polo coach always reminds me, “swimming is boring, playing with things is fun”. And he’s right. Toys are a great way to break up the monotony of staring at a black line for hours every day.
We are always looking for new, cheap toys and items to keep our seniors amused. My favorite current toy is the sporti mesh bag. These are cheap ($3-5 a bag). We cut off the bottom of the bags (keep them longer for more resistance, cut them shorter for less), and throw them onto the kids feet. No other changes needed.
Senior – Youth relay races
My favorite game activity with the bags is Senior and youth relay races. With a drag bag on their feet my senior boys can’t go much faster than 14-17 seconds in a push 25y. Suddenly the 8-12 year old youth groups can stand a chance. Go Seniors vs. youth, or mix them up for some team building. The younger ones always have a blast.
Drag Bag Turns
My swimmers favorite activity with the drag bags is working on their turns. Especially freestyle and backstroke. They’ve worked out a system where they go two turns with the bag all out, then twice without. I’ve never seen my swimmers flip faster, and be more enthusiastic about working to flip faster.
Toys are fun. Toys keep things fun and keep the swimmers engaged. What are your favorite toys?