Saturday AM - 6-7am

500/300 free
8/6 x 50 your choice on 1:00/1:20
4 x 25 sprint cycle
30 minute AMRAP

100 free
50 kick,swim
25 choice stroke (not free)
25 free

Your choice cool down

Double Practice - September 2012

Coach Steve gives Double Practice a Thumb's Up

Please join us at Kenny's (917 West 55th Street, Countryside, IL) after tonight's practice for a little social get-together.

No purchase necessary.

Kenny's Thursday Special:  $3 U-Call-It's *no shots & no rocks*

Hope to see you all there!


***Remember, Saturday practice is at 6-7am.

Next week we will start working on backstroke and breaststroke.

400/200 swim
10/6 x 50. Drill/swim
200 kick
10/6 x 25 your choice
8/4 x 125. #3,#4, 75 free
10/6 x 50 IMO,free (by 25)
Your choice cool down


Bringing it all together today! See you tonight.

300/200 swim
8 x 75 drill
-odds are #1,#2,#3
-evens are #2,#3,#4
4 x 25 sprint cycle
10/6 x 100 free on 1:40/2:15
12/6 x 25 IMO (no free)on :40/1:00
200 Easy


Freestyle Drills

We are going to start working on our new freestyle drills that we are going to be using throughout the season.  Below are some links to each drill.  They provide full descriptions as well as video.  Its a great resource.  Please check it out. 

Free Style Drill Progression:

#1  head lead supine balance drill

#2  hand lead side balance drill

#3 under switch drill

#4 zipper switch drill

Cheat Sheet

Lyons Masters Swimming Drills

Freestyle Drills

#1 - Head-Lead Supine Balance


  • Lie flat in the water on your back.
  • Slightly contract your abs to keep a straight back throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your head in line with the trunk and slightly tuck in your chin.
  • Keep the arms relaxed and extended at your sides.
  • Start to kick with a gentle flutter kick.
  • If you notice that your hips and legs drop, increase the downward pressure on your shoulder blades and on the back of your head. This should make your hips and legs rise. Don't compensate for your sinking legs by kicking harder!

#2 - Hand-Lead Side Balance


The starting position (Sweet Spot) is the same as the one used in the Head-Lead Side Balance drill:
  • You are floating on the side. The angle between your body and the water surface is around 45°.
  • Your head is still and your face is turned upward. You are looking straight at the ceiling.
  • Your arms are at your sides.
  • You use a supple flutter kick to move forward.
Once you feel balanced and comfortable, it's time to elongate yourself in the water:
  • Extend the bottom arm forward under water until it is straight and in an overhead position.
  • Your palm may be up, to the side or down, whatever feels more comfortable to you.
  • Your arm should be parallel to the water surface or slightly angled down.
  • Adjust your balance to take into account the changed weight distribution.
  • Continue to flutter kick on the same side for the rest of the length, then repeat the exercise on your other side, and so on.
  • Practice until you feel completely comfortable floating on the side with an arm extended overhead.

#3 - Under Switch


Push off the wall floating on the side like you did in Hand-Lead Side Balance:
  • Your body is horizontal in the water, rolled about 45° away from a flat position.
  • Your head is in line with the trunk and your face is turned upward.
  • Your bottom arm is straight, floating underwater and extended forward, your top arm rests on your side.
  • Your legs are flutter kicking.
  • Now roll your head and turn your face downward. Your body rolls a little bit too until it is at a 90° angle with the water surface.
Take a few moments to adjust your balance then do the following:
  • Your top arm is the recovering arm. Sneak it forward in the water and close to your body, with your hand following the midline of your body, and the palm turned inward.
  • Your other arm starts to sweep backward at the same time, pushing against the water for propulsion.
  • When you can see your recovering hand in front of your face, roll your body as a unit toward the other side until you are back into the initial position but on the other side.
  • Breathe in a few times and adjust your balance, then repeat the same movements toward the other side, and so on.

Swimming Drill Tips

  • Practice until you have internalized the right moment at which you must roll toward the other side.
  • Remember to roll your body as a unit, don't anticipate the rotation with your head.
  • Exhale continuously as soon as your face is submerged.
  • Once you become proficient with this swimming drill, try to do double and triple switches: don't roll your head upward after the first switch but keep it down and do a few arm switches in that position before rolling up.
  • You can also try to add more snap into the hip rotation to drive the switches.

#4 - Zipper Switch


This drill starts exactly like Under Switch:
  • You are floating half on your back and half on your side.
  • You use a supple flutter kick for moving forward.
  • Your top arm rests on your side, your bottom arm is extended forward under water.
  • Your face is turned toward the ceiling.
Once you are balanced, rotate your head in a downward position:
  • Your body rolls into a position where it is at a 90° angle with the water surface.
  • Your face is turned toward the bottom.
  • Your arms have kept their respective positions.
Take a few moments to rebalance, then start the recovery forward of your top arm:
  • Sweep your hand forward past your hip, rib cage and shoulder, as if pulling up a zipper.
  • Lead the recovery with a high elbow and let your forearm dangle down from the elbow.
  • Let your hand drag in the water. The pressure of the water against the hand will ensure that you lead the recovery with your elbow.
  • Enter the water with your hand once it has moved past your head.
  • Extend your arm forward under water into the overhead position.
  • As the recovering arm enters the water, the other arm starts to sweep backward and to push against the water for propulsion.
  • Simultaneously roll on your other side and continue the arm movements until one arm is completely extended in the overhead position and the other arm rests on your top side.
  • You are now back into the initial position but floating on the other side. Take a few moments to catch your breath, then start the cycle again toward the other side, and so on.

Swimming Drill Tips

  • Practice the drill until your recovery feels compact and efficient and you can maintain your balance throughout the whole cycle.
  • Once you have mastered simple switches you can practice double and triple switches like you did in Under Switch. Multiple switches teach you the rhythm you will use while swimming the full crawl stroke.
BackStroke Drills:

Back #1 = Hand Lead Side Balance

The drill starts exactly like head-lead side balance:
  • Go to the shallow area of the pool.
  • Lean on your back, push off the ground, start to flutter kick and get into a horizontal position, with both arms at your sides.
  • Once you are balanced, roll to the side, and get balanced again.
Once you are comfortable flutter kicking in this side position, sneak up one of your arms and extend it in front of you.

Drill Tips:
  • When the arm is extended, the palm should either face the side wall or the ground.
  • Try to get balanced again in this new position.
  • Keep this position for the rest of the length, and switch sides for each new pool length.
  • Play with the depth of the arm in the water until you find its ideal position. For some people, the arm is nearly parallel to the water surface while for others, the arm is angled down 45° or more.
  • You should experience that it's easier to keep your hips and legs up in this position because the extended arm provides additional leverage.
  • As you are taller with the extended arm, you should also feel that you slip better through the water and need to kick less to travel at the same speed than in head-lead side balance.

Back #2 - Under Water Arm Sweeps

The drill is an extension of Hand-Lead Side Balance. So the beginning is exactly the same:
  • Go to the shallow area of the pool.
  • Lean on your back.
  • Start to flutter kick.
  • Get into a horizontal position on your back.
  • Roll on your side.
  • Extend one arm in front of you, keep the other arm at your side.
Once you are balanced and comfortable in that position, do the following:
  • Angle your wrist so that your hand faces backwards.
  • Start to push with your hand against the water, and execute a propulsive under water arm sweep.
  • Keep the other arm at your side.
  • Once you have finished your arm sweep, both arms are at your sides. At that moment, extend your other arm forward, and execute the arm sweep with that arm, and so on.
  • Pay attention to your balance. It is more important to stay balanced and put less force in the arm sweep than the other way around.
  • With each arm sweep, roll from side to side like you learned to do in Head-Lead Side Balance Drills.
  • Try to keep your head still and the face parallel to the water surface.

Tuesday & Thursday practices


200/100 swim 
8 x 25 head lead supine balance drill(#1)
8 x 25 hand lead side balance drill(#2)
8/6 x 50 free on 1:00/1:30


6/4 x 100  (25 streamline kick, 25 Drill #2, 50 free) on 2:00


4 x 75   #1,#2,free


300/200 swim
8 x 25 #3 under switch drill
8 x 25 #4 zipper switch drill
12/6 x 75 #3,#4, free on 1:40/2:15
 8/4 x 50 free on 1:00/1:15
200 easy swim


Thursdays Workout

For Thursday:

I'm happy to explain what this means and how this works to anyone, just ask!  The focus of today will be our streamline position.  I am also going to be trying to move some people around today to find the right lane for your skill level.  Starting next week we are going to get into the drills for freestyle.....

Remember NO PRACTICE THIS SATURDAY, enjoy your weekend.

For more information on a proper streamline, CLICK HERE

300/200 swim
8/4 x 50 free
16/8 x 25 - Long Streamline off the wall into nice easy freestyle

8/4 x 50 - Long Streamline off wall and freestyle kick 1st 25
               (no kickboard) / your choice stroke

6/4 x 100 - Long Streamline off EVERY WALL, easy freestyle
4/2 x 75 free/choice/free

Total = 2300/1350

Homework assignment

Great first practice on Tuesday!  Thanks for everyone's patience as we slowly find our groove.

I wanted to share with all of you a great place to find videos and descriptions of many of the swimming drills out there.  While we will not be using all of these, it helps give a great path to follow to help improve your strokes.  I'll be referring back to this website through out the season, so start studying up now!

Enjoy! Swimming


if you look at the top right side of our webpage you will see an "email subscription" field.  You can enter your email address there to get emails sent to you everytime I do a post to the website.  SIGN UP NOW BEFORE YOU FORGET!

Lots of information

Congrats to all of those who competed in so many different events over these past two months! So many of you have reached out past your comfort zone and I applaud you for it! Let's keep that trend alive!

We are starting this years season much earlier than we have in the past. By doing so, we have some conflicts with the LTHS Highschool Team. Our first 2 Saturday practices of this season are canceled. After we get through these 2 weeks we should be fairly uneffected for the most part moving forward.

So for your first day of practice this is what I can tell you.

Please meet up in the bleachers at the deep side of the pool. I am now coaching part of the age group team that has practice before us so I will get up there a minute or two after 8pm. Please no heckling!!

We will be going over our plan for the season, safety information and a few other items. There will be time for questions!

Then you can change into your suits and participate in a quick and easy swim practice.

New swimmers to the team must give me a copy of your USMS registration. See me after the meeting and we can talk before you get in the pool.

See you Tuesday night!

Coach Steve


It's a BIG weekend for some of our swimmers.

We have individuals participating in the Big Shoulders 5K Swim, Ironman Wisconsin, and S.O.S. Triathlon.

Let's wish them all good luck! 

P.S. We expect to see you all on Tuesday.

Practice Starts Soon...

2012 - 2013 FALL/WINTER/SPRING (9/11/12 - 5/23/13) - $350


All team members are required to have a current USMS membership for insurance purposes.  To Join or Update your USMS Membership, CLICK HERE

PLEASE provide Coach Steve with a copy of your current USMS card on your first day of practice.  You will not be allowed to enter the water without a copy of your card.  Most memberships expire on December 31st so you may only need to print out your card.  We'll be re-checking membership on January 1st.

When joining/updating:

Your LMSC or club's officical abbreviation:  Illinois (IL)
Your Club:  Illinois Masters (IM)
Your Workout Group:  LYON

We will not have access to pull buoys, paddles or kickboards this year.  Please bring your own if you want to use them during practice.