August 29, 2019

By: Daniel Sharvit



In regards to professional sports, the categories and list is so extensive. Some team sports include Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball while individual sports consist of sports like Wrestling, Swimming, and Weightlifting. Then you have some less prominent examples, that also compete at a professional level, like Pickleball and Bowling. All of these athletes growing up, put in thousands of hours practicing and perfecting their craft. They participate in tournaments, compete at national and international levels. Practice with the team and practice on their own. They watch their nutrition and make sure they get some stretching in. It takes a certain mindset and work ethic to reach the elite level.

Nevertheless, before their sport can become their job, these athletes all still do one thing. They are in high school, studying, learning, volunteering in the community, doing extracurriculars, etc. I quickly learned that the Head Coach of Trinity Prep Aquatics, Rocco Aceto, meant business with his athletes. He was going to invest everything into making sure he held his athletes to the highest standards both in and out of the pool. He wasn’t just building phenomenal swimmers, but great people with sound values. This mentality was one I wanted to match for these athletes.



I started working with the varsity team at the start of the 2018-2019 school year and the beginning of the high school swim season. There were a few key points I quickly picked up on in the first few training sessions. First, every one of the students wanted to get better and were willing to put the time and effort in. Second, pound for pound they could match up with some of the strongest at their level. Third, they didn’t have great body awareness outside the water. This last point was the one that stuck with me the most and was pivotal in shaping the programming and goals I wanted to help them achieve.



Rocco made it very clear from the beginning that the focus for his swimmers were the regional and state meets. He would train them hard throughout the 12-14-week season in hopes of having them peak against their most competitive meets. Along with that, I had to select certain physical attributes to target that would have the most carryover in the pool. I wasn’t going to improve their swimming technique and focusing on their aerobic capacity in the pool may not have been the best use of the limited time we had so I chose to sharpen the following:

    • Reaction Times for Starts

    • Distance Covered on the Start

    • Power for Their Underwaters

    • Speed and Power on the Turns

    • Strength in Full Range of Motion

    • Proper Motor Control

    • Team Building (will be covered more in future post)



With these points of focus in mind I had to prioritize based on the time I had to work with them. As I had mentioned before, the student’s schedules were vigorous. To give you an example, a typical Tuesday looked like this.

5:30AM Wake up
6:00AM-6:30AM Drive to School
6:30AM-7:20AM Lift
7:40AM-2:50PM School
3:00PM-3:20PM Study Period
3:30PM-5:30PM Swim
5:30PM-6:00PM Bonus Work
6:00PM-6:30PM Drive Home
6:30PM-8:30PM Homework

In addition to this they have to figure out times to eat, socialize, and decompress. Now that 6:30-7:20 Block was where I came into play twice a week. 50 minutes, with anywhere between 10-15 students, for our time to get better at the aforementioned attributes. Emphasizing timeliness and establishing a system that the students could follow had a major impact in maximizing the amount of work we would be able to get done. With a peak meet in mind, there was time to progress the athletes in-season rather than maintain throughout. There had to be some periods of time when the athletes got “worse” so that they could get better.



Weeks 1-3: Muscular Growth within Full Range of Motions [Get Fitter] – The primary goal was to build up the muscles and make sure they were strong in their weakest areas.
Weeks 4-7: Tempo Work & Plyometric Development [Get Stronger]– During this time we worked on getting the athletes stronger as well as being bouncier.

Weeks 8-11: Power Phase [Get Faster] – Now that we got them some more muscle mass and developed their strength it was time to apply that new strength. Here we focused in on how fast they could apply the new strength so they could apply that same concept in the pool.

Weeks 12-14: Peaking & Taper [Feel Good] – At this point the volume and intensity of the work decreased. I wanted to make sure the athletes came in and spent time priming their bodies to be at their best. Ensuring that everyone felt better than when they came in the weight room was a major priority.



By the end of the season, both Boy’s and Girl’s at Trinity Prep went on to win Districts and Regionals that year. A total of 17 swimmers qualified to swim at the state meet. 2 State Championship races and 2 Runner Ups aided TPS in taking 6th overall at the meet. Having had the opportunity to observe those races and the speed at that level was an experience that will always stick with me. Popping off the blocks and walls; Gliding through the water like missiles and arms recovering at wicked pace. It was awesome to see all the hard work each and every one of them put in the entire season pay off, with every swimmer dropping times during the peak period in nearly ALL of their events. That’s no easy feat.

That wraps up the Fall of 2018, up next the Spring 2019.

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