Whether your a parent, a swimmer, or even a coach yourself, if you’ve spent any time at all on or around a pool deck you’ve probably heard some interesting jargon coming from the coach, usually in the form of loud screaming. I’ve had all kinds of unique and puzzling things shouted at me during my 16 years as a swimmer, some of which made sense, some not.

Since it’s not even just a regular Monday, but a #pandemicmonday – I thought everyone could use a good laugh. So here it is, some of the most common things I’ve heard coaches yell over the years (or yelled myself, with translations if you’re a parent and have no idea what it means).

I’d love to hear everyone’s favorite thing they’ve heard or yelled themselves on the pool deck! Comment below, and try to start your day with a laugh…

  • Last one fast one! This is one that I hear and say all the time (from some fellow coaches) with my young age group swimmers. My 10 and unders tend to struggle with the concept of “fast” so this is meant to motivate them to give everything they have left on the last cycle of a set.
  • Don’t breathe off your turn! Ah, the dreaded breath right before or after the turn. As a swimmer I am so guilty of this – I try to take at least one stroke before breathing, but in an ideal world it would be at least 3 strokes before a breath coming out of every turn.
  • Finish all the way to the wall! I say this a lot at practice, because I get “drifters”, especially on kick sets. A swimmer is kicking or swimming hard on a fast part, and then they get to the wall, see all their friends, and it becomes one big jumble on the wall as they coast in or stop short. Older swimmers this is less of a problem because they know how to move out of the way, but for those young swimmers, they just tend to pile up on top of each other…
  • Wait 5 seconds! You know this swimmer – the swimmer that waits 3 seconds after you, then swims on your feet the whole set but refuses to go in front of you…
    As a coach, I try and call it out both as a teaching moment and as a sanity check for the victim of the “no wait pushoff”…
  • Anybody can do 1 more! This was something I heard ALL THE TIME from my age group coach – we’d be doing our main or fast set for the day, have something like 2 100’s left and as I came into the wall he’d yell “Come on! Anybody can do 2!”
  • Streamline! I think I shout this the most when my swimmers are doing backstroke kick. They may push off in streamline, but then they drop their arms to their side (why??) and struggle to get them back into a streamline… just kicking down the pool in what I like to call the “church steeple”.
  • 6 kicks off the wall! This is a big one I use to try and encourage those strong dolphin kicks off the wall – but, I’m guilty of forgetting this when I swim…
  • I feel the need – for speed! This one is a tribute to another coaching friend of mine – I hear this from him a lot during practice, and with his dramatic pauses, it never fails to make me laugh.
  • Short fast kicks! A lot of my 10 and unders think a flutter kick means giant kicks with lots of knees… so I try and teach them short fast flutter kicks, which usually involves me laying awkwardly on the block with my legs hanging off to demonstrate (which I am getting to old for)!

Now, what else have you got? Send me your favorite coaching moments!

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