When you think about swimming, you probably don't associate it with much in the way of technology. Some sports have relied heavily on the developments of Silicon Valley as a way to improve their sports, but swimming has just continued to glide on by. The changes to the sport over the past hundred years have been around technique, nutrition and the swimsuit. Never has it been about the technology coaches or athletes use behind the scenes. Swimming also never gets a lot of press time in the papers or online. At least not until the Olympics rolls around.
We've noticed in the past few years quite a few new startups and advances gearing their software towards helping improve the swimming world. Since discovering these apps, we've started to integrate them into our coaching methodologies and training. There are four we particularly like and use on a regular basis that we think can benefit both coaches and swimmers alike.
Commit Swimming is an innovative product that is helping to change the way swimmers train by giving coaches better insights and assistance to coaches writing daily workouts. It's extremely easy to use and provides more data than traditional methods of workout logging. The app uses a proprietary algorithm to collect and graph your team's workout progress. The app isn't just built for coaches. Commit Swimming just recently introduced an athlete version of their software. Now athletes of all skill levels can get better training with Commit Swimming.
This next app might have one of the cooler names on our list, but we actually have no association with them whatsoever. MySwimPro is a mobile based workout app. It allows you to choose from one of their hundreds of workouts that are geared towards helping you improve and reach your goals.
You can set up goals and the app will help you reach them by allowing you to personalize each workout to you and your training level. One of the features we personally like best is the embedded videos. They help us understand new drills and proper technique in doing them so that we get the most out of each session. If you don't want to bring your mobile device onto the pool deck, the app allows you to export each workout into a printable PDF. Finally, the app allows you to track your progress towards your goals.
There is a free and paid version of MySwimPro. We have found the paid version worth every penny so far.
Switching gears a little. There are also some apps that help you get a visual perspective of your swimming. Occasionally, coaches have a hard time fully explaining the errors and inefficiencies we see in a swimmer's stroke. GoSwim.Tv helps bridge a gap between verbal feedback and understanding by the swimmer.
Even without a subscription to their video software, GoSwim.Tv is incredible on social media. They share free videos and tips everyday. We highly recommend you follow their blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds and their YouTube channel. They really seem to care about the sport and helping swimmers break down barriers in their learning.
The last app we want to introduce you to is Coach Genie. In our policy to being fully transparent, Coach Chris has a bit of an invested interest in this app. He is an advisor to the founder and developer of this app. However, we still think this is an incredible app. Coach Genie allows you to take video of yourself swimming, then send it along to your coach for critiquing. The coach can draw, write, and even add audio commentary to each video. The new commented videos can be sent back to the athletes for review. It's a great way to provide swimmers feedback without having to be physically present. Maybe you, the coach, have swimmers at two different swim meets. Get your swimmers to record their races at one, send you the videos and then still coach them without missing a single race. Since Coach Genie is still in it's infancy, there is a lot of growth and new features being introduced, but we highly recommend you try it for yourself.
We like to think of it as the Snapchat for coaching.
We know there are probably a hundred more innovative apps being created for swimmers and coaches, but unlike other industries, we never seem to hear about them in the New York Times or on Wired. In order to help our swimmers continue to improve every day, month and year, we as coaches need to continue to evolve our techniques and learning. Nothing ever stays still for long. Try one or all of these technologies during your next season and let us know how they work for you.