We do drills at every swim practice.

When Coach Charles is saying “catch up” – that’s a drill.

“you’re going to do 4 75’s – first 25 drill and the rest freestyle.”

But why do we do all those drills?  It’s not just for something to do in the water other than freestyle.

These drills all have a special focus that’s supposed to make our swimming better.  So here’s some details on why these drills are part of our regular workout schedule:

Catch Up:

  The Water Blogged Triathlete says this about the catch up drill:  Catch Up Drill is a swimming staple for many reasons. It allows the athlete to work on the timing of their breath, a good rotation, and a steady kick. It isolates each arm but allows newer athletes to balance their stroke with less difficulty than they’d have with the opposite arm glued to their side. Catch Up Drill can help correct a short hand entry by forcing the athlete to extend their recovering arm further in an effort to touch their opposite hand.

DPS – Distance Per Stroke

To put it simply, “DPS is where you exaggerate your stroke to consciously lengthen it. If you do it often enough and correctly, then your regular stroke will also lengthen.”  Triathlon Magazine says this, “The key to increasing your speed by improving your distance per stroke is to ensure that you cover more distance in the same amount of time. It is of little use to cover more distance per stroke but to take more time in doing so.”

Triple Tap

This is where Coach Charles has us work through our recovery by touching three parts of our body:  the hip, the shoulder, and the head. Swimming World Magazine says this about the Triple Tap:  With each freestyle stroke, swimmers will tap each of these three points with their hand during their recovery. This forces swimmers to keep their recovery relaxed with a high elbow. It is impossible to get to any of these three points with a forced recovery or a straight arm. Rather, this drill is meant to practice bringing their arm back to the front of their stroke with as little effort as possible while also reminding them to be mindful of their body position and to use their core and kick at all points in their stroke.


We all have a good laugh about this drill, but it does really help catch efficiency in all strokes.  According to Swimming World Magazine, again, “The drill is exactly as it sounds: for a portion of a length of swimming, your athletes will pull through the water with closed fists. Taking away their hands, swimmers will be raise awareness to how they are using their forearms through the catch phase of their pull as well as to how much “feel” they do get from having their hands initiate contact with the water.”

So – now you know a little bit more about these drills.  But you can still give Coach Charles a hard time about them 🙂

How You Practice is How You Perform

What Does Coach Charles Always Say?

This is the time of year to do the work so next season’s goals can be reached, You can set Personal Records and achieve person success.  We have all been there:  coming to practice tired, dragging, and not quite all there. I propose something a little different…

You’re there.  Why not make the most of it?

We all know technique is the most important thing in swimming. To achieve proper technique, muscle memory is key. I’ve heard all kinds of things at practices from all kinds of people for years.

“I’m just warming up.”
“It takes me awhile to get going in the water.”

And so on and so forth. Remember the way you practice is the way you race.

The first second you get in the water and take your first stroke, you must concentrate on technique has to be concentrated and perform at your best ability. Everybody’s busy, our schedules are jam packed.  You’re already at practice and in the water…make every lap count!

Warm-up you don’t have to go 100%  – yet you should concentrate on every part of the stroke that you can.  Bad habits are hard to break – don’t create them during your warmup. After warmup, perform each lap with intention and precision.  Do the drill, the lap, the set and practice with your best effort.  If you do flip turns in in your race do them every lap in training (By the way swimmers and triathletes…there is an avalanche of literature and the data is conclusive…there is not a better instrument than the flip turns for training your body to process oxygen more efficiently)

Remember that Coach Charles plans every workout with the team in mind.  He schedules each set, each drill, each practice after heavy research and development.   We will continue to do research and apply new advances in training so why not take advantage of it today.

I can’t wait to see next year‘s achievements by all of you!  Yeah, you probably have seen, we get emotional but it starts from the very first second you get in the water!!

Race Report – Trick or Tri (October 28, 2017)

kadie jaffe trick or tri
It’s always fun to see a new triathlete complete their first race!  SPP was thrilled to be with Kadie Jaffe at the Trick or Tri this year.  Here’s what she had to say about her experience…

Kadie’s First Race – Trick or Tri, October 28th

I think one of the most intimidating parts of completing your first triathlon is all of the coordinating involved. Between gear, transitioning, and the events themselves, there is a lot to think about! Thankfully Charles and Kris made it easy on me. Every step of the way, they were there to remind me what was important and what wasn’t for my first race. With their guidance, I felt prepared and relaxed before Trick or Tri even started!

The Starting Line…

When the race started, I panicked a little during the swim but it was over before I knew it. The rest of the race was great. I must have had a big cheesy smile on my face the whole time! Everyone’s energy is infectious. One of my favorite parts was socializing with other triathletes after the race. I told some about my swim and even the seasoned athletes could totally relate. They were very encouraging and had some great advice for how to relax if it ever happens again.
My goal was just to finish, but I ended up being really pleased with my time.  I’m so happy I just did it! Now I feel confident that going into my next race I’ll know what to expect. Can’t wait until next time and next year’s Trick or Tri!  Thanks SPP for making it possible!
–Kadie Jaffe
Remember that when you race, it’s just yourself you compete with.  The other swimmers, bikers, and runners don’t matter.  Just get out there, do your best, and finish proud.  Charles and Kris try their best to be at everyone’s first races because we know how important this is!  Please always let us know when you are getting ready to compete so we can support you!

Strength and endurance #1

Strength and endurance #1

*Important only 10 seconds rest in between each rep!

*Please limit your time between each drills to less than 30 seconds. 


200 free 200Kick w/fins 200 pull

Main set:

50 yo 300 pull Pyramid amid

5 x 100 sighting 3x per lap) 

1 x 500

Every set done with buoy

Cool down: 

        200 free

Workout notes:

*The focus on every drill is to have great technique. 

*Work on every lap to implement the “glide” and start the stroke from the hip. 

*The overall workout goals are improve your endurance and Open water sighting and stroke technique. 

*Please feel free any questions to private message me with any questions. 

“Tri to live all it takes is effort”


Spp work out schedule

SPP fosters a healthy lifestyle through swimming and triathlon with a positive role in our community!

workout schedule:              

  • Monday/Tuesday San Fernando Pool 12 PM to 1 PM swim program
  • Monday 7 PM twice a month yoga w/Abica Dabay
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday:  6 AM to 7 AM Glassell Park Pool, Masters swim program
  • Saturday 8 AM – three different rides and runs available
  • Once a month open water clinics at Zuma Beach in Malibu starting at 7 AM (during season)
  • For a limited time, we are offering a one on one, one hour USMS certified master swim coached lesson a week for four weeks!