Got Chuck's new book? Not yet? Need a little push? Read on...
The book …And Then
They Won Gold: Stepping Stones To
Swimming Excellence Volume I was
inspired by a conversation with Coach Eddie Reese suggesting that swimmers,
coaches and parents could use a “recipe book” for how to reach their potential.
The book contains eight short stories, about eight great swimmers that
collectively won 28 Olympic gold medals. Each story reveals the experience that
the athlete had from their very first swimming experiences to progressing to
the Olympic gold medal. Each story also has inserted training programs that
they used for each step in the swimmers’ development.
A second Volume is planned to tell the
story of great women swimmers. The remaining athletes in Volume I are Matt
Biondi (sprint free), Mike Barrowman (breaststroke), Josh Davis ( mid-distance
free), Lenny Krayzelburg (backstroke), Ian Crocker and Grant Hackett.
Peirsol Excerpt and authors note: Aaron Peirsol is generally considered the
greatest backstroker in the history of the world and holds both the 100 and
200-meter world records today. This excerpt is from his freshman year at the
University of Texas:
as there were visitors to Nova practices, there were often ones at the
University of Texas. On a Saturday morning there was a coaches’ clinic hosted
at UT. Over time Aaron learned that these days were something to watch out for
because practice was going to be especially hard. The main set was 6 x 200s
(yards) on 6:00. Aaron thought to himself, Now
there’s something I can do well on. His first swim was 1:48, then he
gradually progressed down to 1:45 on the last one.
grew to understand that in the Texas program Eddie trained people for the end
of the season or the end of the summer. There was a larger and longer
progression and evolution of training loads and type of work over the course of
a five or six-month season than Aaron had experienced with the Novas. Although
he tried to challenge his teammates to keep up with him in practice, he also
gradually accepted that there were times he didn’t have to swim at 100 percent
effort. The end result of the training progression was that during the season an
athlete was likely to be very fatigued and not swim nearly as fast as when he
was rested at the end of the season for their championships.
late January the team and Aaron were tired from hard training. They took the
bus four hours to Dallas to swim SMU in a tri-meet with Arizona. Aaron loved
the experience of college swimming, the dual meets and the team camaraderie.
But he also loved targets, goals and the thrill of achievements. When they
arrived at the pool he stood under the pool record board and studied the times.
Reese walked up and stood next to him. “What are you looking at?”
answered, “That 1:43.8, 200 back.” Ryan Berube had set the record. He was the
1996 NCAA Swimmer of the Year and an Olympic gold medal winner. He was also a fantastic
underwater dolphin kicker, making him a great short course swimmer.
told him, “You can’t do that now [this time of the season].”
smiled. “I don’t know about that.”
the 200-yard backstroke event came, Aaron ripped through the distance. As he
approached the finish, he reached for the wall with his right arm and extended
his left pinky and index finger into the “Hook ’em Horns” sign. He looked at
the time on the board and aimed the “Hook ’em Horns” gesture at Eddie and the
team. The time: 1:42.8. Aaron Peirsol was officially a proud Longhorn.
Win a copy of ...and Then They Won Gold: Stepping Stones to Swimming Excellence, Volume 1
* by being the first to email me
the correct answer to this question:
Who is the only swimmer, other than Peirsol, to hold the men's 100 LCM back world record since August 21, 2004?
*Only if you've not won in the past seven (7) years. Sorry Kevin & Tim