September 19, 2022

TriDot Pool School: Functional Freestyle for Triathletes

TriDot Pool School (TPS) is a simple yet highly effective program for athletes who want to develop or improve their freestyle swim form. TriDot’s Founder and CEO, Jeff Booher, and Coach Joanna Nami, team up to describe TPS including who it’s for, how it was developed, why athletes are getting so excited, and what it can do for your swim. Learn how TPS uses a hybrid instructional approach of dryland drills, in-person workshops, and video critiques to find your faster freestyle.


Huge thanks to deltaG for partnering with us on this episode.

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Big thanks to Precision Fuel & Hydration for also partnering with us on this episode! Head over to precisionfuelandhydration.com and check out the Fuel Planner to get your free personalized fuel and hydration strategy. Use the code TRI10 to get 10% off your first order.


And don’t forget to sign up to get updates and early access to the TriDot Mark Allen Edition to be released Fall 2022: https://tridot.com/mark-allen-signup/

TriDot Podcast .156 TriDot Pool School: Functional Freestyle for Triathletes Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley: Welcome to the show! I am just absolutely thrilled to talk about TriDot Pool School today. It’s a new thing that our coaches have been cooking up in the TriDot lab. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I can confidently say TriDot Pool School will be a huge asset to the triathlon community, particularly those of us who have room for improvement in our swim. Sign me up, yes, please, and thank you! Here to talk about it is TriDot founder and CEO, Jeff Booher. Jeff is the chief architect behind TriDot’s nSight Optimization Technology that powers TriDot. He is a multiple-time Ironman finisher and has been coaching since 2003, from the Olympic level to more than a dozen pro triathletes, multiple national champions, and literally hundreds of amazing age group athletes. Jeff, thanks for joining us today to talk about Pool School! Jeff Booher: Absolutely! It’s great to be back, I look forward to diving in! Andrew: Also joining us for this is Coach Joanna Nami. Joanna is better known as Coach JoJo, and has been coaching athletes with TriDot since 2012. She is a co‑founder of Hissy Fit Racing, a third-year member of the Betty Design Elite Squad, and now has 17 Ironman finishes on her accomplished résumé. Coach Jo has qualified for three Ironman World Championships, and will be racing Kona here in just a few weeks really, October 2022. She is now full-time on the TriDot staff as our Coaching Community Manager. Coach Jo, are you ready to talk about Pool School? Joanna Nami: Yes, most definitely! I’m super excited to be here with you guys, can’t wait to get started! Andrew: I'm Andrew the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People and Captain of the Middle of the Pack. As always we'll roll through our warmup question, settle in for our main set conversation, and then wind things down hearing from some athletes on their experience at TriDot Pool School. Lots of good stuff, so let’s get to it! Ketones are nature’s super fuel, and the team here at TriDot has been learning from Oxford University professor Kieran Clarke, founder and CEO of TdeltaS Global, all about the benefits of drinking the revolutionary Oxford ketone ester. My new favorite way to start the day is with a ketone-boosted cup of coffee. It is an absolute must on those days where I need to be dialed in for anything from triathlon training to podcast recording. The team at DeltaG created the Delta Gold Coffee Booster after research showed just how well ketones and caffeine work together. Delta Gold Coffee Booster truly empowers you to start your day like there’s some extra watts firing to your brain. The team at DeltaG even offers free 15‑minute one‑on-one consultations, where you can learn more about fueling your workouts or starting your day with Delta Gold Coffee Booster. You can book a call quick and easy at DeltaGketones.com. So head to the website and book your free 15‑minute consultation. When you place an order, use code TRIDOT20 to get 20% off your super fuel ketone drinks. Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew: Super League Triathlon came onto the scene a few years back in an effort to make professional short-course triathlon fun for athletes and spectators alike. There are multiple Super League tri events all over the world where the athletes race as individuals and on teams to earn points as the season goes on, just like with other racing-based professional sports. A newish thing in Super League triathlon is the team points competition, where currently there are five different teams that battle it out at each event. They are the Scorpions, the Sharks, the Rhinos, the Eagles, and the Cheetahs, so clearly animal-themed mascots. The athletes race in a kit that has their team mascot on the front and their country flag on their left sleeve, and the kits being animal-themed are very fun. The cheetah one, for example, I saw a picture of Johnny Brownlee racing on that team, and his kit was this bright orange, Chester the Cheetah Cheetos-themed kit, with polka dots and black cheetah spots all over the kit. Each team has a pro coach, with some tri legends like Chris McCormack and Tim Don both coaching teams. So Jeff, Jo, a lot of background here that I wanted to give to catch people up on Super League Tri, really all to ask you this for our warmup question: if you were starting a new Super League team and you were going to coach them, what animal mascot would you pick for your team and why? Coach Jo, what do you got? Joanna: Well, y’all know that I’m gonna keep it girly. There’s always going to be some leopard print involved, being that Hissy Fit is still true to my heart as the female team I created. So I think it would involve probably leopard and probably pink of course. That’s probably my answer. Andrew: Yeah, just tapping into that thing you’ve already created and just expanding it into the pro ranks. Those Hissy Fit kits are fantastic. I always like when I’m racing an event and go by somebody, or get passed by somebody in a Hissy Fit kit. I always think of Coach Jo and give them a little shout-out. Jeff Booher, what is your answer here? If you were coaching a Super League triathlon team, how would you theme it? Jeff: Well, I immediately think of the zebra. Texas A&M has a club triathlon team; it’s pretty big, and they have black and white zebra pattern on their kits, the whole thing. It’s really cool. You think of when zebras are out there in packs, that’s how they defend off predators, because they all blend together and you can’t tell where one stops and another starts. Kind of like riding in a peloton, all together, you’re stronger together kind of core value teamwork. So I’d go with a zebra. Andrew: What is the attachment of zebras to Texas A&M University that they decided to put that into their kits? Jeff: I have no idea. It just looked really cool, and they’ve had that probably for ten years. I don’t know if they still wearing it. I haven’t seen them in a year or been to any races that they were at. But I don’t think there is a connection other than just a cool-looking kit. Andrew: All right, so we got leopard with Coach Jo, we’ve got zebra with Coach Boo. For my pick here, I decided I don’t want to be boring. I feel like across the whole world of sports there are enough teams that are the Eagles, the Bears, the Bulldogs, the Cardinals, the Ravens, those few dozen go‑to’s that a lot of teams use. So I don’t want to be boring with my pick. If I was going to start a new Super League tri team, I’m going to go mythical. I would want my team to be like the Godzillas or the Screaming Banshees and have a kit to match. But as a TriDotter, since we’re going mythical, the obvious answer here is to have a team named the Unicorns – Jeff: There you go! Andrew: – and have the kits be unicorn-themed. I wonder how many TriDotters would buy a unicorn-themed TriDot kit. Just sayin’, just putting it out. Joanna: That could be girly! Andrew: It could be girly, it could be for the guys, it could be fun, it could be fast and loose. Either way, that’s my pick. Guys, we’re going to throw this question out to you like we always do. I’m curious to hear, if you were starting a professional Super League triathlon team and choosing the mascot, and you’re going to theme the kits for your team, what animal are you going with, since animals are the thing? Make sure that you are part of the I AM TriDot Facebook group. We’re going to throw this question out to you when this show comes out. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… Andrew: The day this show comes out we were just on site at the inaugural U.S. Open PTO race in Dallas, Texas. And while I was down there for a weekend of racing, I got to connect with the team at Precision Fuel & Hydration in person. It was a real treat. Precision Fuel & Hydration was on site to help the pros and age‑groupers alike stay hydrated and fueled for the weekend of racing. We’ve had Andy Blow from Precision on the podcast many times, and he’s taught us that ultimately the three main losses from taking part in a triathlon are calories, electrolytes, and fluid lost through sweat. You’ll need to replace a proportion of your carb, electrolyte, and fluid losses with what you eat and drink if you want to perform at your best. So Andy and the team have developed the Fuel Planner so that you can take the guesswork out of your race nutrition plan. Head over to PrecisionHydration.com to take the Fuel Planner and get your free personalized race nutrition strategy. From there you can book a call with PF&H’s athlete support team to refine your strategy. And don’t forget that TriDot listeners get 10% off their first order of electrolytes and fueling products by using the code TRI10 at the checkout at PrecisionHydration.com. Lots of wet and watery pool talk today! Grab your favorite electrolyte beverage and take a shot every time you hear the term “Pool School” on the show today. You’ll leave this episode well hydrated, I assure you of that. Very few of us begin our tri journey with a solid swim form foundation. You can certainly get faster just by improving your fitness, but establishing proper swim form will take you so much farther, so much faster in your growth as a swimmer. And the coaching staff here at TriDot is ready to introduce us all to the new way to build that swim foundation. Now Jeff, there is a lot that TriDot does seeking to educate and empower athletes, just beyond the training platform itself. There’s the podcast, the Facebook community, there is a robust system for customer support, the race recon webinars, and soon there is a YouTube show coming out. Much of this is free, and much of this is for our TriDot users and TriDot non‑users alike. I want folks to hear from you as our fearless leader here at TriDot, in your own words, why is there such a mission and emphasis here at TriDot to educate and invest significant company resources to help athletes just beyond their training? Jeff: You know, training is obviously the most impactful decision that triathletes make. It affects your success, injury, how you spend your time, how much time you have to spend to achieve different results. But it doesn’t end there. We recognized that from the start, that the community that you’re training in, the environment, your education, all those things are very, very important. I think of our core values. Three of the top four are all centered around this concept and the values. Two, is we’re passionate about helping people improve and succeed. Three, we value teamwork, community because we know we’re better together. We hunger for knowledge and wisdom to better educate, inspire, and serve others. That’s core to who we are, and it goes beyond just the training and technology. There’s the social, the mental, the emotional aspects of our sport that are so determinant in not just your physical success, but also your enjoyment of the sport, and realizing what you want out of the sport. It goes beyond just the training to all of those. So I really think that we have an opportunity – and really more than that, an obligation – to invest not only in technology, but also investing in the culture, the community, and all those things of our sport so that it’s fun and rewarding, just as much as the technical cool stuff there. Andrew: So we’ll talk details in just a moment, but at the time we’re recording this episode, we are fresh off a weekend together where we had about 30 TriDot athletes attend TriDot Pool School in the Dallas metroplex. For both of you, what was a moment or maybe an interaction you had with an athlete that really stood out to you in our time together in Dallas? Joanna: Well, there were quite a few. One that really stood out to me was toward the end of our second day. We did a time trial on the 100m to see what improvements or not-improvements would be made. One of our long-term ambassadors, Aaron Shakocius, comes out of the water completely elated. I can’t even describe, he comes over, and it was maybe even too many hugs for my comfort level, but he gives a giant bear hug, and I know this expression – a mom knows this – of sheer joy. He almost jumped for joy. It was almost like he had gained hope, in knowing that he had tried lots of different methods over the years, and not had any success as to making improvements. We were literally talking about a couple weeks of prep‑work leading into a two‑day workshop, and he just made a major improvement, and I think it was just an “Ah ha!” moment for him. So I welcomed that bear hug from him, which is super happy. And that was just one instance. It was that whole couple of minutes where we were re‑trying them in the water, it was just an amazing time where we could see that they were all having the realization that this was working for them, and they were going to continue to make improvements. Jeff: Yeah, there’s a couple for me, I’ll pick out just two. One was really cool, just hearing Michellie Jones, an Olympic silver medalist and Ironman World Champion, she said one word: “Fantastic.” Then she went on and on, but just to hear that from her was so gratifying, at one level from a technical standpoint. But what sticks out the most was from one of our athletes, Rusty Edwards. And HE had one word, and he said it over and over and over. He went from a 100m of 2:10 to 1:43. So that’s 27 seconds off his 100m. He finished and his lane coach told him his time, and just goes, “WHAT? WHAT?” He just kept going, “WHAT?” Just to hear the smile in that, everyone was just high-fiving him, and all he could say was, “WHAT?” over and over. He just couldn’t believe it. To see the joy in that, it just makes such a huge difference. It doesn’t just change your swim split, it changes your whole race day when you have that kind of dramatic improvement. It was really cool. Andrew: So Jeff, Michellie Jones is on board as TriDot coach now, she’s using TriDot to coach her athletes. You reached out to her and said, “Hey, I saw you’re coming to Pool School, do you want to come as a coach and be on deck, or do you want to come as a swimmer?” And she actually opted to come as a swimmer and be in the pool receiving instruction, because she wanted to go through the process and see what it was like as an athlete, right? Jeff: Exactly. That’s why I respect her so much. We’ve had a lot of technical calls and different things from the training from the platform, and working through everything. It’s not just jump and “Hey, let’s go do it.” It’s being scrutinizing and being critical and offering opinions. It’s been really cool, she’s been wonderful. Andrew: Of all the things that we could have launched next – and there are behind the scenes at TriDot so many exciting initiatives being worked on that will be slowly coming out in the next few years as the future of the company – of all these exciting things that we could have made our next endeavor, why was Pool School kind of rushed to the start of the line, and the big initiative that you wanted to launch this fall for athletes. Why launch Pool School and not a track school or a bike school or maybe something else? Jeff: Great question. First – a lot of people would quickly recognize this – with swimming, the fear and frustration that swimming represents for so many triathletes is significant. It should be fun and fulfilling. A lot of times, they lack a place to go to learn that effectively. Or they get some little results but then they’re gone, they don’t stick. I knew we had an opportunity to solve that need. But also I think there’s this barrier for thousands and thousands of would-be triathletes, of runners and cyclists and other fitness people, that were it not for the swim they would be triathletes. So I see it as a way to outreach and give them a path, something they could have confidence in, “If I go through this process, I’m going to be just as competent in swimming as I am in cycling or running or other things.” So to give them that path. Thirdly, one of the things that really affected the timing was that this aspect of swim form, and being able to help people improve their swim, is a big limiter for triathlon coaches. If triathlon coaches have a background in swimming, they’re very confident and they can teach whatever they’ve been taught. They have an approach, and they can do that. But for so many coaches that weren’t swimmers in high school or college, or didn’t have that background but they’re now triathletes, they have a lot less competence and confidence going into teaching. All they know is what they’ve been taught, and as long as people need to do the same things they did, or if they have the same swim flaws, that’s great. But it’s very hard, they don’t have a lot of venues where they can learn something that’s replicable. So we want to support them, give them that framework and a venue where they can learn very quickly, and they can be on deck. This Pool School we just had – we had probably 12 coaches, and a good portion of them were coaching. The others were there to be mentored: watching, gaining experience, working with slower swimmers, middle swimmers, back-of-the-pack swimmers. So they can have that breadth of knowledge that they can then take back, running their own pool schools or with their athletes. So that really moved it up on our priority list. Joanna: Yeah, I totally agree, Jeff. I’ve been coaching for TriDot for quite a long time and been a tri coach for over ten years, and what has happened in tri coaching is that a lot of it has moved virtual. We originally started out with a lot of local athletes, and now most of my athletes that I coach are all over the U.S. and world. It’s a tall order to try to advise our athletes on swim form when you’re on phone calls, texts, throughout the week. In that sense, coaching has moved away from that hands-on interaction, and I was thinking about Pool School and maybe it was too MUCH hands-on interaction. We’re doing a lot of dry‑land work – Andrew: With those hugs! Joanna: – there’s a LOT of hugs going on. There’s a lot of moving legs, arms, I mean that was a little bit too much touching for my personal taste. Andrew: A lot of wet bodies. Joanna: Yes! A little uncomfortable, I needed a shower after those sessions. But I think that it what was needed. I think we had a missing link there, that actually helping one‑on-one these athletes in the Pool School setting. The other thing I think about is that I noticed – amongst all the athletes I’ve worked with over the years – that swimmers who did not grow up swimming, that we call “adult onset swimmers”, were very self-conscious when it came to swimming. There was a level of embarrassment that we naturally learned to ride a bike, we naturally learned to walk and then run, but swimming was just an area that caused people to be very uncomfortable. In that sense, this was very much needed. This was an environment where they could easily learn a method and gain confidence, and I think that’s invaluable. So this was definitely needed at this time. Andrew: So Jeff, back on Episode .02 of the podcast, a measly 154 episodes ago, you talked about the importance of building swim form correctly from the ground up. You took great lengths to do that yourself back when you were starting off as a swimmer and a triathlete with “adult onset swimmer”. What did that process look like for you? This was at your advanced age, Jeff, so many years ago. Jeff: Getting close to a quarter century, wow. Actually, my triathlon birthday/anniversary is 20 years ago this month, probably within about five days – Andrew: Hey, cool! Jeff: – was my first sprint triathlon. At the time, my brother-in-law said, “Hey, we’re doing a sprint triathlon, can we stay with you when we’re up there in the Dallas area?” I said, “Sure, what’s a sprint triathlon?” Andrew: And here you are. Jeff: So I said, “I’ll jump in too.” It was a 300m swim. I went and jumped in the water and swam. I’ve done athletics all my life, but I did that 300m in about 7½ minutes, and my arms were going to fall off. I could not get out of the pool, it was horrible. And the guy next to me had been going back and forth all these laps, and he looked over and goes, “Man, you should be swimming faster than that.” At first I thought this was an insult, like “wussy,” but he goes, “No, I mean you look kind of athletic. You shouldn’t be having to work that hard. Have you ever heard of Total Immersion?” I said no, I hadn’t. So I went home, looked it up online, and saw there’s this methodical way of approaching the swim. I ordered the book, I called, and Terry Laughlin, the author, answered the phone. I’m talking to him on the phone, and the author is very cool, so I commit. Got the videos, got everything, and I went through that process, and for seven swims I just drill. I made sure I mastered it and then moved on to the next one. And in probably about four or five weeks, seven swims, maybe one or two a week just focusing on that, I went 5:30. I took two minutes off my time, and I could just jump out of the pool, and it felt like I hadn’t done hardly anything. So I realized, “Holy cow, your technique makes a big difference.” That was my first experience right there. Andrew: Jeff, how did that initial personal experience impact you later as you began coaching tri athletes? Jeff: So that was before, obviously. After my first triathlon, I didn’t think about coaching for awhile longer. When I did start coaching – same with the technology piece – I looked at stress and learned from people who came before, trying to build on that. It made me just hungry to study everything that I could. So I started researching other swim methods, other forms of how do you teach, why do they teach it that way, where does that come from, what environments are they teaching within? I know a lot of high school swimmers are great coaches, but they only have the athletes for a very short period of time. They don’t start from the ground up with every athlete. You can have 20 years of coaching experience, but you’re exposed to athletes for two, three months at a time, then they’re gone doing other sports. So it really made a difference. I learned a lot from Terry, and Suzanne Atkinson, one of his coaches that helped with a lot of certifying their athletes. Paul Newsome at Swim Form, Brenton Ford at Effortless Swimming, Sheila Taormina and her book Swim Speed Secrets – all of them had different things that they brought. Total Immersion was all about streamlined swimming, but nothing about the pull or propulsion. Sheila’s was a lot about the pull and propulsion and band work, and I learned so much from her, just being a student of it. What Terry always used to say, “adult onset swimming”, as he called it, is unique in that if you’re learning as an adult how to swim, it is very different than if you learned as a kid. So that was an interesting approach, and I thought that was super cool. I also got to work with Barb Lindquist a bit through the collegiate recruitment program up at the Olympic training center with a couple of my athletes that were doing draft-legal. Drafting is so important there. I got to be on deck with her, seeing how she taught – she would send out workouts – and studying those for several years. Then being on deck with about 11 other coaches – there were 12 athletes there, invitation only, the top twelve in the country. I’m on deck coaching – and looking back now, I knew a lot more than I thought I did – but I felt like such a poser. Like, I’m learning it, and I’d been doing this for several years, four, five, six years teaching people how to do this, but I’m here with these elite coaches with a swim background who put people in the Olympics and all this stuff. So I’m coaching my athletes here, but I’m also trying to listen to what they’re telling their athletes in their lane. It was like, “Oh, I haven’t seen that before, I’m learning this.” Jennifer Hutchison and I could name ten others that are just amazing coaches, I was trying to just absorb. All of that just set me off as a student of swimming. Trying to learn how to teach it, what’s the best method of teaching it, when and why, what’s going to stick, what’s going to make those short-term gains, and then how do you get those gains to stick, and what’s the most effective. Andrew: It’s funny that you talk about being on a pool deck with them as a coach, and a very qualified coach, but feeling like a poser next to them. I used to coach a junior triathlon team, you used to coach a junior triathlon team, and our junior triathlon teams worked out at the same pool at the same time. And I felt like a poser next to YOU on deck, watching your kids march up and down the lane like little soldiers, where my kids were entry-level, very after-school program. But that’s how you and I met, and now years later we’re doing TriDot, and it was pretty cool to go to this first Pool School with all these athletes, and it was at the same pool that you and I used to coach at together. There you are doing your thing with adults, and there I am taking footage and media and hanging out with athletes. So from that time when you were working with youth and junior swimmers, how did that time on the pool deck with them influence the way that you coach swimming? Jeff: Great question. That was a very unique environment. That was probably the most impactful. I think when we got to that point, I was not hearing a lot of new things. Questions that would come up, I’d go, “I’ve heard that, I know about this, I know about that.” But this was a different environment. I had a lot of these junior kids coming in that were qualified for nationals. It was draft-legal, 75 athletes starting, and you swam and if you come out too far back on the swim, you get lapped out and your day is over in draft-legal racing. So they would come in very frequently in the January/February time frame, and by May we’re traveling to Richmond, Virginia for the first national qualifying race. So they’re having to qualify and sign up for these races several months in advance, so January they’re signing up for the races, they’ve got to commit and book hotels and travel and all that. So they’re coming in brand new to the sport, and I had three to four months to get them to the caliber that they’re going to be qualifying for nationals. So I had to fine-tune and teach in the most effective way. How do you communicate it, how do you make sure that it’s not lost, how do you teach one skill so that when they learn the next skill but they’re not dropping the first one? It anticipates them learning the next one so you’re not retraining muscle memory and those kind of things. And still, even at that point, some coaches that I had working with me – Coach Nick and Natalie and Tom and Heather and others came on. I continued to learn from them on how to teach. It was the necessity of the parents putting money on the table, that their kids are going to go to this, me making that commitment that they are going to be ready, they are going to qualify. And every athlete that came on did. They all did qualify for nationals in just a few months. So being able to do that in the quickest, most effective, most flaw-resistant way so they can build on it. Several of them started there, didn’t have the swim background, and went on to compete in college. One was on a swim team in college, which was really cool. So it was kind of a forced environment. It kind of makes you do it just based on the constraints of the time frame. Andrew: So Jeff had spent – Jeff, we’ve heard the stories now – just years of multiple influences. You being on deck with different coaches, being hands-on with youth athletes, having to lay the groundwork for their swim form very quickly. Over all those years you formulated this effective, time-efficient methodology for teaching somebody from the ground up how to have a refined swim stroke. Fast forward to earlier this year: Coach Jo, Jeff Booher, and TriDot Coach John Mayfield, the three of you got together and spent two full days pulling from Jeff’s experience and perfecting a new methodology for teaching adult onset swimmers how to rework their swim stroke. Now you’re introducing what you guys are calling “Functional Freestyle”. Jo, tell us what that process was like, getting in with Jeff and John and making Functional Freestyle? Joanna: Well, I’ll be totally honest. “Surprise!” Now you’re going to make me do “Confessions of a Swimmer” here in front of Jeff Booher. But in all honesty, I was a bit wary, maybe a little guarded when I first worked with Jeff on this method. There may have been a bit of ego in that I’d had a competitive swim background, and being a faster swimming, doing well in races. There’s also a hesitancy to try something new, to do anything in a new way. I was very comfortable in swimming, felt like I was doing well in Ironman races, and thought, “I’m not sure I could swim any faster.” We all want to stick to what or how we always do something. So this was going to be a change. And I was wrong. It really resonated with me when Jeff asked me and John initially to listen, to learn with newbie ears. To act like a newer swimmer. To be open to trying this and learning the method. So I committed to the instruction and was going to see what happened. The things that I loved – Jeff mandated that the steps of the method be extremely simple, and we talked about that. I wanted it to be easily absorbed by the beginner swimmer versus the most advanced swimmer. I think the thing about swimming is that it’s already intimidating and foreign to so many. Andrew: Yeah, so true. Joanna: It is. And this was number one: simple and easy to understand. Number two: easy to replicate. It worked with athletes of all abilities. They could follow the steps. And number three: we were talking elite, fast swimmers and then the most novice triathletes and everybody in between. The bonus was that we were seeing results super quickly. That just kind of blew me away. In all honesty, I was sold. I was pumped, super excited. I told Jeff that this really ignited a fire in me. I have a passion for swimming. I have a lot of athletes that come to me for swimming help, and I feel like I’ve done the best I can with my swim background and my coaching abilities, but there was still a missing link, and this was the answer for me. Andrew: So Jo, I remember you and John spent that time with Jeff, you guys worked really hard on this. Then you and John got back on – every morning of the work week our whole TriDot team hops on a morning call. We call it the “morning huddle”, and we just chitchat 15 minutes, connect, see who needs what for who for the workday – and you and John hopped on that call like, “I got back in the pool after going through this methodology,” and you two, as experienced Ironman athletes, were faster than you’ve ever been before. What were your results just from that time with Jeff perfecting this methodology? Joanna: In all honesty, again, John saw more results initially. I wanted to go home and test the method on my own. I wanted to do about six or seven pool sessions, my normal training over a two‑week period, and see how the method – totally focusing on the Functional Freestyle – see how that would affect my average timing for a session of 3,500 or 4,000 yards. And it was exact; I was taking 10 seconds off per 100m. That’s a HUGE amount for somebody – not that I’m tooting my own horn here – but that actually swims fairly fast. I was stunned. I got home and thought, “If this works for me, there are so many of my own athletes, or TriDot athletes, that I’ve heard are kind of stuck in that middle ground.” They’re working certain drills that have been around forever, that historically have been effective swim drills, but were not seeing results no matter the work they were putting in. They were perpetuating bad habits by swimming these long workouts, when they weren’t really getting to the root of the problems in their stroke. Andrew: You work out Functional Freestyle, then you and John take it back into your own swim sessions to continue to go through it on your own. But you guys didn’t want to just stop there. You wanted to make sure that TriDot Pool School was a fully-baked Thanksgiving turkey before you served it up to age‑group athletes. So then something like 30‑ish TriDot coaches came together in Dallas to work through the Pool School process, learn it, and refine it even further for athletes. What role did our TriDot coach community play in the TriDot Pool School our athletes will participate in? Joanna: Initially we called on some of our super active coaching staff – Ryan Tibball, Jeff Raines, and Heather Dekalb – and they invested a tremendous amount of time, as did Jeff, John, and myself, initially working through the method, brainstorming, providing feedback. This was all done before our first coach clinic. Many of them were collegiate swimmers. Again, I had that same feeling going into it of, “I don’t know, I’m maybe a little bit wary going into this.” It’s interesting how we all had the same reaction. After going through it, it was kind of like, “I think this is going to work!” It was that excitement. Then as we progressed through our first clinics with tons of coaches being involved, I honestly think they were an integral part in bringing this program to life. It was eye‑opening to see how eager, how many wanted to attend, how many wanted to give feedback, how many wanted to go through the athlete process of learning the method. We got lots of feedback from the coaches. It was interesting because they’re all very qualified tri coaches, but they all come from very different swim backgrounds. So it was a good example across the board of what different types of athletes with different swim backgrounds were going to experience when going through the program. This allowed us to work with different types of athletes, all ages, genders, skill levels, very different types of athletes. I always say that our coaches –, and I say this because I’m the manager of the TriDot coaching community – but they are one of our greatest resources, and we value their opinions in everything that we do. I feel they were super helpful in refining and really making this the greatest program that we could, and to be most effective for all athletes, all triathletes, all swimmers out there. Andrew: It was pretty wild, Jo, to be at that initial Pool School where it was just TriDot coaches. Again, there was 30‑something of them. Just to be in the room with guys like Kurt Madden, Jason McFaul, Jason Verbracken, Matt Sommer, legendary long-time coach at Austin Aquatics Jen Reinhart – all these highly qualified, good swimmers, strong athletes, long-time tri coaches – they’re all in the water learning how to go through this. I was just so blown away by their commitment to learn the process. To your point, no matter how strong a swimmers they are or what their background is, they were off on the side doing the dry-land work, and you could tell all of those coaches were really making sure that they internalized the process, understood the process, could learn the process and do it themselves so they can now coach the process. So Jo, after that weekend our coaches have all traveled back home. They kept working on their own swim technique with what they’ve learned from that time in Dallas. What feedback have you heard from our TriDot coaches on the backside of that inaugural Pool School? Joanna: This was so interesting. I have to laugh about it in the sense that we sent them home with a mandate: Do not get lazy. Continue to do the work, continue to go through the steps, continue to drill. Would they do it? I wasn’t sure. A little bit of ego with coaches sometimes, you know. But they did go home, and I started getting messages and phone calls. One of my athletes and co‑coaches that I work with here south of Houston is Kyle Stone, a big personality. He’s like, “Jo! I just took 22 seconds off my 200!” So he goes home and does his 200m assessment, and he’s just thrilled. He’s done twenty Ironman races, and we have him doing assessments. He’s one of my athletes. That’s kind of a drag for him – no pun intended – is that he just dreads that swim assessment, he’ll try to get out of doing it. But he was pumped for the first time. He’s a phenomenal Ironman athlete, a phenomenal biker and runner, but now he’s going to be just as strong in the swim portion. That was super thrilling, super exciting to hear that, and I heard it from a lot of the coaches that attended. Some of their feedback was interesting, that they kept talking about how easy this was replicate, how easy this was to instruct. That was what I needed to hear, what Jeff needed to hear. We knew how strong the method was, but I wanted to watch them in action and see if they were going to be able to easily instruct this, and they were. And they had homework, they had material and steps to work on. Currently I find that most athletes struggling with swim have no idea what to work on. Andrew: So true. Joanna: They have no idea. They go to the pool with a workout, but they have no idea what to work on as far as function and form. “What am I doing in the water?” They’re just lost. This was homework we sent home with our coaches. They had material to work with, and they were guided. I think that was something they were very excited about. Andrew: Jeff, it’s interesting what you referenced earlier: you spent time on a pool deck seeing some of the best in the world do their thing coaching swim form, and everybody approached it somewhat differently. All the different methodologies you studied as a triathlete way, way back in the day, all focused on different things, with Effortless Swimming focusing on streamlining, all those things you mentioned. It really highlights how difficult it can be to teach proper swimming, and to learn proper swimming, that this many people are focused on it and taking different approaches. Why is learning to swim so difficult, compared to so many other things in our sport? Jeff: Yeah, well, you’re right. One of the things that Michellie mentioned, “A lot of these things are thought about, but not to the depth to where you guys have gone.” So in the technique, there’s multiple ways, multiple opinions on how to do this, but analyzing what does that do functionally is one aspect of it. Part of why it’s so hard, is in any kind of movement you have three components. There’s a balance and body position, then you want to maximize propulsion, and minimize resistance. So you can think about swim, bike, and run. You need to have your balance first, then your body orientation, then you need to propel yourself forward, then you minimize resistance. You do that differently on the swim, bike, and run based on the water’s almost 800 times more dense than air, so resistance is more important. You’re going so much faster on the bike, so that wind resistance is a bigger factor, you have to change your posture. But the biggest thing here, the biggest difference in the three and how we approach it, is the balance and the body position. Imagine trying to run or cycle if you could not keep your balance. How could you get your center of gravity over your propulsive muscle, over the right muscle? You’d just be dragging yourself across the ground inefficiently. You have to maintain that balance and body position. But the problem is, when it comes to swimming, that a lot of athletes don’t even recognize if they are or aren’t in balance. And if they are in balance, they can’t control that body position in balance. Think about the biggest teacher of balance for running and cycling is gravity. When you’re a kid, you’re going to learn really quick when you lose your balance. We don’t have that in swimming. You’re just kind of laying there. You could be all crooked and all over the place, and you don’t even recognize if you are or aren’t balanced. So you’re not even aware that you’re not doing things like you could. The next thing relates to that balance, but it’s also body position. The things that we learn, our senses when we’re cycling and running, to maintain balance and body position. One is visual cues. You’re able to look and see stuff. You see a horizon, you see things around you. When they start moving, you know that your balance is being lost. There’s a tactile proprioception, that kind of aesthetic aspect of feeling the ground or feeling the bike, feeling something when that changes. You’re sensing a change in body position or movement. A lot of that goes away in swimming because there’s water all around you. Unless you’re pushing off the wall, that’s the only time you feel something concrete and know your orientation. The last thing is your vestibular system, your equilibrium in your ear. When we’re running and cycling, we generally try to keep our head still, so we’re able to maintain that equilibrium. But in swimming you’re constantly moving your head up and down, and breathing side-to-side. Imagine if you were running as fast as you can, and every time you inhale you have to turn your head to the right side of your shoulder and breathe in over there, and then breathe out in front of you, and you’re constantly doing that. Your orientation, your equilibrium, everything would get messed up. Same thing when you’re thinking about your hand position. How does it move over your head? Where’s the entry point? What’s straight? When you’re pushing your arm straight forward, does that move? As you’re pulling, you’re pulling underneath your body, but then you’re swinging your head up to one side or the other. Does that make you cross over or not? So how do you teach the swimming function as your frame of reference, when all of those senses are either gone or significantly hindered. Your vestibular, your tactile proprioception, and your visual cues are gone. So we teach many different things that don’t rely as much on those, and give you other things to rely on. Or a way to where less can go wrong if you’re a little off. That’s a big thing, a big part of the Functional Freestyle. Andrew: So the biggest question for us as athletes, and for our folks listening, is how does this work? After investing so much time and energy getting so much feedback from TriDot coaches to refine and develop a swim system, Functional Freestyle, what was the end result? What does this look like for the athlete going through the process? Jeff: Well, it’ll look different. There’s still swimming, obviously, so there’s certain things that are in common. But the concept of Functional Freestyle is, there’s so many different ways of teaching someone over-the-water recovery. There’s many ways of doing things and getting to the same place. But some ways are more likely to have flaws creep up later, and lead to other problems and inconsistencies in your stroke. So we tried to do the simplicity: what’s going to be the quickest way, and also lead to fewer errors, fewer deteriorations over time. One of the things that we do –the reason a lot of coaches can’t do the ground-up method is because it takes so long to build one skill, and then another skill, and then another skill – so we have some prep work, it’s like homework that they do. We call it the Miyagi Method. Athletes are learning the muscle memory on dry land ahead of time. Rather than learning just the over-the-water recovery, then just the catch and pull, then each different section, the head and body position while you’re in this dynamic, fluid environment in the water, they’re doing it on the ground at home. They’re doing just hundreds and hundreds of repetitions of different movements that are key to swimming and core, and being taught exactly how to do those. So they’re able to develop the different phases of their swim, that muscle memory, all at the same time. Andrew: And Jeff, just in case someone out there has not seen the essential viewing experience of the Karate Kid trilogy, the originals, who is Mr. Miyagi, and why is this portion of Pool School called the Miyagi Method? Jeff: Absolutely. So for both of the people that haven’t seen the Karate Kid movie? No, I think most people are familiar. It’s that part at first where Daniel San wants to learn how to fight, how to defend himself. He wants to learn karate, so Mr. Miyagi agrees to teach him. “I’ll teach you, but you have to do what I say. No questions asked, just do what I tell you and I’ll teach you.” Then for the next four or five days, every day, he gives him another homework. He starts off with him waxing the cars. Wax on clockwise with your right hand, wax off counter-clockwise with your left hand. Then the next day Daniel goes, “All right, we’re going to learn karate today.” Mr. Miyagi goes, “Nope, I want you to paint the fence. Straight up and straight down. Skinny boards left hand, big boards right hand.” Then Daniel is, “All right, I’m done.” Mr. Miyagi goes, “Nope, the other side of the fence.” Then he’s painting the house and sanding the floor, and going through all of these different muscle memories until his arms are about to fall off. Then he gets fed up and he’s about to quit, and Mr. Miyagi says, “Daniel San, come back here,” and just has to yell at him to get his attention because he’s about to quit and he’s all mad. And he goes, “Show me ‘paint the fence’!” He gets him to move, and then he starts throwing punches at him and kicks, and all of a sudden Daniel San just reacted out of instinct without thinking about it, and the muscle memory took over, and he was able to do karate to defend himself. And Mr. Miyagi goes, “Lesson over,” or something like that, and bows to him and walks off, and Daniel’s sitting there stunned. It’s that same method. It’s physiology. The muscle memory works, you just have to repeat it correctly, exactly right, over and over and over. Then that unconscious competence, so you don’t even think about it when it comes time to move your arm in a certain path or pattern. They just do that. So that’s where it comes from. We almost called it Miyagi Do swimming, but that was a little too into Karate Kid. So “Functional Freestyle” and “Miyagi Method”, give credit where credit is due. That’s the method of teaching the muscle memory. Andrew: Yeah, so that’s in the prep work. After you’ve done your prep work, your homework on the beginning, where do you go from there exactly? Jeff: Then you go to a weekend workshop. So from the time you register, you start doing that prep work at home. You can get people to look at you to make sure you’re doing it right. Coaches will help you with that. Then in the water we tie it all together. We have a methodical process like a school. There’s Grades 1 through 12, and each one is a different core drill and a different skill, and each one is set up to where each one builds on the last. So you work until you understand how to do it. You’re transferring that from the ground work. We’ll start on the ground doing the dry land work, do the movement on the deck, then we go to the water and do the same thing in the drill, and make sure the one translates to the next. Then we’re going to build on it. We go slow, we spend time. You have a lane – it’s like a 1:4 ratio coach-to-athlete, so a lot of individual attention – and all the athletes in your lane are very similar abilities, working on basically the same things. So they’re going to tie that all together. It’s two days, four hours on each day, and we just walk through. Some athletes go further on day two than others do. It just depends on where you are in your swim journey, and just focus on what’s going to be the most beneficial for you. Then in a lot of the things that we do from the ground-up approach like this, is foreseeing where flaws could happen later in the most effective way. We teach certain very nuanced things that feel so natural once you do them this way. You look at someone’s swim stroke and think they’re doing everything right. But a little twist of the wrist here, a little different balance, certain different things, if they’re not done correctly, that will set you up for a flaw later. A lot of times athletes will think, “Oh, I’m crossing over”, or “I’m doing this.” They’ll see a flaw and then try to artificially fix the flaw. But they’re not fixing the root cause, and they don’t even recognize that it’s something maybe three steps further back in their stroke that’s causing that. Unless they address that problem, that flaw is going to keep cropping up. I guess the last piece is we have a progress report card. Andrew: Oh fun! Jeff: Yeah, so athletes are going to get a grade A, B, or C in the different drills, and the different first-grade, second-grade, third-grade, and they’re going to get a level of proficiency and some pointers on how you continue that. Then they’re going to be able to get follow-on assessments. We’ve already had some athletes going through Pool School want to come back and do it again. “I want to master, I want to improve from a B to an A,” and get further along and improve that ability. Joanna: Yeah, I agree with everything that Jeff said. The muscle memory is the foundation of that Functional Freestyle. I cannot emphasize enough the difference in that, the dry land work, the muscle memory work and how effective that is. Then secondly, what happens in this weekend, what was so eye‑opening to me and so exciting to me was the one‑on-one interaction with our coaches. There was a person there for you to ask questions, to say, “I’m confused, I don’t understand,” and get the answers right then on what you’re doing wrong. Someone videoing you, someone looking at your stroke, someone showing you what you’re actually doing when you think you’re doing something else. There were definitely those moments. It all led to me realizing that day two of the workshop was not the end of the process. There is follow-up, there is someone investing in you, there is someone following up with you, there is someone who wants you to have improvements. So it’s not the end, it’s the beginning. It's the beginning of a new swim fitness journey for you, and it was pretty remarkable to see that social interaction and just relationships forming between athletes, coaches, coaches of other coaches. It’s just a tremendous weekend. Andrew: Jo, you mentioned a little earlier how important the prep work homework is as a part of this process, and getting that muscle memory down before you even show up to Pool School. So at this point that we’re recording this, we’ve had 30‑ish coaches at the first one, then we had 30‑ish athletes at the second one here in Dallas. From those 60‑ish athletes, could you tell who had done their homework ahead of time and who really maybe skimped on that a little bit? Joanna: Oh, I can always tell. I mean you’re going to ask the mother of three teenage sons who’s lying and who’s not. That’s going to be an easy one for me. I’m just poking fun, but yeah, we could tell. That muscle memory takes a lot of repetitions, and it has to be accurate. The movement has to be accurate. We could tell if some people were not as good at it, or doing it for the first time. There’s definitely signs that they had not done the prep‑work at home, and I cannot emphasize how important that prep‑work was to start that learning, start the process, start the muscle memory. I like when Jeff was talking about the emphasis on feeling that sense of balance and body position on the dry land, or in some of the prep work that starts you to have that sense of balance and that sense of body position before you come in person. So from the moment you register, you begin to develop that muscle memory that is absolutely needed for the Functional Freestyle. The work towards swimming easier, faster, begins way before the in‑person workshop, and it makes your learning at the workshop super easy. So it is definitely a program, a process. It’s not a two‑day event. It is a program that starts way before your in‑person workshop and continues as long as you’re working on that stroke. Andrew: So the system is in place. There are coaches now nationwide that are ready to teach this. TriDot Pool Schools are already popping up around the country. What does a Pool School weekend look like for the athlete? There’s a time investment, there’s a monetary investment to attend these. So for the athletes that are coming, what do we get out of it? Joanna: Well, we’ve already talked about we’re witnessing faster times. But it’s not just the faster times. What I heard over and over again at Pool School and from athletes and coaches when they got back home was that it was faster times with less effort, feeling less spent when they did an assessment. The other thing I’ve heard a couple athletes tell me is less anxiety – which anxiety is a huge part of swimming for a lot of triathletes – and more enjoyment. Some of the testimonies from TriDot Pool School alumni – we call them TPS alumni – are, “I’m looking forward to my next swim session!” or, “I’m so excited for my next swim assessment,” said NO ONE EVER. No one has ever said that in all my years of coaching. But I’ve actually had a number of athletes or coaches who attended Pool School say, “Oh, I cannot wait until my next swim assessment so I can see how well I’ve done!”, then for them to report back and say, “I just cannot believe that happened.” So what they’re getting out of it is some pretty remarkable results. And the one thing I saw – as a mom as I’m watching kids, but these were athletes coming out of the water – was a new sense of confidence. They all left more confident in themselves, and that’s such a wonderful thing to see. I coached a kids’ team in Houston for Jeff for a number of years, and that was one of my favorite things, was to watch them have those “Ah ha!” moments and believe in themselves. I’m seeing that coming out of Pool School, is a new sense of confidence for these swimmers. Jeff: You asked what do we get out of it. The first answer is, faster and happier triathletes. That’s pretty cool. But I also hope – and one of our strategic missions with this initiative as I mentioned up front – is to have more triathletes. We all know people that run and cycle and love fitness and love challenge and love working hard. Now I want to provide a path for them that’s reliable. If they invest the time and are willing to do the work, they can swim and they can enjoy it, and they can do well and perform and get that satisfaction. So to get out of it faster, happier triathletes, and more triathletes. Andrew: So if an athlete signs up, they do their Pool School homework beforehand, they work hard in the pool when they arrive, and really focus and try to get the steps down, what type of improvement do you expect athletes to experience from going through TriDot Pool School? Jeff: I’ll say that the result and expectations are very consistent, very in line with what we saw the very first time me and Joanna and John met: about 10 seconds per 100m. They were faster swimmers. This last one just last weekend had an average of 13 seconds per 100m, which is about 11%. So some of the swimmers that were a little over 2 minutes per 100, they took 30‑plus seconds off, 40 seconds off. We had fast swimmers that were 58 seconds or sub-1:00, who went 0:58 to 0:54, or 1:08 to 0:53. So across the board really, really good results. And it’s not just on the 100m. That’s a proportional difference from all of their workouts. Like Joanna mentioned, the next seven, eight workouts she did at all different intensity levels, is about 10 seconds for her. And she’s about 1:20-ish. Jo, is that right, your threshold pace? Joanna: Yeah. Jeff: So to see that kind of a difference across the board from over two minutes down to sub‑one minute, we are very, very satisfied with that, and happy that it’s consistent and universally experienced. Joanna: They’re also going home with a new set of skills, a new learning method, which was super exciting for them. And also they left with a lot of relief that they weren’t going to be stuck in the same position and the stagnant training that they’d been doing for years, so that was pretty fun to watch. Andrew: So how do we find more information, and how do we get signed up for a Pool School hopefully coming soon near us? Joanna: Very simple, you can find more information at our website at tridotpoolschool.com. This is also where you will register for upcoming workshops and your program. It is also the place where you would complete all your interactive prep work. We are also on Instagram @TriDotPoolSchool. Anyone can feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram, and I would love to chat with anyone who is interested. That’s @coachjotridot, or email me at joanna.nami@tridot.com. Andrew: To wrap up our main set here and land the plane on TriDot Pool School, I want to hear reflections from both of you as coaches. I know you both spent literally hundreds of hours on a pool deck coaching athletes on their swim with just your time in the sport, your passion about your athletes improving and succeeding. In my time working for TriDot I’ve seen our coaches work on several different exciting initiatives, but I’ve never seen you both and John really sink your teeth into a project with such excitement and such ferocity as TriDot Pool School. I mean, seeing athletes improve in their swim clearly means a lot to you both. What is it like to really start seeing it click or come together for an athlete in the water? Jeff: It’s incredibly gratifying, just the sense of accomplishment in our team and the investment to see that. The athlete’s face, the smile, the elation, the frustration go away, the confidence, all of that is incredible. Especially here more recently with all of the coaches – the dedication, the number of times they’ve come and stood on deck and worked together, and the investment that they’re making now to be able to adopt the system and replicate that and bring it to different locations all over the country. Knowing the amount of work that went into it for so many different people, it’s just extremely gratifying. It’s that sense of, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to get that feedback and to really change someone’s experience in the pool from here forward. I want people to say swimming is just like riding a bike. You learn it, it’s just like riding a bike. You get in the water and you have that confidence, that comfort, and you can just pick it back up again for the rest of your life. It think that is super cool. Andrew: As fun and exciting as it is seeing the immediate improvement at a weekend like Pool School, I’m probably most excited to see, once races start coming back around in the spring and people have had a whole off season, a whole preseason, a couple months under their belt to really work on and further master these motions in the water, I’m excited to see people reporting what their race times are, and really just seeing it all pay off there. Jeff: Well, Joanna’s already come out of the water first a couple times in local sprints, and had some pretty good gains Joanna: I was about to say, no pressure at Kona on me. Andrew: So Jo, for you, what is it like when you see athletes in the water just really have it start making a difference? Joanna: It was a lot of emotions. It was relief. Honestly, it’s been frustrating over the years to work hard with an athlete, and see the athlete’s frustration and almost defeat when it comes to swimming. And I’m going to repeat: in my entire long coaching career and my journey in tri myself, I’ve witnessed tons of changes and developments over the years in the sport, but I’ve not seen these type of incredible results across the board from a new method. I’ve not, and it’s been jaw‑dropping. It’s been beyond rewarding to see them. I’m very thankful to Jeff for all the years of study and being a student of swimming, and really developing this method. And I mean, the athletes witnessed it – I was literally jumping for joy, jumping up and down on the deck when I would see them have those “Ah ha!” moments, when I would see it click for them, and they would nail the body position, or they would nail the hand entry. It was amazing. It’s what Jeff said, their expression was priceless. To have adults have those moments where they’re believing in themselves, knowing that they have the ability to do this, that they just needed the right instruction. They needed the right program, and it was all going to come together for them, and that they were going to continue on this path to being better swimmers. This was the first time I really got to see that with adult athletes, and them having those moments, seeing the results, believing in themselves, it was a beautiful thing. Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down. Andrew: While I was at TriDot pool school, I pulled a few athletes to the side to get their thoughts on the experience. A big thanks to Susan Oyler, Michellie Jones, Chad Rolfs, Billy Turner, Troy Willis, Brady Hoover, and Laura Rachita for taking a few minutes out of the pool to be on camera. So for our cooldown today, here is a mashup of sorts with some of the chlorine-inspired nuggets those athletes shared after attending TriDot Pool School. “I’m Susan Oyler, I’m from Houston, Texas. I would say that I am still learning, but I’m competent. I can get through an Ironman swim, but would definitely like to improve.” “My name’s Chad Rolfs, and I’m a collegiate-level swimmer.” “I’m Brady Hoover. I came down here from Boston, Massachusetts. I would say I’m a fairly confident swimmer, usually pretty quick.” “Billy Foster, from Sedalia, Missouri, and I would say I’m an okay swimmer.” “I am Troy Willis, from here in Fort Worth, Texas. My ability as a swimmer, I’m a very comfortable person in the water. Maybe not necessarily the fastest though” “Hi, I’m Laura Rachita, from Friendswood, Texas, and I would categorize myself as an upper beginner swimmer. I haven’t had any formal training.” “Hi, I am Michellie Jones, Olympic silver medalist, Ironman World Champion, Xterra World Champion. But I didn’t come from a swim background. When I first started racing triathlon, I actually was dead last out of the water. Now over the years I’ve definitely improved.” “I came to a Pool School because I knew I needed to work in several areas, and I wanted to get some direct coaching on how to do those things.” “I know that even as a good swimmer there’s always something to learn. The past week has really been eye opening.” “You have those ‘Ah ha!’ moments every time you do a drill, you do the dry land, you get in the water, all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Ah, okay! Now I get that feel!’” “I mean, it just sounded like a really great opportunity to continue learning about swimming and becoming better at it.” “This has been an amazing weekend. The encouragement and the camaraderie with other athletes has been awesome. The coaches have definitely met us where we’re at. I really like the step-by-step approach, starting from square one.” “I think it’s a fantastic experience. It doesn’t matter what level you are. The experience here at TriDot Pool School, you’ll walk away with a lot, I assure you.” “The teaching, the breakdown, the community, and the times in the pool laughing and working on our technique, it’s been a great experience.” “The same way that you trust TriDot and trust the process, it was the same thing with Pool School. It’s just trusting that all these different puzzle pieces would come together.” “So far I’ve loved it. It’s really breaking down the stroke to everything that’s happening above the water, which I feel that’s where my weakness is, is where my hand is entering, getting that full extension which I wasn’t doing before.” “More of the stroke piece coming out and some of the rotation. I was over-rotating, so kind of fix some of those things, getting everything working in the right way. A lot of things to go back and work on, but a lot of improvements over the last few days.” “It’s made me think about the stroke broken down into segments, to where I can pause and analyze my form to improve the technique.” “I feel more confident in the water. I feel like I’m improving, and I know that the more I continue practicing, doing the dry-land stuff and then incorporating all the drills that we’ve done this weekend, I’ll continue to get better.” “Definitely I’ve picked up some bad habits over the years, so it’s nice to revisit and have eyes on, and then resetting it during the dry‑land stuff, so you’re resetting it in a functional way, and then you get in the pool and you get to practice that.” “So honestly, I was very uncomfortable swimming on my side, on my left side. I would only breathe on my right forever. So that is something I’ve noticed right away is my balance is much, much better.” “It actually feels like you make a step back initially, because some of the things you’re unlearning, and then it kind of starts to click, and I can already feel more pull and speed in the water.” “I would highly recommend coming to Pool School. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been swimming for years.” “I’d say if you want to improve your swim, definitely come to Pool School and get the coaching you need, development, and help you go further.” “It’s a must. Usually I’m in the top 3% coming out of the water, and I’m still learning stuff that is only going to improve my swim. Swimming’s one of those things that there’s always work to be done.” “Whether you’re a new swimmer or even someone who feels very comfortable in the water, I do believe you’ll see a benefit out of this, no doubt.” “The first thing I would say to athletes who are considering Pool School, don’t think, just do. Sign up, it’s so well worth it. You’ll get so much out of it.” “Do it. Just do it. Don’t worry about where you are right now, but just that you will improve for sure, and it’s really been exciting to see everybody’s reaction after the first day, and then today there’s a whole bunch of new energy.” Andrew: Well that’s it for today, folks! I want to thank TriDot CEO Jeff Booher and coach Joanna Nami for introducing us to TriDot Pool School. Thanks to DeltaG and Precision Fuel & Hydration for partnering with us on the show today. Head to DeltaGketones.com and use the code TRIDOT20 to get 20% off your super fuel ketone drinks. I’m telling you, try the coffee booster. It is legit amazing. Also legit amazing is the Fuel Planner tool at PrecisionHydration.com. Check it out! Find out how much fuel you should be taking in, and use code TRI10 for a discount on your order with them. We’ll do it all again soon. Until then, happy training! Outro: Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today! TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.
Co-Hosts: Jeff Booher
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