Workout: Twelve Days of Christmas

Swim

Words of the original song (click to expand)

The following swim practice is written for our middle school girls team at The Ellis School. It hasn’t been tested in the water, just yet.

Throw-back, traditional, holiday style includes the repeats

In the traditional song, every preceding line gets repeated with each new verse and a new line is added. The same is to occur with this version of the workout.

On the first day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  1. One no-breath flip turn.

On the second day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the third day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking)
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Eleven lengths of backstroke.
  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my swim coach gave to me:

  • Twelve 100-yard I.M.s. **
  • Eleven lengths of backstroke.
  • Ten med-ball trunk-twists.
  • Nine underwater fly kicks after a dive.
  • Eight descending 25s.
  • Seven strokes of partner-pulling        (or kicking).
  • Six various stroke drills. *
  • Five seconds rest.
  • Four pool-side press-ups.
  • Three fist-pumps of emotion.
  • Two two-hand touches.
  • One no-breath flip turn.

Summary

Insights on the last day

** On the final day, coach can modify the 100-yard IMs to be “X-yard IMs” where X-yard could equal 100-yard IMs, or, 200-yard IMs, or even 400-yard IMs. Even 50-yard IMs and 25-yard IMs are possible depending upon the time and workout desires. So, with 12 x 25-yard IMs the total distance is 300-yards.  With 12 x 400-yard IMs the total distance for the Twelfth day is 5,200 yards.

Insights on the sixth day

* The sixth day has six various stoke drills. This set gets to be revisited seven different times, and can be tagged, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f. and 6g.

Suggestions and option follow, but coaches can be creative in their various forms of stroke drills.

6a, part of Sixth day

First time through introduce six stroke drills for freestyle. Do a different stroke drill each length for a total of 150-yards.

  1. Catch-up
  2. Fist-hands
  3. Breathing pattern 3
  4. Head up
  5. Zig-zag 5
  6. Extra-hard flutter kicking.
6b, part of Seventh day

On the second time, do three stoke drills in one length. So, one-third of the length is done with catch-up stroke drill, middle-third of the length with fists drill, and last third in a breathing every 3rd arm recovery drill. Likewise, length, put in the next three drills with each drill fitting within one-third of a length. The total distance shrinks to 50-yards. But, the brain-power and use of the drills is maintained.

6C, Part of eighth day

The next sixth day, do three stroke drills all in unison and at the same time for one length. The the next length do three other stroke drills, all at the same time. It is a combo drill. First length is catch-up and fists and breathing every 3rd recover. Second length is head-up and zig-zag 5 and with extra hard flutter kicking.

6D, part of Ninth day

Introduce five different stroke drills for butterfly. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6E, part of tenth day

Introduce five different stroke drills for backstroke. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6F, part of Eleventh day

Introduce five different stroke drills for breastroke. Do one each length. Then on the sixth length, try to do all of the five prior stroke drills at the same time.

6G, part of last day

On the last day, go “choice.” Swimmers get to pick their own strokes and stroke drills.

Overall

  • Whole set delivers 550 yards of backstroke on day 11.
  • Total of 30 med ball truck twists.
  • 4 x 9 dives with underwater fly kicking (Bob Gillett style)
  • 5 sets of 8 x 25 descending = 1,000 yards
  • 36 press ups
  • 12 flip turns without breathing

Let us know what you changed and how it turned out.


Other holiday examples of note

Click to see full sized image.

chutes & ladders practice

Chutes & Ladders on a white board, played with big, blow-up dice.

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