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Need ideas to help my special needs son train for Special Olympics.

  • My son is 11. He is training with Special Olympics for the swimming competitions in October. I'm trying to help him build speed. Any workout tips to share?

  • Interval training!
    Can you tell us more about what events? If it's a 50 or 100, I would do lots of fast 25s and 50s (a 25 is typically one length of the pool) with lots of rest.

  • He's doing the 25 free and back stroke. I think he may be bumped to the 50's though. He's also doing the 100 freestyle relay. He's also said this year he wants to start training the butterfly.

  • There are a lot of places to look for speed.
    One is the start - you can work on getting off the blocks quickly. Some of it is reaction time, and also finding a way to dive out instead of down. I know some special olympics swimmers start from a push, which is also fine, but a dive is faster. You can also practice backstroke starts.

    For 25s and 50s I'd do some half-length sprints. Push off the wall and swim the first 12.5 yards really fast, then coast the rest of the way.

  • Thanks. When I bring him swim tonight, we will try what you advise.

  • How is it going?

  • Allison D said:

    How is it going?

    I think it's going good. We found a former high school completion swimmer to work with. She's great, and really good with him. He's still doing the 25m, but he's doing the freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke, plus a unified relay. At our area competition, he took 1st in all three individual and his relay team also took 1st. He has his freestyle and backstroke averaging 35 seconds and his breaststroke down to 48 seconds. He is working on his butterfly, just not his strongest. He is also learning to dive to start for his freestyle and breaststroke. In practice they do a lot of sprints and swimming with drag. He is really having fun. He told her his goal is to move to the 50's next year, but he wants to do them in less than a minute. She said she'll work with him every week to help him get there.

  • That is awesome!

  • Sounds like your son is on the right track!

    Another place he can build speed is in the kick. A lot of swimmers, no matter the age or level, neglect their legs and end up dragging them through the water. By strengthening the legs and focusing on kick, he'll gain some speed out of his start and eventually through the turn!

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