PSW Podcast – Episode 3 – Andrew Sheaff – Part 2

In this Podcast series we talk to expert and longtime Coach Andrew Sheaff about the importance of skill development, what skills matter most, and the application of those skills in the competitive arena to produce fast swimming. You will also hear about his recent published book titled “A Constraints-led Approach to Swim Coaching” and how you can apply those methods in your own day-to-day coaching with your athletes.

Part 2 – The Book

In the second episode of our three part series with Coach Sheaff, we are taking a deep dive into his recent published book “A Constraints-led Approach to Swim Coaching”. We learn about Andrew’s search for a “new way” and how the coaching principles of the constraints-led approach added to and improved his tools to build better sets for effective change in skills acquisition. And we finishing this part of the discussion by starting to explain how you can take the learnings from the book and apply them in your own coaching (our final episode will go into more details as we will hear about Coach Nico’s experience working with Andrew).

Book Description

A Constraints-Led Approach to Swim Coaching applies contemporary motor skill acquisition and athlete development practices to swimming.

A Constraints-Led Approach to Swim Coaching by Andrew Sheaff

“Motor skill acquisition and athlete development practices are rapidly evolving. Positioned at the forefront of this evolution, the constraints-led approach encourages practitioners to consider the athlete as a whole person, with unique traits, abilities, and capacities. Accordingly, an athlete’s competitive success lies in the practitioner’s ability to adapt their programming to the unique needs of each athlete and to develop an understanding of the athlete-environment relationship.”

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You can listen to the episode via the audio player or switch to the video of the recording below.


00:25 Welcome
01:08 Introduction to the book
02:18 What is the “Constraints-led Approach”?
03:15 Why did Andrew decide to use the “Constraints-let Approach” in his own coaching
06:45 Basic ideas explained with tasks and related constraints
09:30 Specific examples and how to influence skills
13:00 How is the book structured and what content can coaches find inside?
17:25 How to move from the book to the pool deck and use it in your coaching?
18:55 Closing and introduction to the last part of the discussion with Andrew

Links & Resources:

Coach Andrew Sheaff (Website)
A Constraints-Led Approach to Swim Coaching (The Book)
Build Better Sets (Free 7 day Intro)

About Andrew Sheaff

Over the last 15 years, Andrew has coached collegiate swimming in the United States, helping athletes accomplish their goals of swimming faster, winning conference and national championships, setting national records, and becoming Olympians.

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