Rattler JO Group – Sprint 50 Set

The main set of this practice is a set I do roughly every two weeks or so and it is a teaching tool for my 12 and unders. I use the main set to teach how to train with intensity using their own 50 free times. The entire practice is geared around the idea of concentrating on the details of the swim.


5×100 @ 1:40 straight arm catch up/straight arm free by 25 w/ “dolphin screws” off of each wall
***”Dolphin screws” are where I ask the kids to dolphin kick as they barrel roll off of each wall

5×100 @ 2:00 Reverse IM choice drill

10×50 “Auburn 50’s” @ 1:20
***Got this from one of our swimmers who swam at Auburn. We modify it for the 12 & unders, but it basically is where the kids push off and sprint two strokes and flip to sprint back to the wall, flip at the wall and sprint to halfway, all without a breath. Once they get to halfway, they can swim easy and breath all they want to finish the 25.

2 rounds of the following:
4×75 @ 1:20 w/ snorkel
25-hands front free kick — 25-12 kick switch w/ straight arm recovery — 25-3 point drill (drill that works timing of breath)
4×25 @ :45, 3/2/1/0 breaths by 25

1×300 @ 6:00, 150 closed fist/150 “finger drills”, breathing every 3rd
25-pointer finger out — 25-pinky out — 25-hook ‘em horns — 25-“I love you” in sign language 25-closed fist — 25-open hand

Main Set
20×50 @ 1:30 w/ fins
4-Sprint, 1-EZ
***Goal of the set is to go 1-2 seconds FASTER then fastest 50 free time on every sprint 50.

10×50 @ :10 second rest, “add gear” EZ
***After each 50, swimmers add another piece from their gear bag to swim down with. By the end, they need to have every piece of equipment including their gear bags on their person.


This workout was provided by Rattler Swim Club Head Age Group Coach Adrian Dinis.

Additional Comments:
The main set is a great way to teach younger, more inexperienced swimmers how to train with a goal in mind, to swim with intensity. I am constantly talking to my swimmers during the rest periods on the main set to tighten streamlines, minimize breathing throughout the 50, not breathing flags to wall on their finish, push themselves for those slipping from their 50 time.

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10 years ago

what effect this drills ?
25-hands front free kick — 25-12 kick switch w/ straight arm recovery — 25-3 point drill (drill that works timing of breath)

5 years ago

Why would you be endorsing a straight arm freestyle for young children? It is my belief that that is ineffective because of lack of size and muscle mass.. this could hurt them in the long run?

Reply to  Shakira
5 years ago

Dear Shakira – Coach Dinis hasn’t been on the platform for a while, so I’ll try to offer you my opinion looking at the workout from “the outside”. I believe your questions refers to the straight arm during the very first set of 5×100’s. Seems to be a “drill set” to warm-up – so it might very well teach the athletes how they should be doing a technical focus point of the stroke later through the workout. Obviously, straight arm freestyle is an individual preference and less taught in the “Age Group” ranks…however, there seem to be some “benefits” of… Read more »