Coaches Shorthand

Every coach has a different style when it comes to writing their workout up on the boards. Some terms may vary, but the list below is a great resource of standard terminology. Don’t be intimidated by a cryptic workout, if you’re not sure about a set…ask your coach!

BK: Backstroke
B-3, -4, -5: Breathe every third, fourth, or fifth stroke, respec-
BEST AVG: Best average. The goal is to swim at the highest average speed possible, achieving the lowest average time.
BR: Breaststroke
BUILD: Get faster within the designated swim. For example, 25 build means to get faster throughout the entire 25 yards. The last 5 yards should be the fastest swimming of that particular 25.
C/D: Cool-down. Active swimming at a low intensity.
DESC: Descend the times of each swim. For example, on a set
of 4 X IOOs, each 100 is faster than the previous one.
DESC 2-2-2: Descend time or go faster each two swims. For
example, on a set of 6 x IOOs, the first two are swum at a speed,
the next two are faster, and the last two are the fastest.
DIST: Distance
DPS: Distance per stroke. Work on maximizing the distance
each arm can propel the body. Count the number of strokes
per 25.
DR: Your choice of drill. Examples include catch-up, fingertip
drag, right arm, left arm, and sculling.
EASY: Swim with ease.
FAST: As fast as you can possibly swim for a given distance. Fast
speed on a 50-yard swim will be faster than fast speed on a 200-
yard swim.
FL: Butterfly
FR: Freestyle
F-TIP: Fingertip. Swim with your fingertips dragging on the
surface of the water during the recovery phase of the stroke.
GOOD EFFORT: swim with high intensity.
H-OUT: Swim with your head out of the water.
IM: Individual Medley— butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and
freestyle, in that order.
K: Kick. No arms, kick only. Can be done with or without a
kickboard. If kicking without a board, try to simulate normal
swimming body position and keep arms streamlined
LT. Left
MD: Middle distance
MOD: A moderate pace or moderate effort.
N/S: Negative split. The second half of the designated swim is
faster than the first half of the swim.
PACE: The target speed that results from testing.
PACE —:O1: Swim 1 second faster than pace. For example, if
your pace was 1:10 per 100, then you would want to swim at
1:09 per 100.
PULL: Swim with a buoy. Paddles are optional.
RD: Round. One round is one time through a set that has to be
repeated. Example: RD2 is second round or second time doing
the set.
RI: Rest interval. Some swim sets will have a designated rest inter-
val, such as (:25RI), which means a 25-second rest after each swim
RT: Right
SCULL – Front: In the prone position, your arms are stretched out in
front of you. Hands scull in a figure eight to change pitches
to propel you forward. Kick is minimal, with the head down or up.
Back: In the prone position, fingertips are pointing directly behind you. Do figure eights to propel your body forward.
SI: Some workouts will have a designated swim interval, which
includes swim time and the rest time. For example, 4 x 50s
(1:00SI) represents leaving for a 50 on every 1:00.
SKP: Swim, kick, pull. For example, 200 SKP designates swim-
ming a 200, kicking a 200, and then pulling a 200.
SP: Sprint. Swim at a higher effort and speed.
ST: Stroke. A stroke other than freestyle, either butterfly, back-
stroke, or breastroke.
STDY: Steady. Swim at an even pace.
SW: Swim any stroke.
W/U: Warm-up segment, gently increasing speeds throughout.

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