Coaching Tips from Bill Furniss

Tips from taking T1/T2 Nova with Bill Furniss during Senior Club Coach Level III training

550m Warm Up (Drill ike and aerobic)

Repeats 100ms on 2:00 or 1:30 pb15

x3 of






100m easy in between

Motivation: they need to want it (Belief)


Improvement of competitive performance

Planned and coordinated programme of preparing and competition (orderly)

Player preparation and performance










Share Knowledge




Data Collection







Arena 2

Nic Piper – lead coach

Lee Hammond – pre pool warm up [Shiverers, Level I & II)

Jonathan Vernon – skills recorder

Dan – Team Manager

+ Sarah

See Head Coach Notes

Poolside team kit

Not mobile devices – support your team

Warm UP

Set them up to ensure no gaps

Self-directed to complete in 10 mins, then practice divess.

Split 50/50 with a large team (15/12)

Also outside lanes 1 & 8

Had hoped for 2nd or 3rd place but won

Impressed by:

Quality of dive and transition

Quality of stroke/body position



Taking my Level I & Level II Assistant Swim Coaching Certificates by RPL

I ought to have completed my Level III Coaching Certificate with the Institute of Swimming by 2011 or 2012 … but life got in the way.  I had successfully completed 10/11 of the modules and only had to organise a poolside assessment. However, I took a job at the Open University and was working away from home for a year. I tried to find a club, but that would have meant spending weekends away from home not just through the week. When I came home I struggled to get a coaching slot with my club and by then my son needed taking to football coaching and games instead- so I stepped back from swimming for a further year.

Here we are six years later and I am poolside and making myself available. I have kept up the teaching, and for the last year 1 3/4 hours coaching with our ‘Training Groups’ and 2 hours with Masters.

Having done these 10/11 modules the IoS will let me submit evidence of my coaching experience, practice and understanding. It works thus:

Level II Coaching

Being in contact with our Club Manager and Head Coach I hope to be able to find the time poolside. I have offered to go to early morning sessions, and to work any evening through til 9.00pm. I have a day job and live 30 mins from the pools so don’t want to be staying out later.

The issue will be working alongside my fellow coaches who already take county, regional and national squads, and our Youth I and Youth II Training Groups.



Phase Activity Target TRT/Rest Dist: Dur: Total
W/U 3 x 200m  (all slow and easy) as:

1 x 200m FC as 1 x 50m Kick, 1 x 150m Swim (rest after 200m)

1 x 200m BC as 1 x 50m Kick, 1 x 150m Swim (rest after 200m)

1 x 200m BR ‘Extended Glide’ drill.

15” after each 200m 600 14 14
MAIN 4 x 75 @ FC 1:05 1:30 300 /900 6 20
EASY: 1 x 100m FC ‘Zip it Up’ Drill 100/1000 2 22
4 x 75m @ BC 1:10 1:45 300 /1300 7 29
EASY: 1 x 100m BC ‘Slomo’ Drill 200/1500 3 32
4 x 75m @ BR 1:15 2:00 300/1800 7 36
EASY: 1 x 100m BR ‘Extended Glide’ Drill 100/1900 3 39
4 x 25m @ FLY 0:25 1:00 100/2000 4 43
Old English Backstroke to the Deep End 2 45
Block start to 12.5m, Turn from 12.5m to wall and back, Finish.


200/2200 15 60
S/D 100/200m easy if time available 2400m 200/2400m 60+


Having taken over 20 mins to complete a 14 minute warm up the swimmers were behind. Somehow they clawed it back over the next 20 minutes and completed the entire set.


Masters Thurs 23 NOV 2017 A (COMPETITIVE)  

These swimmers can take a punishing schedule and are highly competitive. They will swim a set based on the National Squad, with a little more time for turn arounds and sometimes fewer repetitions.

Phase Activity TRT/Rest Dist: Dur: Total
W/U 1 x 200m FC

1 x 200m IM Kick (50 FLY, 50 BC, 50 BR, 50 FC)

Continual swim 400 10 12
MAIN Race Pace Set 1

18 x 50m through IM order @ 200m IM pace

6 x 50m Fly to BC

6 x 50m BC to BR

6 x 50m BR to FC

1 min rest after 6 x 50 12  x 50m
900 20 32

400m FC as 4 x (50m with pull-buoy as (25m FC kick, 25m FC arms only) + 50m FC)

Slow easy swimming just above 1500m pace, do not rush or race this.

05:00 400 8 40
Race Pace Set 2

24 x 25m @ 100m pace

Additional 1 mns rest after 8 and 16

0:30 600 14 54+
S/D 1 x 300m CH Easy 02:30 300 6 60
TOTAL 2600m


Only one swimmer to begin with, the second joining during the first Race Pace Set. I was asked about lactate production and didn’t have an answer. Up to Race Pace Set 2 the sets had gone like clockwork, to the upper limit of the margin I had given. They took an additional breather of 2 mins+ before this and took a longer rest at the 8 and 16 mark giving themselves only 2 mins for a swim down. One swimmer did all of the RPS2 as Fly, the other with a mix of strokes. One swimmer completed the swim down in the public lane.



Phase Activity TRT/Rest Dist: RunT Dur: Total
W/U 3 x 100m  as:
1 x 100m BC, 1 x 100m FC, 1 x 100m CH 3:00 300 300 9 9
Long strong counts per length.
MAIN 6 x 75 @ 400m FC pace over 75m = 80% Effort (?) 2:30 450 750 18 27
Recovery 200m CH (mix of strokes if preferred) 6:00 200 950 6 23
6 x 100m as:
2 x 100m as FC 3:00 200 1150 6 29
2 x 100m as BC 3:00 200 1350 6 35
2 x 100m as CH 3:00 200 1550 6 41
Recovery 200m FC as:
1 x 25m FC kick on side, 50m breathe every 5th, 25m FC any high elbow drill such as ‘Zip it Up/Fingers Trailing’. 6:00 200 1750 6 47
4 x 25 CH Sprint 1:15 100 1850 5 52
S/D 200m CH Easy, long, smooth, silent swimming 6:00 200 2050 6 58+

Too ambitious. Needs to be some 250m less. Rest times were right, the volumes not.



Phase Activity TRT/Rest Dist: RunT Dur: Total
W/U 3 x 100m  as:
1 x 100m BC, 1 x 100m FC, 1 x 100m IM 2:30 300 300 8 8
Long strong counts per length. Think long push and glide in tight streamline on every turn.
MAIN 6 x 75 @ 400m FC pace over 75m = 80% Effort (?)

Check targets and monitor pace through set.

2:00 450 750 12 20
Recovery 200m Reverse IM Emphasis on Distance achieved Per Stroke taken (DPS) 5:00 200 950 5 25
6 x 100m IM (working on U/W skills) as:
2 x 100m as 50m Fly followed by 50m BC 2:45 200 1150 5:30 31
2 x 100m as 50m BC followed by 50m BR 2:45 200 1350 5:30 37
2 x 100m as 50m BR followed by 50m FC 2:45 200 1550 5:30 42
Recovery 200m FC as:
x2 (1 x 25m FC kick on side, 50m breathe every 5th, 25m FC any high elbow drill such as ‘Zip it Up/Fingers Trailing’). 5:00 200 1750 5 47
8 x 25 CH Sprint 1:00 200 1950 8 55
S/D 200m CH Easy, long, smooth, silent swimming 5:00 200 2150 5 60+

As a fitness group they prefer a choice CH of strokes, less FLY and IM and potentially longer rest. They worked their way through this but were short by some 200m so only 4 x 25 sprints and the Swim Down was compromised to 100m. Next time aim to keep the total distance below 2000m.