The Future of Swimming "Myths & Science"

Brent S Rushall, PhD, RPsy

Dr Brent Rushall, PhD, RPsy is Professor Emeritus of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University. He is also a four time Olympic Team Psychologist for Canada and is a member of the Olympic Club of Canada. Dr Rushall has consulted many international sports teams and organizations, primarily in the area of performance enhancement. His articles, manuals, and assessment tools have been translated into several languages and used by many elite athletes around the world.

Brent Rushall race-pace training methodologies are used by Coach Peter Andrew to train National Age Group Record holder, and the youngest pro swimmer in U.S. history, Michael Andrew. Rushall has challenged traditional sport's training methodologies which have focused on high volume training and other questionable practices.

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A brief description of what are and are not acceptable knowledge criteria for swimming coaches is offered. Concern is expressed about the growing magnitude of belief-based coaching principles and advice which have the potential to depreciate coaching quality further. When information is limited to evidence-based research, a rich source of valid and reliable coaching knowledge is available. A sample of the implications of that knowledge is presented and covers the following topics:

  • A physiological emphasis
  • Altitude training
  • Lactate
  • Pacing
  • Whole-arm propulsion
  • Stretching/flexibility

Because of the dissonance between established opinions and the implications of data-based research, mixed reactions in the audience are expected. Also see:

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