3.26.2017

What's Your Magic Number? Make It and You Are Done!

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA


The Magic Number set will challenge your swimmers mentally and physically.  Here is how it works.


  • The set is 7 x 100 @ 7:00 all out from dive (or any other distance and interval that you choose). Make sure there is a sufficient enough recovery time for your athletes to really be ready to go for the next repeat.


  • Before the set write down goal times for each athlete.  Try to make them very challenging but do-able.  For our team, I set them a bit faster than lifetime best practice times, frequently within 2 seconds of actual lifetime best times.  These times are the "Magic Numbers" for each swimmer.  Achieving this time means the swimmer is done with the set.  

  • But here's the kicker -- don't let the swimmers see their Magic Numbers before the set.  Let them wonder what it might be -- this will help them race without putting a mental limit on how fast they can go!  Only after they have completed a few rounds should you show them the Magic Numbers.

  • When our team did this set, we had some athletes  make their Magic Number on #1.  They relished "just going for it" without knowing what the real goal was.  Others swam hard but weren't able to dig REALLY deep to go fast until after they find out the goal.  Some swimmers completed the set without ever meeting their Magic Number, but nearly all of them had their best-ever sets of 100s from a dive.

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