SIP 036: 100 Point Game at Swim Practice, Success? or Failure?

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You can find the website post about this game here:


We played this game about 10 times in the last few months. I have played it with swimming lessons with more advanced abilities and with our developmental swim team. For our pre-competitive group, who have mostly been swimming on the team for more than 1 year, it was an excellent great game. I found there to be a high level of engagement, reception to improved quality and of highest importance a huge boost in peer learning. The swimmers helped each other improve using language I would use as a coach on each other. In every instance of this game, there was at least one group that would band together and help each other out.


We did a general IM Set when we played the game:


4 x 50 4 stroke Fly then Fly kick the rest / Backstroke x 25 1st 25 is 4 strokes fly swim then Fly kick the rest of the length. Second 25 is backstroke swim.
4 x 50 Backstroke / Breaststroke x 25 Back down, breast back. Work on streamlines and open turns.
4 x 50 Breaststroke / Freestyle x 25 Do underwater pullouts, long glides, 2 hand touches, and good streamlines. Turn head to the side when breathing.


We offered the following reward for winners: 5 minutes to do whatever they wanted to do at the end of practice. The winning team could choose as a group what the whole team would do for the last 5 minutes of practice: game, set, anything.


The losing teams had to do either 100 free kick or 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups.


What I liked and what I didn’t  like about it :


Good: Effective at first  engaged everyone as a group in each lane


Okay: High quality swimming faltered as the game went on


Bad: Easy to really punish people which is not good for self esteem


Bad: Can single people out


Good and Bad: Coaches are extremely subjective when dealing out point subtractions. It is really easy to arbitrarily single out swimmers and punish them.  Be careful. On the good side, it is easy to manipulate the points to make it a close game and more fun. Or to reward favorites, which can also be dangerous.


Good: Can be fun and team building


You can create great games like this when you get the book, “How to Create Fun and Effective Swim Games.”  Find that book on amazon now! <a rel=”nofollow” href=””>How to create fun and effective swim games: Invent your own swim games on the fly following this tested formula</a><img src=”″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

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