Morning Swim Show, Nov. 14: Andy Deichert on Paul Powers’ Potential


PHOENIX, Arizona, November 14. ANDY Deichert joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about his star pupil, Paul Powers, and coaching at Splash Aquatic Club in Georgia.

Deichert discusses his philosophy of allowing his swimmers to have fun with the sport, as well as mixing up the training styles to mix up the diversity. In talking about Powers' quick rise to fast swimming, including a 20.23 in the 50-yard freestyle and 43.9 in the 100-yard freestyle recently, Deichert discusses the beginnings of fixing his stroke, which was not proportionate to his growing stature and segues into Powers' different training regimens in the pool and in the weight room. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Morning Swim Show Transcripts
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Tiffany Elias: This is the Morning Swim Show for Wednesday, November, 14th, 2012. I am your host Tiffany Elias. Our guest in the FINIS Monitor is Andy Deichert, Coach of Splash Aquatics Club in Gainesville, Georgia. We are interested to learn more about his training philosophies as well discuss one of his swimmers who is currently one of the top ranks 16-year-old sprinters in the country. Joining us from Gainesville Georgia, Andy, welcome to the show.

Andy Deichert: Thank you very much. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here.

Tiffany: Great, well, we are glad to have you. So out there in Georgia, how is the weather on the East Coast?

Andy: Well, it is a little on the cool side for my taste, but the fall colors are just so beautiful that it more than makes up for it in that way very panoramic views on the drive to work and such things.

Tiffany: Well out here on the West Coast we are hearing nothing but storms. Hurricane Sandy coming through and is it not hitting your area in Georgia as much as the other areas surrounding you?

Andy: Well you know New York got quite hammered about a week ago and actually my wife's father had his basement flooded like 7 feet with water and other relatives with similar devastating situations so honestly were are kind of going through the same sorts of things over here.

Tiffany: Wow, well glad, you guys are okay. Moving on, so we really took notice of one of your swimmers not too long ago, Paul Powers in his 50 freestyle. I want to come back and talk about him in just a little bit but first off why don't you discuss your relationship with Splash Aquatics Club and the different groups that you are training out there?

Andy: Well yeah, so I work with a different diversity of groups and I tried to make the sport fun first and you know while still hitting the certain scientific principles that you know you need to do in order for the swimmers to learn the various strokes and to have the strength to do the strokes. I also liked to make it fun and insert games sometimes. Sometimes do things on land to supplement the training in the water to get the same sort of cardio benefits, but to do it in a different way. Doing it in a way that it will be fun and coordination building and mentally challenging and things like.

Tiffany: I think that is a great way to keep the swimmers engaged so do you mix that with high volume swimming or because you have those philosophies do you gear more towards quality over quantity with your middle age high school level athletes?

Andy: Well like in the case in Paul and Ty, for example and Ty being Paul's younger brother who is also you know quite you know a magnificent swimmer in his own right. They grew very tall, very early so they had the very ectomorphic long, tall statures and you know when I first moved here 2-1/2 years ago and saw their butterfly I mean not to be insulting, but it was appalling and it wasn't that they didn't understand the coordination of it but because they were so elongated and stretched out that they just didn't have the shoulder strength to handle it. So I had to you know give them the sort of training where they could be successful, but too much of it and you know may have been you know tough on their shoulders and so I kind of win about it you know from a different point of view.

Tiffany: Well since you mentioned Paul, why don't we go ahead and talk about him. So he is a 16-year old and 6'5″, 200 pounds, how this relates to training is really significant because he is so much larger than your average, 15, 16-year olds. Do you have to gear his training differently than the other swimmers in your group?

Andy: Absolutely. Paul has the ability to handle you know mid range aerobic based training sets. Paul could you know let's say a simple set like 5-100 to the 115 he would be capable of holding them all under a minute, you know quite easily you know with flip turns and they are thoughtful precision streamline undulations off every wall and he would be able you know to handle that sort of thing, but I mean his heart rate would be up and he would be angry with me for having to do a set like that, but he would do it rather easy, but you know others in the group aren't able to train the same way. The training… could you ask me the question again, please.

Tiffany: Well, you have Paul who is 16. He is so much larger than your average swimmer his age. I am wondering if his training whether it is weights, dry land swimming has to be geared different because he is so much larger than normal 14 to 16 year olds who might be well under 16.

Andy: I needed you to reel me back in and I appreciate it because I want to move on to Paul's strength coach, a gentleman named Brian Smith and he is the Head Strength Coach at Paul's High School and also he is you know the defensive coordinator and I guess I can fairly say that Paul's strength conditioning might resemble that of a defensive end and you know Paul kind of looks like one actually and you know Brian Smith and I have corresponded over the years and you know now, you know he is – I give him complete autonomy because he does such a great job and previously Paul had shoulder issues and now it is no longer the case. But Paul does explosive training, squats, power cleans. He tries you know to get bigger, stronger, faster, all the type of things. Then you are a football player or a basketball player might experience and his strength coach has his own program with his own aspirations about the amount of weight he is going to lift, sprints and precision runs, where he might be timed, vertical leaps, things where he is constantly tested for his, you know in his athletic abilities for you know well whatever the strength coach sees fit. And it is very thoughtful material, it is a material consideration towards you know the shoulder issues that any swimmer might have and it is a material that is still relating to Paul and brings out the best you know, the best in him.

Tiffany: Well this is all very interesting because the weights at a young age are very controversial issue in our sport as you know. There is a lot of debates on when is it too soon for our young swimmers to lift weights. Now Paul sounds like he is doing something very comparable to what college level swimmers are doing and his body although he looks as though he is more mature than the average 16-year old he is still very young. So do you think that it is all just circumstantial that because Paul is built this way he is a younger athlete that can handle the early on weight and heavy load of that type of training?

Andy: Yeah, I agree with that, but I also think that you know 2 or 3 years from now Paul is not going to be you know 6'5″, 200 pounds. He is probably going to be 6'6″, 7″, 225-230 you know with the same body fat and just a big strong athletic guy. You know I think that he is just you know like any kid his age I just think he is in the infancy of this development. I think that we have been very, very safe and then very, very thoughtful and his younger years and when I moved here in his earlier years like when he was you know 14 and younger we were you know just the technique of it, just learning you know how to do things and coaching from the core you know like the squats and dead lifts and cleans get a core you know getting his back strong, getting his body used up. You know exploding from 90 degrees were all you know the things that he was taught in a very, very safe you know medium with very knowledgeable and thoughtful strength coaches.

Tiffany: But I think that is one of the big difference between strength conditioning is being taught to do things the right way. So I think that is a great thing. Now the race that really put Paul on the map was his 50 freestyle, 20.23, which was a 15-16 year old state record for Georgia. Now that is a time that college teams would love to have right now. What is his mindset, his goals, what were his thoughts after that race?

Andy: You know, he was happy, you know of course because he had done a best time and on the previous day he had a mind blowing performance where he actually performed a 43.99 100 freestyle where his best time prior to that race was a 45 mid or 45 low. He basically skipped over the 44's and went down into the 43's and you know kind of pretty much blew everybody's mind and so you know today he was very happy you know to do his best time, but of course like any ambitious young athlete, you know they always aspire for more. They always want more and you know so I think that that in general Paul is happy, but he definitely it is hoping you know for a lot more and then to go a 19 very soon.

Tiffany: Great, so is his mindset on college or is he kind of jumping over that and thinking more 2016 Rio?

Andy: You know Paul, you know traditionally through his age group swimming has demonstrated that he is a long course swimmer and has the advantage of holding speed in the open water and doesn't have to be as reliant as other athletes, other quality athletes were able to regenerate their speed off the wall and so you know long course is a legitimate you know opportunity for Paul. It is certainly on the radar. It would be you know within his realm to consider that that is a possibility. You know certainly, kids centering his thighs, his stature, his athletic ability, his positive attitude. You know his ambition. I just think that the sky is the limit for the young man.

Tiffany: Well that is great. Now this question isn't specifically about Paul, but as a coach when you have talented swimmers that are still in high school, how do you keep them motivated and able to maintain where they are at all the way through college so that for example so they don't get burnt out. The shoulder injuries, when they see success so early on, how does a coach steer the swimmer to maintain that all the way through?

Andy: Well you know, I actually have an interesting story, you know for you know for political reasons you know Paul and Ty you know a year ago they had to leave you know their team, you know and in doing so you know having to become separated from teammates they were very you know depressed and we are feeling like they didn't want to swim anymore so one of the ways that I transferred that was I turned them into basketball players and Paul ended up actually making the varsity team, but then you know went down at JV which is appropriate. He was a sophomore at that time, and his younger brother actually made the JV team, but ended up not wanting to go through and play, but you know the point is that I was able to use basketball and I had some experiences as a player and as a coach as well that I was able to transfer you know some unfortunate negative energy that might come with any sport and I was able to transfer it to basketball and then still maintained their fuel for the water and we were able to still with certain body training, still be able to transfer it in the pool and it leaves them in the case of their sprint races they were able to perform well and continue to improve and continue to increase you know their rankings and so I think that you know that was a good deflection to try to keep it positive and to use a different sport and transfer that into the swimming pool.

Tiffany: So you think that if a swimmer does become discouraged maybe find a way to take your mind off the sport of the time being until you are ready to redirect that energy back into the pool?

Andy: Yes, yeah.

Tiffany: Great well, it is definitely working out there. We are excited to follow Paul and his younger brother Ty as well. Congratulations on all your success out there with him and we were glad to have you on the show.

Andy: Thank you. If you would mind I would like to give thanks to you know Sabir Muhammad, who you know brought me to Georgia and made this possible. He is kind of like beyond a swimming coach he is like this ambassador of swimming and quite a famous swimmer in his own right so I just wanted to you know give him thanks and everything and I really appreciate the opportunity to have this interview.

Tiffany: Of course, that is great. Well thank you for joining us and hopefully we will see you out on the pool back soon.

Andy: Thank you.

Tiffany: All right thanks Andy.

Andy: Bye-bye.

Tiffany: That is Andy Deichert in the FINIS Monitor, that will conclude today's Morning Swim Show, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news. I am your host Tiffany Elias. Thanks for watching.

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