How They Train Nicco Velasquez – Sponsored by TritonWear

Photo Courtesy: Nicco Velasquez

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Coach Brendan Hansen and 15-year-old Austin Swim Club athlete Nicco Velasquez share the common traits of swimming excellence and a capacity for reinvention. Hansen has morphed remarkably well from outstanding athlete to excellent coach. Velasquez has rebuilt a body badly battered from a skiing accident as a 13-year-old to a swimmer on the rise.

In March 2016, Velasquez was hospitalized for an extended period. He had numerous broken bones in his back, pelvis, ribs and a bruised lung. His future as a recovering young man, much less as a swimmer, was in doubt. Miraculously, he made a full recovery in a little more than three months returning to the water and swimming with a new perspective and vigor.

Says Hansen,

“With his late start to training for the 2015 long course summer, I adjusted expectations and continued to focus on making sure he stayed mentally positive and focused on long-term development. However, every time we competed, he got faster and stronger, ending with a great summer championship and some spectacular time results. Even better was his overall understanding of the training process and essentials of racing.

“As we turned into the next season, Nicco stepped into a leadership role in our pre-national program, demonstrating a great work ethic and dedication. One of the most common test sets we run through is 30×100 best average (10 on 1:30, 10 on 1:20, 10 on 1:40). The first time we did the set in September 2016, Nicco was 1:02, 1:05, 1:02. Two months later, he tested at 1:02, 1:04, 1:00. The last time through—just before he moved to our national group in March 2017—he swam 59, 1:02, 58.

“Nicco has a perspective and understanding of hard work that few 15-year-olds possess,” says Hansen. “Since his accident, beyond his time improvements, Nicco has been one of the hardest working and coachable athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching. I am excited to see what the future holds for him in the water and out!”

Progression of Times

SCYAs of March 2015 (Joins ASC)2016 LC - 2017 SCY2017 LC - 2018 SCYLCAs of March 2015 (Joins ASC)2016 LC - 2017 SCY2017 LC - 2018 SCY
50 Free
23.6623.0623.0229.1426.3426.22
100 Free51.2048.7848.161:03.3157.2354.96
200 Free---1:46.571:42.192:20.292:02.771:59.32
500/400 Free---4:53.844:54.70------4:15.32
100 Back1:05.671:00.9558.831:16.47---1:08.74
100 Breast1:09.981:06.461:00.261:28.641:21.13---
100 Fly59.3854.9454.871:13.641:06.631:02.36
200 IM2:14.392:05.272:02.13------2:14.91

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This article originally ran in the February 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine.

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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