Sample Sets: How Teenager Kaii Winkler Developed Into Surging Freestyle Standout and NAG Record-Holder

Kaii Winkler

Sample Sets: How Teenager Kaii Winkler Developed Into Surging Freestyle Standout

During a period in which several teenage standouts have emerged in men’s swimming, Kaii Winkler has established himself as a future star in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. In addition to winning titles at the Florida 1A Championships, Winkler excelled at the Winter Junior Nationals-East, where he set a National Age Group (NAG) record in the 15-16 classification in the 100-yard freestyle. In that event, Winkler clocked a time of 42.21.

Winkler is coached by Adam Madarassy, a Hungarian 2008 Olympian and conference champion/team captain at the University of Louisville. “I could not be prouder of Kaii,” Madarassy said. “He has a great work ethic, a positive mindset and attitude, and he works very hard to get better and get closer to his goals. He is a big competitor and always wants to win, which drives him closer to his potential.

“Kaii is very athletic and has a great technique, which is our primary focus at Eagle Aquatics. We also put significant emphasis on developing a solid endurance base.”


Two of Coach Madarassy’s favorite recurring sets that Winkler does are the “Long IM Set” (from Hungary) and the “High School Order Set” (from U of L):

Long IM Set

6x {4 x 100 + 400)
• Round 1: 4 x 100 fly + 400 IM
• Round 2: 4 x 100 free + 400 free
• Round 3: 4 x 100 back + 400 IM
• Round 4: 4 x 100 free + 400 free
• Round 5: 4 x 100 breast + 400 IM
• Round 6: 4 x 100 free + 400 free

High School Order Set

“This set follows the high school event schedule, a total of 2,150 yards,” said Madarassy. “Eagle swimmers have to do the entire program, straight through, as quickly as possible. They must get out and dive as a part of each event—relay legs as well. We record the results to measure progressions over time.”

“On VO2 days, I like Kaii to do 75s. We work on freestyle technique, then do a set of 8-12 x 75 all-out on a two- to two-and-a-half-minute interval—all free. We follow that with an easy swim and work on another stroke (often a specialty stroke other than freestyle). Then we swim another round of 8-12 x 75 all-out with that stroke. In early February, his hold times for the free in the 75s were :38+; for the 8 x 75s back, Winkler held :42s.

“It’s been such a pleasure working with Kaii watching him grow in and out of the water, both as a swimmer and a person! He has a bright future, and I cannot wait to see what he does in the days ahead.”

Michael J. Stott is an ASCA Level 5 coach, golf and swimming writer. His critically acclaimed coming-of-age golf novel, “Too Much Loft,” was published in June 2021, and is available from, Amazon, B&N and book distributors worldwide.