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.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x