Swimming World Presents – Special Sets: Training The Professional Athlete -Then and Now- with Coach Gregg Troy

SW February 2021 - Special Sets - Training The Professional Athlete -Then and Now- with Coach Gregg Troy
Coach Gregg Troy of the ISL's Cali Condors and the Gator Swim Club [PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK]

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Special Sets: Training The Professional Athlete -Then and Now- with Coach Gregg Troy

By Michael J. Stott

In his lengthy career, Gregg Troy has mentored athletes of all ages and abilities, which has given him a unique perspective of how to prepare post-college grads for excellence at the international level.

For 20 years (1977-97), Gregg Troy coached The Bolles School boys and girls to 25 state team titles and five of the school’s 18 mythical high school national championships (awarded by Swimming World Magazine).

He also coached at the University of Florida (1998-2015) and led the Gator women to an NCAA title (2010), served as Pan American Games head coach twice (1995 and 1999/men) and an Olympic assistant twice (1996/women and 2008/men), and was head coach of the 1992 Thailand Olympic team and the 2012 U.S. men’s Olympic squad.

Now coaching with the ISL’s Cali Condors and the Gator Swim Club as its high-performance coach, Troy admits, “There is a difference between training college athletes and the professionals. The individual differences are greater, and the planning and scope are much longer. Here we are on a two-year plan.”

Troy trained most of his present group as collegians. They are predominantly 200-and-down swimmers (race time under 2:30) with about half representing foreign nations. Familiar names (mostly male) include Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Lochte, Tom Peribonio, Nils Wich-Glasen and Joe Martinez. Ages of the athletes range from early 20s to 36 (Lochte).

WHAT’S DIFFERENT
Unlike collegians, Troy’s present group includes professionals who are slightly more specialized. That means fewer people with greater variety within the practice itself.

“While these athletes are putting as much time in the water as before, consistency of training and regular practice attendance remains extremely important,” he says. “It is worth noting the structure of that practice time is age-dependent and event-specific. Swimmers are doing less threshold work, and it is spread out more, especially when we go max volume.

“Before they may have been doing between 2,000-3,500 plus threshold; now it’s more in the 1,500-2,000 range. When we do quality, it is higher and better because the athletes are mentally more mature.
“The training is much more a cooperative effort because of the smaller group size and maturity of the athlete,” he says. That communication allows each swimmer to get precisely what he needs and is most likely quite different from his lane mates.

“We do every bit as much long swimming—generally about 85% of previous volume,” says Troy. “Group dryland is done in stations, but the bulk is accomplished with other coaches and exercise-specific trainers. In any case, I coordinate what they are doing in the water.
“Our training is focused on long course. That said, strength work is really, really important, though not so much as in short course. The swimmers have different strength coaches, so individual programs are modified. One similarity is that the athletes tend to get off weights a bit sooner, given that strength maturity comes with age,” he says.


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SW February 2012 - Emma McKeon COVER[PHOTO BY DELLY CARR, SWIMMING AUSTRALIA]

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Swimming World Magazine February 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THE PRIDE OF GIRLS’ POLO IN THE GATEWAY CITY
by Michael Randazzo
When COVID-19 lockdowns last spring stopped polo, Rob Peglar and Abby VerMeer didn’t hesitate: they focused on getting girls water polo untracked in the Gateway City. The result: the St. Louis Lions, the city’s first all-girls team.

014 ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
by Dan D’Addona
The popular motto of The Musketeers, built on supporting each other as well as the group, is just one of many reasons why the University of Texas remains among the strongest in men’s college swimming and diving.

020 READY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
by Andy Ross
Melanie Margalis is an Olympic relay gold medalist and a three-time relay champion at Worlds, but a podium finish in an individual event has eluded her on the world’s biggest stage. After ranking No. 1 in the 400 IM and No. 3 in the shorter medley for 2020, her turn to win a medal for the United States could take place this year in Tokyo.

022 PERSEVERANCE AND HARD  WORK PAY OFF
by David Rieder
After not qualifying for Australia’s Olympic team in 2012, Emma McKeon was ready to quit…but over the next several months, she had a change of heart and understood what was necessary to compete at a higher level. Since then, she has become a significant international force, a consistent podium presence and one of the world’s most impactful relay swimmers.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: TARNISHED GOLD
by John Lohn
East Germany’s Kristin Otto will long be remembered as a highly decorated athlete, and for turning in one of the greatest Olympic outings in history, winning six gold medals at the 1988 Games. But because of the links to her and performance-enhancing drugs, what she accomplished—before and in Seoul—will always be tainted.

029 WHO “SHOT” THE SWIMMERS? (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
Shortly after the 1936 Olympics in a lab in Boston, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, an electrical engineering professor at MIT, began tinkering with equipment that would change the way science explains natural phenomena—and with it, the art of aquatic sports photography—forever.

032 NUTRITION: TO BE THE BEST, YOU NEED TO EAT THE BEST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Each year really does build onto another—nutrition is an imperative part of the process, even at an early age.

COACHING

016 SELLING PROCESS TO SWIMMERS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
In 1993, psychologist Anders Ericsson wrote that greatness wasn’t born, but grown. Fifteen years later, author Malcolm Gladwell suggested that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a skill or field. Known by the term, “process,” swim coaches use that learning curve to improve the performance of their swimmers.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE FOR SPRINT AND DISTANCE (Part 2)
by Rod Havriluk
Optimal freestyle technique for sprint and distance is identical with respect to the arm motion throughout the stroke cycle, but the arm coordination is different. While a swimmer can swim a wide range of velocities with opposition coordination, a swimmer will only achieve his/her fastest velocity with superposition coordination.

040 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING THE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE—THEN AND NOW
by Michael J. Stott
In his lengthy career, Gregg Troy has mentored athletes of all ages and abilities, which has given him a unique perspective of how to prepare post-college grads for excellence at the international level.

042 Q&A WITH COACH JOE PLANE
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ANDREW IVERSON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TIME TO GET STRONG…AGAIN!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

038 GOLDMINDS: JUST GO WITH THE FLOW
by Wayne Goldsmith
How can you control—and even master—your emotions? The answer is by learning to become a more resilient swimmer. Here’s how…

046 UP & COMERS: RICHARD POPLAWSKI
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

010 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: 

ABOUT FREDERICK LANE?

047  GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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