Bergen said his work with horses helped him to better understand what he needed to do as a swim coach. Watching a horse’s gait and its expressions helped him learn to read swimmers’ emotions better and how they best perform in a workout situation.
Tired eyes? Gait? It’s all in observation. My goal this summer is to look for non-verbal communication and keep focusing on doing a better job looking for fatigue. It’s not easy, since improvements in power make athletes more at a risk for CNS fatigue and overreaching/overtraining. This year I will focus on using HRV (heart rate variability) and better software export options. The risks of not doing enough is also real, so the do as little is needed is not as easy in real life. Some of the greatest swim coaches work with horses, since swimming adds an element of distance that track coaches don’t have to deal with.