White Board and Dry-Erase Markers work wonders
The messages are clear. Get ready to race!!!! Not with one exclamation point, but four.
Coaches and swimmers have been doing test sets for decades. The memories and results and style of operations can be simple, clear, direct and functional. Results can be transcribed, later, to a spreadsheet or database. The results can be preserved in a simple cell phone photo too, of course, as posted here.
The image was touched up by the webmaster to conceal names.
Document and remember
One missing element -- what stroke the swimmers within the set. Some might have been doing free, while others were doing back, breast, fly or even 100 IMs. That data is absent. The coach and swimmers would remember that within the season.
Another practice example.
Chalkboards work too. Messy. Still gives a focus and higher level of seriousness to the activity if it gets written down and recorded. Different test set, different team, and different way to remove the kids' names, by not spelling them all out at the outset.
Test set was three 100-yard kicks for time. One was without fins. Another was with the swimmer's own fins. A third was with a different type of fin, the PDF fins (round, short, okay for breastroke). The swimmers could kick any stroke and used a kickboard.
This simple test set was also valuable as it asked the younger swimmers to remember their times upon their arrival to the wall. The times were then shouted to the coach with the chalk and written on the board in the proper place.
The swimmers were randomized before the test set so the order of the three different types of kick equipment were variables. So, only one-third of the group did the first kick without any fins, etc.
pending further development
More ideas from a FB thread from Sean Clothier6 x 100 Fr on the 6:00 from the blocks.
Goal is to hold within 5 sec of best PR on every rep. Keep them in the pool between reps until 30 seconds before so they can really marinate the lactate (aka the Mike Murray Special). Gradually build the strength of your words between reps. Ability and effort should get them through the first two. Explain to them the process of what's happening in their bodies. Talk about what they need to do to overcome it. Reference past successes, motivational phrases etc. By the last two, your talk should be full tilt hype. Keep their heads in the game when their bodies want to quit. If they can make the set, they will be different swimmers at the end of it, for the better.