Kevin Draper

Latest posts by Kevin Draper

27/03/2019 at 11:59

With race season fast approaching I've written an article for the parents of our juniors and tristars on how to help them get ready for their first race. Looking to remind us all as parents to let our kids do their own racing. Feel free to share if you like it or find it helpful. 


Kev Draper,

Head Junior Coach

Weald Tri Club.


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07/03/2019 at 17:42

Hi, we recently had the opportunity to hire the whole pool for our (Weald) Tri Club training. Usually we have half the pool and filming is not allowed. Having the whole pool allowed us coaches to film everyone in turn and to help the swimmers identify areas to work on. It was really interesting to see the difference between what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing!! 

I particularly wanted to see how my technique held up when I pushed the pace and how quickly my recent attempts to improve my rotation went out the window!

I've had a go at putting it all into a Youtube vlog here. Please excuse my poor editing skills - I'm even more of a novice vlogger than I am a swimmer! 

Anyway since the filming I've been working hard at maintaining good form when swimming a bit quicker and have had a mini-breakthrough, finally splitting my 100s under 1:30. About 7 or 8 secs faster than this time last year.

I thought I'd say that if you ever get the chance to be filmed - however awkward you feel about seeing your faults, it's a great way to improve.


Kev Draper.

Head Junior Coach

Weald Tri Club.


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23/12/2018 at 21:12

thanks again Harry, I've been using the phrase "use your whole body" on the fist drills - really like that! 

Our tri club (Weald Tri) is taking the plunge and hiring the whole pool (instead of 2 lanes) from the new year. We're going to dedicate one lane to those wanting to learn to swim continuous front crawl or who would describe themselves as 'beginners'. We've had 11 club members sign up for the new "lane" in 2 days, these are triathletes who've never dared to join us for a club swim session previously so we've obviously touched a nerve.

I'm going to use some of your ideas about general aquatic skills and we're going to do some filming and asking them to sign up for a 6 week block. So we'll review progress and take it from there. 

I've written up some of my thoughts into an article on my website if anyone's interested. It obviously varies from swimmer to swimmer the exact reasons why swimming consistently without stopping for 30 minutes is challenging compared to say running a parkrun. 

Anyway cheers again and I'll let you know how we get on with our beginner lane. 


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14/12/2018 at 12:30

I should add that she did manage to progress to cover a mile in the river late in the summer. With frequent stops to recover her breath and it was painfully slow, but finally swimming most of the last 4 - 600m without really stopping.

But back in the pool and it's still hard work getting beyond 50m. Maybe something to do with the fact that you have to / can stop at the end of each length but she is probably the most determined person I have ever met personally. So it's not a lack of ability to push through 'pain'. Her aim is a sprint tri next year and to complete the 2 mile Serpentine swim in the summer. 

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14/12/2018 at 11:38

Thank you Harry, some really helpful feedback there. I'd been going for the little and often approach so that's interesting to hear about your idea of using two long sessions to kick start it all. Like you say you are lucky to get some good blocks of time in the pool like that! 

I definitely hadn't thought about the aquatic skills but this makes a huge amount of sense. I'm also a swim teacher / tri coach / run coach. I hadn't joined the dots to think about using some of the early stages swimming skills. I will definitely give that a go. 

On the breathing - I have kept trying to ask her to equate the level of breathing to effort that she would do on a long run - i.e. to try to settle into an easy inhale and exhale but you could well be right, trying to gasp in too much air when not actually needed leading to hyperventilation. It's very counter-intuitive to a new, slightly nervous swimmer to not breathe too hard and relax but I'm sure that's a key skill.

We've been doing sink downs and push and glide with exhalation. 

thanks again, lots to think about there. 


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14/12/2018 at 09:16

Why is it that so many strong, fit athletes find it so hard to learn to swim?

I'm in the process of writing an article about why experienced athletes who can run or bike fast and long distances can't go beyond 25, 50 or 100m without collapsing on the side of the pool completely out of breath. I've come across so many over the years who just wont even try any more or who struggle with it. I've recently been coaching an elite, record-holding ultra runner who has found the transition of learning to swim steady, continuous front crawl SO frustrating! It's taken nearly a year but we are finally getting to the point where she can do it. The 'journey' has been interesting for her and for me!

My hypothesis is that it is down to a combination of 5 or 6 factors the most significant of which are

breathing (specifically exhaling sufficiently),

anxiety due to lack of experience in the water,

sinking legs / bad body position due to runner's body composition,

stiff inflexible ankles causing unpropulsive kick

overall a sub-optimal technique causing the athlete to "fight the water"

perhaps also an "Arnie" mindset (a la Swimsmooth) which says I MUST be able to do this!

The article is coming together - I'll link it when completed but I'd be interested if any of you have experienced this as an athlete or a coach and what you think causes it. 


Kev Draper. 

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13/12/2018 at 12:43

he's the one with the goggles on the forehead! 

I see they've got it on sale at amazon


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13/12/2018 at 12:41

we've used the zone 3 childrens suit with my skinny 10 year old boy for training and races last year. the cuffs and ankle area is really stretchy so you could go a size down to get the fit across the chest and pull up. we've found the fit to be pretty good although it is still a little loose across the chest.


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Discussions started by Kevin Draper

Helping your child prepare for a triathlon

An article looking at how best to help your child in their first triathlon, duathlon or aquathlon races. 

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Last Post: 27/03/2019 at 11:59

Swim Video Analysis

How seeing yourself swim on film can help you improve.  

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Last Post: 07/03/2019 at 17:42

Issues that limit progress in F/C for runners / cyclists

Why is it that so many strong, fit athletes find it so hard to learn to swim? 

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Last Post: 23/03/2019 at 12:53