Swimming World Presents “Special Sets: Breaststroke Revisited with Quest Swimming Coach John Smithson”

Special Sets John Smithson Swimming World June 2019

Special Sets: Breaststroke Revisited
with Quest Swimming Coach John Smithson

By Michael J. Stott

John Smithson, co-head coach at Quest Swimming in Richmond, Va., has coached multiple Olympic Trials qualifiers, state record holders and state champions. Last March, two of his 14-year-old swimmers took home wins in the 100 yard breaststroke at the Virginia State Short Course Championships. Here he talks about some of the breaststroke sets that have contributed to his team’s success.

John holds an ASCA Level 4 certification and is a past Virginia senior coach of the year. In his own distinguished swimming career, he was an eight-time NCAA Division II All-American at Clarion College.

Two of Quest’s charges wrapped up the short course season by posting AAAA times and wins in the 100 yard breaststroke at the Virginia State Short Course Championships. Fourteen-year-old Josiah Yeomans clocked a 59.60 (plus a 2:12.22 to finish second in the 200 breast), while Riley Bridgman, also 14, charged home in 1:04.14.

Such success doesn’t come without technical precision, a concept Smithson emphasizes from Day One.

“In an ideal world, all breaststroke swimmers would have the benefit of specific training. However,” notes Smithson, “club coaches are often challenged to provide that specialization in groups, where the number of swimmers in the lanes requires them to move at similar speeds.

“We try to have breaststroke swimmers train in the stroke as much as possible. Where we can, we isolate breaststroke sets to separate specific stroke segments. From there, we construct or reconstruct the stroke into one cohesive movement. At Quest, we devote considerable time to underwater training, given that much of a breaststroke race is typically swum sub-surface,” says Smithson.

For full access to John Smithson’s successful freestyle training techniques and swim sets,
check out the June 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

Swimming June 2019 Cover Sarah Sjostrom

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FEATURES

016 GLOBAL WARMINGhttps://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/?p=373678&preview=true
by David Rieder, Dan D’Addona, Taylor Brien, Andy Ross, Erin Keaveny and Michael Randazzo
Expect the competition to heat up, July 12-28, as the world’s best aquatic athletes from all over the world converge on Kwangju, South Korea for the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships.

PREVIEW: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

016 WOMEN’S SWIMMING

019 MEN’S SWIMMING

024 OPEN WATER SWIMMING

025 DIVING

025 WATER POLO

027 ARTISTIC SWIMMING

028 SWEDISH SUPERSTAR
by David Rieder
Sarah Sjostrom’s swimming career has gone from teenage record-breaking dynamo to Olympic disappointment in 2012 to one of the world’s transcendent female swimmers. In Sweden, the 25-year-old is not ONE of her country’s swimming legends. She is THE legend.

031 REMEMBERING THE 1st WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – BELGRADE ’73
by Bruce Wigo
Swimming World takes a look back at the 1st FINA World Aquatics Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1973—what was behind the start of a world championship meet and the intrigue behind adding synchronized swimming to the program…and the numerous controversies that led up to the meet as well as the ones that followed.

034 NUTRITION: AROUND THE TABLE WITH MICHIGAN LAKESHORE AQUATICS
by Dan D’Addona and Dawn Weatherwax

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: DON REDDISH
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART 7—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR FREESTYLE
by Rod Havriluk
Since hand force is directly related to swimming velocity, controlling the arm motion on the push phase during freestyle has great potential for almost every swimmer. Unfortunately, it is a substantial challenge to independently push the hand backward while the torso rotates upward.

036 PLAN B: COLLEGE CLUB TEAM OPTION (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
College Club Swimming has been offering more and more athletes the opportunity to continue participating in the sport they love. In this two-part series, Swimming World explores some personal perspectives from swimmers pursuing their aquatic passion while enjoying a college experience unencumbered by the demands of a varsity athlete.

041 SPECIAL SETS: BREASTSTROKE REVISITED
by Michael J. Stott
John Smithson, co-head coach at Quest Swimming in Richmond, Va., has coached multiple Olympic Trials qualifiers, state record holders and state champions. Last March, two of his 14-year-old swimmers took home wins in the 100 yard breaststroke at the Virginia State Short Course Championships. Here he talks about some of the breaststroke sets that have contributed to his team’s success.

043 Q&A WITH COACH KEVIN ZACHER
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ASHLEY STROUSE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISE EQUIPMENT SERIES—MEDICINE BALL AND CABLE EXERCISES
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

039 GOLDMINDS: THE 5 SUPERPOWERS OF PERFORMANCE
by Wayne Goldsmith
Passion, persistence, practice, patience and peace are all within your grasp!

046 UP & COMERS: KAYLA HAN
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

033 DID YOU KNOW? USA-USSR DUAL MEETS

047 GUTTER TALK

048 PARTING SHOT

4 comments

  1. Christie Billman

    Tiffany Bender Smithson someone you know?

    • Christie Billman just for the past 30 years or so. 😉😍👍🏼

    • Christie Billman

      Tiffany Bender Smithson Lol! Make him keep up the good work!

    • Christie Billman it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it. 🤣