Building a Nationally Impactful Swim Club
Every day at BridgeAthletic headquarters, we hear tales from organizations across sports of coaches building better programs, athletes training smarter, and teams coming together to set new records. These are stories of championships won, obstacles overcome, and goals achieved. It’s what keeps us doing what we do every day, striving to build better athletes across sports and around the world. Instead of keeping these tales of glory and greatness to ourselves, we’d like to share them with you through our #BridgeBuilt series featuring a team or athlete that has achieved great results while using the BridgeAthletic platform.
Over the past 3 years, the Saline Swim Team (SST), based out of Saline, Michigan, has undergone a major structural and philosophical overhaul. Dedicated to building a nationally impactful swim club, SST’s leaders have brought the team to the forefront of Midwestern swimming. Here’s a look at the progress they’ve made:
# of athletes that are… was now
State Qualifiers: 4 (2013) 42 (2016)
Sectional Qualifiers 0 (2013) 13 (2016)
NCSA 0 (2013) 5 (2016)
USA Virtual Rank (Mich). 69th (2012) 10th (Currently)
To do this, club coaches and leaders knew that not only did they have to develop their swimmers in the water but also make them better athletes through swim-specific dryland strength and conditioning training. We discussed this transition with Coach Jeff Gross, where he highlighted the functional movement benefits that SST athletes have seen through the implementation of the BridgeAthletic platform.
“Bridge has been impactful on so many levels. Of course, there is the low hanging fruit that the kids are plainly stronger than they were a year ago. However, the more impactful changes in the swimmer’s body composition have been in the areas of stability and mobility. I don’t know how to say this exactly, but the kids just move better; inside and outside of the pool. Now, the swimmers have an enhanced understanding and appreciation of important swimming concepts such as scapular stability/ mobility and thoracic mobility. Additionally, since onboarding the BridgeAthletic program, we have seen a sharp decline in overuse and muscular compensation injuries.”
In addition to the enhanced training knowledge and athletic ability of the swimmers, Coach Gross noted the benefits of the platform for his coaching staff as well.
“Finally, working with Bridge has taken the tremendous burden of strength programming off of our staff. Bridge has allowed our staff the flexibility to focus their developmental time on the in-water side of the sport. The best feature of the Bridge platform, for us, has been the access to our experts at the company. The team at Bridge is always available to chat about our athlete’s development and are extremely professional and timely in response to any inquiry from our staff.”
SST coaches are now spending more time with the athletes in the pool, harnessing their expertise rather than having to prepare the strength training programs that are now delivered through the BridgeAthletic platform. With tracked training programs out of the water for the athletes, the coaching staff can correlate dryland results to the results in the water to make sure their swimmers are developing toward their goals.
Our biggest congratulations go out to the whole SST staff and all the impressive & developing athletes at the Saline Swim Team! Keep up the great work!
Think your team should be featured on the #BridgeBuilt series? Reach out to your Bridge team representative or to email@example.com and tell us your story!
Some more photos of Saline Swim Team and the athletes courtesy of Keiko Kishida
Coach Jeff Gross working with a Saline athlete on the TRX
Saline athletes performing the TRX alligator exercises
Saline athletes building leg power through wall sits
Saline athletes building upper body strength with pullups
Saline athletes waiting for their turn on the pullup bars
Saline athlete performing her recover exercise posterior shoulder capsule stretch
The Saline Swim Team