University of Tennessee Swimmers Win With Metrifit
At last weekend’s NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, ten swimmers and all five relay teams from the University of Tennessee (UT) earned the program’s third consecutive top-10 finish at the national meet. That came after a 3rd place finish in 2013 and 7th place finish in 2012, which had been the school’s best national result since 1989.
This weekend, the men’s team will send five swimmers, one diver and all five of its relay teams to Austin, Texas for the men’s national championships. Leading what many have called a historic program turnaround is Head Coach Matt Kredich, two-time SEC Coach of the Year. In his second season at the helm of both the men’s and women’s teams, Coach Kredich relies on his coaching staff and the Metrifit athlete monitoring system to manage an integrated training program for the Vols’ student-athletes.
Just over one year ago, Kredich was introduced to Metrifit at a swim conference in Ireland. Legendary swim coach Peter Banks, Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director, presented how his coaches and elite swimmers use the technology.
“We have been using Metrifit with our National Squad Programme and have been working with Health and Sport Technologies (the system’s developers) over the last 2 years,” said Banks. “The system has brought the Swim Ireland High Performance Unit to a new level in terms of athlete contact, athlete and coach development, and administration efficiency.”
One of the keys to Tennessee’s success has been a similar commitment to using technology and data to understand the total athlete, both at the pool and away from it. Assistant Coach Ashley Jahn has been administering the system for the Volunteers for about a year. She feels that athletes are willing to be more honest with the system regarding their daily struggles than they are when talking with coaches.
“When a student-athlete speaks with a coach directly, they may be hesitant to admit to stress, lack of sleep or other factors that may affect their performance,” said Jahn. “By entering daily updates in Metrifit, they often report these issues that, over time, may explain variations in their results.”
As could be expected, the most dedicated athletes track their training more consistently and in more detail. “The coaching staff emphasizes to the team that we can help them more if they communicate with us by using this tool to measure their progress,” said Jahn.
Based on the training group they are assigned to for that week, Coach Jahn enters daily workout plans for each swimmer. The UT coaching staff worked directly with Ann Bruen, Chief Technology Officer of Metrifit, to tailor the system to the unique needs of an elite swim team.
“The main changes to Metrifit for a particular sport reside in the area of session/training types and competitions,” said Bruen. “For swimmers, we included session or training types of pool and dry-land, as well as keeping our ‘other activity’ and rehab session types. Logging of swimming sessions focuses on sets, intensity of sets and overall distance covered. Competitions in swimming are multi-event sessions so we made specific changes for this to cover a swim meet as opposed to a football match. Our vocabularies are customizable for each client so these were all tailored towards swimming specific terminology.”
The combination of daily academic pressures with a demanding workout schedule can cause unforeseen dips in competitive performance. Metrifit’s “readiness to train” score factors in mood state, sleep duration and quality, energy levels, muscle soreness, academic pressures and diet. By producing a daily “traffic light” report for each swimmer, coaches can individualize workouts to pinpoint any potential issues regarding burnout, stress or overtraining, using a red-yellow-green status. Customized dashboard summaries collate weekly totals relating to training loads, distance swam, Readiness to Train (RTT) and other key variables.
Coach Jahn knows this data will help athletes avoid injuries by providing early warning signs, especially using Metrifit’s mobile version which works on all SMART phones. “As our swimmers learn that entering data is not a chore but a training tool to keep them healthy and on the starting block, then we will be able to take advantage of the full system,” said Jahn. “The phone app is critical, otherwise today’s college student wouldn’t use it.”
Peter Banks has already gone through this learning curve and is an enthusiastic fan of Metrifit. “We have always found that the Metrifit staff are totally committed to providing the best service possible and motivated to help the athlete and coach in any way they can,” Banks commented. “We look forward to working with them right through to the Rio Olympics in 2016. I would have no hesitation in recommending Metrifit to any club or athlete.”
The sky’s the limit for the University of Tennessee swim team with a powerful combination of world-class coaching, facilities and technology.
Metrifit is an athlete monitoring system that gathers subjective and objective information from both coaches and athletes in a simple but effective manner with intelligent visualization helping coaches and athletes to act on that data. Why not have a look at our Ready to Perform product and gain insight on the physical and mental state of your athletes through our daily wellbeing questionnaire? To find out more visit our Metrifit Product Overview page or get in touch for a free demo.
Robert Karlsson, Professional Golfer
Team Manager and Athlete Support Services Coordinator at Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Tino Fusco, B.Sc. ChPC
Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Mount Royal University (Canada)
Kerry Senior Football, Manager
Kildare Senior Football Manager
Head Physiotherapist, Cornish Pirates Rugby Club
Quinnipiac University, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
"When COVID altered college athletics as we knew it, Metrifit came to the rescue. This intuitive athlete monitoring, health and well-being system provides the athlete, coach, and sports medicine staff a way to monitor and balance the physical, emotional, health and well-being of our athlete’s. Metrifit provided that calm in the middle of the perfect storm for our entire athletic department for the future. Thank you to the entire Metrifit family for assisting our department with a seamless process."
Head Athletic Trainer, Colorado School of Mines
Sports Scientist, Kildare Football, PhD Sports Science Researcher
Head Basketball Coach, Carmel High School
Head Volley Ball Coach, Southern Illinois University
Head Coach, Women's Soccer at Regis University
Lincoln University Athletic Performance Manager
Director of Strength & Conditioning and Head Strength Coach Men’s basketball, University of Wisconsin
Athletic Development Coach, MSc ASCC
Millfield School, UK
Academy Directory, SJ.B (St. Joseph’s Bray ) Academy
CEO, Shift Performance, Miami
Assistant S&C Coach, Tulane University
Dr. Dale Richardson
CEO Achieve Total Performance Pty Ltd
Head Coach, LMU Lions, Loyola Marymount University
Head of Fitness for International Football/Fitness Coach Men's Senior Team
Football Association of Ireland
NISUS Fitness, S&C Coach Clare Senior Hurling, Horse Sport Ireland and Limerick Senior Hurling
Strength and Conditioning Coach at DCU Sport and with Dublin Minor GAA
Head Coach, Irish Hockey
Emma Hawke, PhD Exercise Physiology
Coach - Sweden Climbing, Olympic Offensive - Female Coach Swedish Olympic Committee, Senior Lecturer - Coach education programme (Sweden)
Head Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator,Noblesville High School
Edgar K. Tham
Founder and Chief Sport & Performance Psychologist, SportPsych Consulting (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)
Associate Director of Strength & Conditioning
Director of Olympic Strength & Conditioning
University of Wisconsin
Nutritionist, Wexford Camogie