Coach's Notes

Lee Holland, Head Coach

"My role is to help swimmers achieve their potential, to develop training programmes that will enable them to do this, provide them with the technical skills and high level of fitness needed and to identify off island competitive opportunities. I hope my own personal experience as a swimmer stands me in good stead to support swimmers through the challenges competitive swimming can present."

Lee has enjoyed a successful swimming career swimming at Junior International and senior National level. He has been coaching professionally for over 8 years and previously for 5 years in a voluntary capacity.

Lee's coaching experience includes:

  • Coach, City of Salford Swimming Club
  • "Swim IN Salford" Competitive swimming programme, managing the competitive swimming programme for the "Age Group" swimmers, ranging from 5-6 years through to 18 year old competitive swimmers, with an ability range from skill development, through to National Champions and British Record Holders.
  • Head of Performance Swimming at Oldham Aquatics Swimming Club and also Oldham Advanced Training Scheme. During this time he coached 10 swimmers to British Age / Youth Qualifying times and also had 5 Gold and 2 Silver medals at British DSE junior Championships. One of his swimmers achieved a world ranking of 4th in the S4 classification.
  • Chief Coach at the City of Chester Swimming Club where he was pleased to lead Chester to their best season’s results for 10 years, achieving 7 finals and 3 medals at the 2011 National age groups and Youth Championships.

Over his career he has placed 14 swimmers onto National and International Programmes and his swimmers have achieved over 30 medals at National Age Groups and Youth Champs as well as 2 British age group records.

Lee still competes at masters swimming events and last Season broke a British Masters Record.

Psychology in Swimming

What quits first - the brain or the body?

When you are halfway through that killer heart-rate set and the lactate start to burn, you can tell your body to carry on but sometimes there is just nothing left.

Actually, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the body will trigger the pain response mechanism long before the “tank” is empty. This means that when you feel that pain coming on due to hard work, there is still plenty of work left in for those that want it.

So now when it gets tough the question is - do we go hard or go home?

Ask yourself this next time you go to training as, unfortunately, this sport will only see those that are prepared to push past that barrier achieve their dreams.

Thinking too much?

The American Gastroenterological Association has found that if you expect something to be painful, then you will perceive the level of pain to be higher than it actually is. People with high expectations of pain find it harder to deal with the source of pain and therefore quit sooner or fail to achieve the same work levels.

In short, try to find a way to distract yourself up to the last minute.


Is there any need for those massive headphones?

When you watch a swimmer come out before a race with headphones bigger than his or her head, have you ever wondered what they are listening to? Everyone is different, I knew a lad that wore them so nobody would bother him, with nothing playing! However, it is largely recognised that we can alter our mood by listening to emotive music before a race.

Try listening to these 3 and ask yourself the question why would I listen to this before my race?

  • Metallica – Enter Sandman.
  • Rage against The Machine – Killing in the name (Please search for the “Clean” or censored version)
  • Beethoven – Ode to Joy

Whilst you may laugh at one or all of these, I know many world class athletes that have found use for each of these pieces, depending on their mood, on the event and also whether they need to get “up for” a race or whether they needed to calm down (if a competitor was winding them up for example!)

Have a think about what is on your Ipod/Phone and how you can use this playlist to help at the next gala/league match.