Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

M. Thomas Woodall


The lack of information about how the majority of college swimming teams train encouraged the author to conduct the following study.

A cover letter and questionnaire, regarding training methods, were sent to all 377 NCAA men's swimming coaches (Division I, II, and III) in the United States, as listed in the 1993-94 NCAA Directory. Approximately 50 percent of all surveys were returned with an equal response rate from each of the respective divisions.

Questions regarded team division and size, the coaches experience level and recent training changes, months of peak training during the 1993-94 collegiate season, peak training volume and frequency, time spent building an endurance base, percentages of times spent at three intensity levels (aerobic, anaerobic threshold, and anaerobic), and finally number of team members who accomplishing specific time standards based on NCAA National Championship time standards for the 50, 200, and 1650 freestyle events.

Upon examination of the results, the author concludes that a significant proportion of NCAA Division I teams do not have financial scholarships. During the peak training months of the 1993-94 collegiate season, the majority of institutions surveyed responded that they perform approximately 6,000 to 10,000 yards per day. Although distance swimmers at all divisions and some sprint swimmers at Division I reported to train further compared to the other groups, only Division I distance swimmers commonly reported to train more than 10,000 yards per day.

Distance swimmers in each division spent more time swimming aerobically and at the anaerobic threshold than did sprinters. Also, Division I sprinters spent more time at the aerobic level than sprinters in the other two divisions. Most distance groups only performed approximately 15 percent of their training time at the anaerobic level, while many sprint groups spent between 15 to 40 percent of their time at this intensity.

Twice as many swimmers within this population obtained national time standards at the 50 yard freestyle compared to the 1650 yard freestyle, which may have been the result of the moderate swimming volume levels observed in this population.