Monthly Archives: January 2019

Mask the entry times in seconds and tenths and hundreth-of-seconds with CalderaForms

Technology , Tip

See the other blog posting on the other site,, for more insights.

For the benefit of fellow coders, and my fleeting memory:

The embed fits between the red lines below. Have to go to option "I" to find the success.

Aim is to get the masking to work so a time can be entered into the field without an error.

Time could be two digits for seconds and perhaps up to 2 digits for tenths and hundreths of seconds after a period.

Calculations need to work too.

Set up as single line text field with :99.99.

But should not allow, :79.99

Number such as 13.04 does not work


Must be 4 digits to do the math


Mask set at **.** Foil if char. Fails if not 4 digits.


Plus show up in field. Fail always.


[9|*] Fails as allows only 1 digit


[99.99|*] Fails, only 1 digit.

No pipe char. Brackets in. [99.99*]


Brackets out 99.99*


Bingo! This works, finally.

Can not put in 1-minute and 3 seconds and 10 tenths, such as 1:03.10. That number does not add. But, can put in 14, 14.1, 14.11 or even 14.11111111. The end result in the adding is money format, so it will keep to just 2 decimal places.

Do NOT make the field a HTML type as NUMBER as the decimal places cause a FAIL. [{9*}] but as type NUMBER, FAIL with 14.2 due to decimals.

[{9*}] as single line text and type text


[{9*}] but as type NUMBER, FAIL with 14.2 due to decimals.


Shady Side Academy’s test set with 1 x 25 with foot touch and 50s

Test Set

Test Set Instructions:

From a dive, swim 25-yards (or meters) with a foot-touch. Swimmers do a flip turn and time stops when the feet hit the wall. The 25-swim is on a 30-second send-off. Then do 50s from a push-off.
Record all the times.
Coach determines the number of 50s, between 2-and-6. Coach determines the send-off interval, between 30-and-60 seconds. Swimmers' stroke is another factor to record.

Source: John Landreth, long-time head swim coach at Shady Side Academy.

Screen shot of alpha version for entering a swimmer's times

This is not an entry form, only an image of what happens on page 3 when it is time to enter the results of the swimmer(s). 


Buggy BETA Form:  This is not ready for prime time. All data can be lost after pressing submit. 

This is for testing concepts. All data can evaporate easily, especially after pushing the submit button. Keep a paper-back-up.

Form handles up to 12 swimmers. 

Input the results of one (1) to twelve (12) swimmers. To accommodate more than 12 swimmers, use another instance of the form, perhaps on a different mobile device.


All swimmers within the the form swim with the same interval for the 50s. The interval range for the 50s is between 30-seconds and 60-seconds. Use the slider to set the send-off interval for the 50s. To accommodate swimmers doing the 50-repeats on a different interval, use another instance of the form. Or, use the notes section to record any special circumstances. 

Set the number of repeat 50s

All participants do the opening 25-sprint from a dive and with a foot touch on a 30-second interval. Record the 25-sprint time. Following the first 25, is a quantity of 50s. The 50-repeats range from two to six repetitions. Decide upon the number of 50s: 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Fewer 50s might be more appropriate for the sprinters or for a less stressful day.

Two Calculations

The total time, a sum of all the swims, (25 + 50s), is calculated and displayed as each entry is made into the web form. After the final 50 time is entered, the AVERAGE time for all the 50s is calculated and displayed. The time for the 25-sprint is not used in this calculation. (Results display the sum of all the swimmer's 50s divided by the number of 50s prescribed in the set's set-up.)

The average for the 50s shows on page four of the form but does not come in the printout email. Only 0.00 was included. 

Submitted results are sent to this email address.
Used by staff / swimmers when updating coach's records. Optional.
Results get sent to this address too.
Notes: SC Yards / meters, pool location, notes
Do 1 x dive 25 @ :30 and HOW MANY 50s to follow?
45 second send-off for 50s
Slider range in seconds from 30 to 60.

Pending Elements

  • Paper form, coming soon.
  • Export of data in the file can be made to be better organized for spreadsheet archives.
  • Input of swimmers' names is another future feature.

Promotion test sets to bridge developing athletes from one group to the next

RPT (Race Pace Training)

Gateways to advancement

Another purpose for deploying test sets is to insure that the top training groups are composed of swimmers who can do the work, make the send-offs, swim fast enough and long enough to fit into the group. 

Many teams have different practice groups. These groups have all sorts of names, depending upon the club. Senior elite. National team. Gold. Then the other groups could be the silver, bronze, age groups. Whatever the name, that's not so important. There are stages and developmental focus points that each group of swimmers and coaches work upon for their improvements. 

Obviously, the novice groups can't do certain things that the age group kids can do nor the senior swimmers. 

This stratification process that splits the kids into groups can be a point of contention among swimmers, guardians, coaches and offer a layer of stress. One way to put to rest some of the doubt and make more objective judgments as to who should be included in what group is to make "test sets" a factor.

Jasmyne Telles posted on Facebook about AM practices and asked for feedback

How many programs out there have requirements of attendance vs meeting a set standard. For example, the standard offered was 5 x 400s on 6:00. None at all? A mixture of both?

Another area of interest of JT's is the 7 x 200m step test. See other posting.
Problem: Changing Dynamics

One issue about setting a standard for group advancement is the fact that teams improve as well as individuals. An entire cadre of swimmers might not be able to make the standard in September, but 20 or more might make the standard in April. And, some of the swimmers might graduate or not be with the team for the following year, but there might not be enough room to absorb all those who made the standard for advancement in the next group.

So, standards need some flexibility too.  Then, they're not as objective as one might hope and assume. 

Put lots of care and forward thinking into the standards. Change is possible, and generally a guarantee. 

Does your team have standard test sets -- or ever deployed them -- for moving between groups? 

Share your experiences in the comments. This page can be updated as new insights are gathered. 

Tests on the bike with GCN, Global Cycling Network

Elsewhere , Test Set

An app for cycling figures out the test subject's four-dimensional-power profile. Zing!

Cycling has a large suite of tests too. Watch this ex-professional cyclist, 10-years after his retirement, cope with the test and hear of his results in an effort to regain his former self and fitness.


Would be great to have a chapter about tests that are done in other sports and what can be learned from them. Perhaps some of their wisdom and science can fit into the understanding for swimming test sets as well.

Well rounded swimmers should be able to cycle as well

Many swimmers should be able to transition to the triathlon and aqua-bike races as young adults, after their competitive swimming careers have ended. Giving the exposure to the cycling world would help keep more into sports throughout their lives, perhaps. 

Classic Test Set: 6 x 100s on 6-minutes

Test Set

White Board and Dry-Erase Markers work wonders

The messages are clear. Get ready to race!!!! Not with one exclamation point, but four. 

Coaches and swimmers have been doing test sets for decades. The memories and results and style of operations can be simple, clear, direct and functional. Results can be transcribed, later, to a spreadsheet or database. The results can be preserved in a simple cell phone photo too, of course, as posted here. 

The image was touched up by the webmaster to conceal names. 

Document and remember

One missing element -- what stroke the swimmers within the set. Some might have been doing free, while others were doing back, breast, fly or even 100 IMs. That data is absent. The coach and swimmers would remember that within the season.

Click for a full size.

Another practice example.

Chalkboards work too. Messy. Still gives a focus and higher level of seriousness to the activity if it gets written down and recorded. Different test set, different team, and different way to remove the kids' names, by not spelling them all out at the outset. 

Chalkboard test set with three styles of kicking

Test set was three 100-yard kicks for time. One was without fins. Another was with the swimmer's own fins. A third was with a different type of fin, the PDF fins (round, short, okay for breastroke). The swimmers could kick any stroke and used a kickboard.

This simple test set was also valuable as it asked the younger swimmers to remember their times upon their arrival to the wall. The times were then shouted to the coach with the chalk and written on the board in the proper place. 

The swimmers were randomized before the test set so the order of the three different types of kick equipment were variables. So, only one-third of the group did the first kick without any fins, etc.

Insert Web Form Here

pending further development

Results will be sent to this email.
Damien Gogoll, coach, author

How to coach swimmers’ starts, dives, underwater streamlines and breakouts with the AutoCoach stopwatch

Technology , Tip

Originally by Damien Gogoll

In the weeks leading up to a major competition, I allocate roughly 10-to-15-minutes every third-or-fourth sessions to practice race starts. The purpose of this is to refine the swimmers’ starts, underwater work and breakouts.

By using the AutoCoach stopwatch and speaker in Interval mode, the starts come automatically at the selected interval. For example, a start command and beep can be played every ten-seconds. The watch communicates the commands in a wireless fashion to the speaker(s) in a continual fashion until the watch is made to STOP with a long push on the right top button.

With the speakers projecting the voice commands and the beeps, the coach on deck doesn't have to do those tasks and start the swimmers. With the system's help, the coach gets more time to focus on watching the starts and providing feedback.

This benefits the swimmers for a couple of reasons:

  1. Greater feedback and refining is provided by the coaches to the swimmers for their starts.
  2. Faster reaction times develop for the swimmers when going off the blocks due to them constantly hearing the correct race commands.
"Take your marks!” and then the BEEP and FLASH of the starting signals.

Set up this function of the AutoCoach stopwatch by pressing the left side button and rotating the top right button to the desired interval between starts. A favorite in this situation is :10-seconds.

To assess swimmers’ progress, you can time the swimmers to 15-meters or 25-meters and compare times each week. By adding in the LED Screen the times are displayed, giving even more time to focus techniques and what the swimmers are actually doing, rather than the times they swam.

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