Former West Fargo coach used training methods incorrectly, swimming coach says


A swimming coach whose training methods are at the center of a controversy involving the West Fargo girls swim team has issued a response.

On Sept. 14, Ronald Hehn was fired as the girls swimming and diving coach at West Fargo High School, after he posted a Facebook video of a student manager attempting a training method Hehn had implemented, in which he was asked to swim 25 yards in the deep end with weights hanging from his waist. (See video above).

The manager was attempting a training method team swimmers had attempted earlier in the day.

Hehn said the method was taken from a speech recently given by Sam Freas, a head swimming coach at Oklahoma Baptist University and a former president of the College Swim Coaches Association.

Freas, however, says his methods, which he’s been using for more than 20 years, were implemented incorrectly. He said the training system was to be used more like resistance training, comparing it to baseball players using weights on their bats during batting practice.

“I’ve never used hanging weights,” Freas said. “My system is nothing like (what he did).”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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