10/1/05 - 11/1/05

Free Swim Lessons Beta - 360swim.com

Oct 29, 2005

Swimming Drills Discussion (Faster swimming means better technique)

Drills, drills, drills is one of the swimming streams many coaches take in the pursuit of a perfect stroke. It is not easy to maintain a beautiful, efficient stroke in high speeds and that is when technique drills come into play. The hardest part about having the perfect stroke is the ability to change, modify and adjust swimmer's stroke as the swimmer develops.

If one desires perfection he/she cannot be afraid to try new things. Swimming is a constant learning process, as many great coaches state, "to be the best, you gotta learn from the best". Here are a few tips on how to get started with good technique.

1. Watch a lot of swimming videos of top level swimmers (start here: at swim.ee )

2. Do not think of technique as something that you will learn and never have to think about it again. Wrong! The perfect stroke requires constant attention, so stop your mind from wondering all over the place when you swim and focus on how the water feels, how much of it my arms are pulling, am I kicking enough, am I relaxed, do I hold a good streamline off the wall etc.

3. To help you with motivation, you may pretend that you are being watched in every single practice by fans in the stands or on the pool deck and they will laugh at you if your stroke looks like crap. Let's see you now not think about the technique. Nobody likes to be laugh at (even though it is only imaginary:).

4. Ask your peers or coach to watch you and evaluate what you are doing right and what you could correct in your stroke.

5. If you have an access to an underwater video camera, USE IT. If you do not own one, they are not that expensive to buy and are worth the purchase. Film yourself from the front, the back, from each side and from 45 degree angles on both sides in the front. Then upload the video to YouTube, Blip, or Vimeo and let me know. I will provide you with some hints on what to improve and get you swimming properly in no time.

6. Have fun and don't be afraid to play around in the water. By playing with your stroke you might discover some knew technique or movement that might just work for you.

7. Finally, relax! It is the ease, relaxation and efficiency of the stroke that makes you go fast, not how many muscles you put into it.

Happy Swimming!
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

Oct 18, 2005

New Breaststroke Rule Adopted by FINA

Some of you already might have heard that FINA has updated their breaststroke rule to accomodate an underwater dolphin kick during the pullout phase after the initial start or a turn. The rule marked as SW 7.4 clearly states "A single downward dolphin kick followed by a breaststroke kick is permitted while wholly submerged. Following which, all movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement."

Not sure what to make of this, but I believe it was received with a positive feedback on many fronts. There is one country, however, that does not like this rule. As Swim News indicated in their recently published article, the Chinese swimming committee decided not to follow this rule during the China's 10th National Games.

I personally think this rule will reduce the number of disqualifications and will allow for faster swimming of skilled butterfly kickers. It potentially might even help those IMers that struggle on breaststroke. Finally, I predict we will see some breaststroke world records going down with adoption of this rule. If you have any thoughts, do not hesitate to leave a comment.

Update:

FINA has updated their dolphin kick rule since this article was published. It now states:

Rule 101.2.3 states: After the start and each turn, a single butterfly kick, which must be followed by a breaststroke kick, is permitted during or at the completion of the first arm pull.

For the purposes of Article 101.2.3, as it relates to what constitutes the initiation of the first arm pull and the allowed single downward butterfly kick, the following applies: After the start and after each turn, any lateral or downward movement of the hands or arms is considered to be the initiation of the first arm pull.

So in other words, there are now two places one can execute the dolphin kick:

1) during the initial underwater arm pull (this is the older way and could cause the swimmer to loose a nice streamlined position as the swimmer is moving up through the water column)
2) at the beginning of the pull with hands a bit separated from streamline (this is thought to be the more efficient way as the swimmer is in a more streamlined position to utilize the pull)

You can read a bit more about it here

Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start

Oct 16, 2005

Get your swimming news instantly


It has become the standard to include RSS feeds to every website with freshly updated content (blogs, news portals etc.) . Large swimming portals are not an exception. If you'd like to have your swimming news directly and automatically uploaded and displayed without accessing the website, RSS feeds are the way to go. To help you with that, there are a few programs that you might be interested in. Google Reader is a great application to collect all your feeds into one place or the Google Personalized Homepage keeps them nicely organized.

Finally, where do you find the swimming RSS feeds? Well, I have compiled a few for you to start out with. Otherwise, when visiting an interesting swimming site/blog, look for a little RSS button on the bottom, sidebar or top of the page.

Your swimming feeds:
Swimator Blog
Swimming World Magazine
USA Swimming.
SwimSwam

If you live in the social sphere, Facebook or Twitter could be your source of swimming information. Most of the swimming portals are also active in the social networks. Try:

Twitter:
@360swim
@swimswamnews
@SwimmingWorld

Facebook:
fb.me/360swim
SwimSwam
Swimming World Magazine
Safer Swimmer - the must have swim safety device for all open water swimmers

Oct 11, 2005

Guess where this pool is?


Where is this beautiful place? Florida, California, Texas, perhaps Hawaii?

Not a University of Hawaii, but very close guess. :)
Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start

Oct 10, 2005

Swimming Hall of Fame


Did you ever wonder where you can find a place where all swimming history comes together forming one entity stored forever? If you haven't been yet, you definitely should visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A city which holds the Swimming Hall of Fame . You can find here swimming heroes starting with Duke Kahanamoku and Johnny WeissmullerMark Spitz all the way to Alexander Popov and beyond. The hall of fame is right next to the home place of the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team (FLST) which used to be headed by the former Olympic coach Jack Nelson.
Safer Swimmer - the must have swim safety device for all open water swimmers