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Technique

 

Habits

 “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

 Tom is a world class sprinter.  For 50 meters he maintains a beautiful stroke and keeps great body position.  His distance per stroke is so efficient that he can swim the 50 meters in 22 strokes.  Tom has not yet mastered 100 meters.  His coaches have told him that he drops his elbows and shortens his stroke.  His distance per stroke for the first 50 meters of his 100 meters is 29.  Tom says that shortening his stroke and dropping his elbows are “just bad habits.”

 Swimmers are creatures of habit.  Human beings are creatures of habit.  What does that mean?  We do over 75% of each days’ activities by “habit”.  That is, we act and react without conscious thought, effort or awareness.  We read, breathe, tie our shoes, walk, feed ourselves, ride a bike and turn on a radio without much conscious thought.  We react to food, music, weather, and homework without much conscious thought.  How can we do that?  WE have programmed ourselves to act and respond in certain ways.  Since birth we have been exposed to millions of different experiences.  Each experience gets a response from us.  How we react to these experiences is based upon our expectations and past experiences.  Our reactions may depend upon what a friend, family member, or teacher has told you to expect.  “This won’t hurt”, “The water isn’t cold”, It tastes great.”  It may depend upon what you have experienced in the past.  The shot from the doctor did hurt. Our actions and reactions become programmed and if we don’t think about them, becomes habit.  A habit is a learned response - a way we act that is customary, usual and repetitious.  A habit can be both mental - how we think, and physical, how we act.  You learned at an early age to tie your shoe.  Now you know how to tae a show without thinking - with your eyes closed - by memory.  We may tie it one loop at a time, with two bunny ear, left shoe first, but however we tie it we do it the same way day in and day out by habit.

Most everyone in camp knows how to do a flip turn.  In the space below recount the steps by which you learned to do a flip turn:

1.    Spot the wall and target in line with the bottom.

2.    At the proper spot take a full stroke and….

These are the steps by which you learned to turn, but do you go through those steps in practice?  Do you think of steps 1-5 every time you do a turn?  Write below those steps you think about in practice.

If you already know how to do a flip turn then you probably do it from memory (by habit without too much conscious thought or awareness.  You have programmed yourself to turn and do it the same way every time.  This is good IF you are doing the perfect turn.  That is a good habit.

What if we do a good turn but not a perfect turn.  What if you could cut .09 seconds off your time for every turn just by streamlining off the walls?  That would be excellent, eh?  That would be the most painless way of swimming faster merely by practicing a good habit.


 

Using these drills will lead to much better technique and are a building block progression. 

Skills to Master

1.        Starts

2.        Backstroke Start

3.        Free Turn

4.        Back Turn

5.        IM Transition

6.        Turns

7.        Streamlining

8.        Free Finish

9.        Back Finish

10.    Breast Finish

11.    Fly Finish

Training Habits

1.        Hypoxic Breathing

2.        Not breathing into turn

3.         Not Breathing out of turn

4.        Kicking FAST off wall

5.         Streamlining of wall

6.        Starting on side.

7.        Finishing into wall.

 
Freestyle Drills   

  • Max DPS 6-8 stokes per lap

  • Sprint Catch-up

  • touch & reach

  • 5-20 drill

  • 10-10 drill

   Backstroke

  • catch-up drill

  • double arm drill

  • 3-3-3drill Spin Drill

  • Under water Dolphin Kick

   Fly  

  • single-double-single 

  • 3*-3-3   no breath on 3

  • full stroke Surface Drill 

  • Triple Kick Fly


  Breaststroke    

1.         3 kicks 1 pull

2.        Pull w/free kick

3.         Pull w / Fly Kick

4.         Pull alternate fly with breast kick

5.         Count Down Drill

6.         4 kicks under water 2 strokes above water

7.        3-2 barrowman drill

Kicking Drills

1.        Kick @ side

2.         Kick @ side with arm 45’

3.         Kick @ side holding board 45’

4.         Vertical Kick

5.         Vertical kick with weight

6.         3 kicks 1 pull breast

7.         Kick under water breast kick

Stroke Instruction

Basic Skills

Freestyle

Streamlining and push-off

Ready position

1.        Hide one hand behind the other

2.         Arms squeezed tight behind ears

3.         Toes pointed

4.        Legs straight

5.        Head position

6.         Fast kick off wall

Freestyle turn

1.        Approach the wall

2.         Initiation of turn

3.        Flip-tuck head as fast as possible (Head under knees/drive nose to knees)

4.        Foot placement

5.         Push-off

6.         Streamline

7.        Break out stroke-(pull with bottom arm)

Grab Start

1.         Both toes curled over the block with hands positioned inside of legs on top of each other

2.         Head position looking at toes

3.        Weight displacement

4.        Throwing arms locked together

5.        Leg drive arms first then legs

6.        Entry to water and first three stroke no breath


Freestyle Pull and Arm recovery

1.        Hand entry and reaching out (how and where)

2.          High elbows on recovery

3.         Catch

4.        Outsweep, insweep, Upsweep

5.        Body Roll

6.        Hand close to face on recovery

7.        Elbow high on pull

Breathing

1.        Exhalation slow

2.        Timing

3.        Head position

Freestyle Kick

1.         Kick from hips

2.        Short fast narrow kick

3.         Loose ankles

4.         Think  straight knees


Butterfly

 Ready position

Streamlining and push-off 

1.       Hide one hand behind the other

2.       Arms squeezed tight behind ears

3.       Toes pointed

4.       Legs straight

5.       Head position

Butterfly turn

1.       Approach the wall

2.       Two hand touch

3.       Drive knees to chest

4.       Foot placement-toes and knees up

5.       Head position  (travel in and out on same path)

6.       Push-off

7.       Streamline - 5 fast  kicks off wall


Butterfly Start

1.       Both toes curled over the block with hands positioned inside of legs on top of each other

2.       Head position looking at toes

3.       Weight displacement

4.       Throwing arms locked together

5.       Leg drive arms first then legs

6.       5 fast fly kicks 3 pulls no breath

 Butterfly Pull and Arm recovery

1.       Catch

2.       Hand entry

3.       Outsweep, insweep, Upsweep

4.       Pinkie exit

5.       Straight elbows on recovery - palms up

6.       Hands in hips up

Breathing

1.       Exhalation slow

2.       Lift chin forward on upsweep

Butterfly Kick

1.       Kick from hips

2.      2 kicks per pull  #1 at hand entry #2 at hand exit

3.       Feet and legs together

4.      Knees are straight

Backstroke

 Ready position

Streamlining and push-off

1.       Hide one hand behind the other

2.       Arms squeezed tight behind ears

3.       Toes pointed

4.       Legs straight

5.       Head position

Backstroke turn

1.       Approach to flags

2.       Counting strokes to flags

3.       Knowing when to flip and in which direction

4.       Flip-tuck head as fast as possible (Head under knees/drive nose to knees)

5.       Foot placement

6.       Streamline

7.       Break out stroke-(pull with bottom arm)

Backstroke Start

1.       Foot placement

2.       Hand placement (Gutter)

3.       Arm movement (up the sides, palms up)

4.       Leg drive

5.       Looking for water

6.       Arching back

7.       Entry to water should be clean

Backstroke Position an Head Alignment

1.       Head lying on a pillow chin still get rib cage up

2.       Body roll

B ackstroke Pull and Arm recovery

1.       Pinkie entry

2.       Catch (deep, palm facing bottom of pool)

3.       Downsweep, Upsweep, downsweep

4.       Thumb exit

5.       Straight Elbow arm recovery

6.       Hand entry 11 and 1 o’clock


Backstroke Kick

1.       Kick from hips

2.       Short fast narrow kick

3.       Loose ankles

Breaststroke


Streamlining and push-off

1.       Hide one hand behind the other

2.       Arms squeezed tight behind ears

3.       Toes pointed

4.       Legs straight

5.       Head position

Breaststroke  turn

1.       Approach the wall

2.       Two hand touch

3.       Drive knees to chest

4.       Foot placement-toes and knees up

5.       Head position  (travel in and out on same path)

6.       Push-off

7.       Streamline Pullout

Breaststroke  Start

1.       Both toes curled over the block with hands positioned inside of legs on top of each other

2.       Head position looking at toes

3.       Weight displacement

4.       Throwing arms locked together

5.       Leg drive arms first then legs

6.       Pullout

Breaststroke Pull and Arm recovery

1.       Catch

2.       Outsweep - straight arms

3.       Insweep- high elbows

4.       Recovery-  least amount of resistance

Breathing

1.       Exhalation slow

2.       Breath every stroke cycle


Breaststroke Kick

1.       Recover heals towards butt

2.       Turn(flex) feet outward

3.       Kick back, down and around

4.       Squeeze legs shut