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Technique

 

Thought #1:

Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice does.
 

Breast Stroke Pull Downs .

First and most important thing is body position and a good strong push off the wall or blocks.  The pull down stroke is nothing more than  a full butterfly stroke, but must be finished with your hands flat against the outside of the thighs.  The best count to use:  on the dive, as soon as the feet enter the water, begin counting 1000  one; 1000 two and 1000 Three on the completion of three begin your pull down, with hands along the thighs, count 1000 one and then rapidly begin to recover the arms keeping your hands very close to your chest.  Make sure the hands then extend to a fully streamlined position, then begin the first pull.   Remember, DO NOT move your head up or down.  The first movement of the head will be when you reach the ’insweep’ of the first surface pull. 

Habits

we will stress the following habits this week:

  •           5 pulls before your first breath when pushing off
  •           3 pulls before your first coming off a turn
  •           No breath from the flags to the wall on finishes

The Perfect Warm-up

The perfect warm-up consists of arriving on time, being suited up and entering the pool at the start of warm-up.  You should always use bilateral breathing during the stretch out portion of warm-up.  Attention should be paid to stroke technique, perfect streamlining and not breathing the first two stroke out of every turn.  You should not stop arbitrarily to socialize, cut walls or spend time repairing or gathering equipment.  The descended part of warm up is designed to gradually warm the muscles and increase the heart rate in order to be ready to properly perform in practice.  The last swim of a descended set should be done with maximum effort. 

Why we use Tempo Trainers & Flower Pots? 

The flower pots were brought to us by way of Coach Tom in Oregon .  The flower pots are designed to overload the legs and to kinesthetically teach the legs to work harder.  As we stress the importance of kicking and set goals to be stronger kickers we will continue to use the flower pots.

The Tempo Trainer acts as a personal pace coach that elevates training to maximizes performance. The Tempo Trainer is the small round electronic device that transmits an audible beep to help develop consistency of tempo in the swimmers rate of stroke cycles.

Why we use Snorkels?

The snorkels allow the swimmer to concentrate on their technique, making it a great tool to help  improve  stroke technique. I like the way it allows the swimmers to roll their bodies. Every day we talk about body roll in freestyle and backstroke.  In terms of kinesthetic learning,  proper stroke technique, body position, balance, and streamline positioning can be committed to muscle memory. This is how we teach kinesthetically.  Kinesthetic learners learn best by moving their bodies, activating their large or small muscles as they learn. These are the "hands-on learners"  who actually concentrate better and learn more easily when movement is involved.

The snorkel forces the lungs to work harder and increases aerobic conditioning. The distance the air has to travel to get to and from the lungs is increased by the length of the snorkel. This forces the swimmer to develop a stronger inhale and exhale while swimming. As the lungs develop, fewer breaths will be needed for each lap, which will reduce times. Training with a snorkel can be considered similar to altitude training.

"Everyone should be using the snorkel"  Coach Jack Simon

"The first thing is head position, second swimmers are more relaxed and can  feel when they are more balanced."  Tim Hill, Head Coach, First Colony Swim Team/Sugarland Texas

Work on your streamlining


This week’s Tip of the Week comes from Lyn Cushman of Arden Hills Swimming in Sacramento, Calif. Cushman was recently named the Sierra Nevada Age Group Coach of the Year by the American Swimming Coaches Association.
 
The secret to a good streamline is to STREAMLINE every time you leave the wall. Every time you start, every time you turn. Practice, practice, and practice.

Have some fun and take the streamline test. Push off the wall doing the superman float (no kicking) and mark were you stop. Now follow the tips below and see how far you go.

Streamline Pointers:
1. Stack you hands on top of each other, with top hand "locked" to the bottom hand with the thumb.
2. Stretch arms straight in front of the head and squeeze the back of your ears (this will form a triangle that your coaches can see from the deck).
3. Your head should be in a neutral position (not up, not down) unless you are under 8, then your chin needs to tip toward your chest just a little.
4. Pull your bellybutton into your spine.
5. Tighten your bottom muscles.
6. Point your toes toward the wall after you leave the wall or block.
7. Do four to six tight, quick dolphin kicks while tilted on your side. After the dolphin kicks roll to your stomach for your breakout in the freestyle and butterfly.
8. The deeper your start, the farther you can go underwater. Work with your coach to find the right depth for your start.

Making a commitment to your success requires focusing on the process of swimming fast. The task of streamlining properly off every start and every turn at every practice will become automatic. This little change will build your confidence to reach your dreams.

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.

Technique.....Technique.....Technique.....

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