Welcome to Competitive Swimming!

About USA Swimming (USAS)

USA Swimming is the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States. We are a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through teams, events and education.  Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. Members can get involved through our more than 2,800 teams across the nation.

About Indiana Swimming (ISI)

 Indiana Swimming is the Local Swim Committee (LSC) for the sport of swimming in the state of Indiana.  With over 10,000 athletes, Indian is one of the largest LSC's in the nation.  Indiana Swimming inspires excellence through progressive, innovative programming and partnerships.

Strokes of Competitive Swimming

There are 4 styles used in swimming competitions. The most popular one is freestyle followed by backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke. Let’s see the differences between these styles and how to perform them correctly.

Freestyle

This is also known as front crawl because it describes the action quite well. The swimmer uses alternating arm movements to advance while the legs do a flutter kick. It’s the easiest and the first stroke you learn if you take swimming lessons. It’s also the fastest one, being preferred by top Olympic swimmers. Triathlons use this stroke in their swimming parts precisely because of its speed and efficiency.

Backstroke

This might be easier to learn than freestyle. The legs do a flutter kick just like in front crawl while the arms make an alternating circular movement to advance with your face always above the water. You could call it a back crawl if you like because that’s basically what you’re doing. This stroke is the 3rd in terms of speed and is actually recommended for people with back problems because it gives an excellent workout. Women tend to prefer backstroke because it’s less physically demanding than let’s say, butterfly or front crawl.

Breaststroke

Some teachers prefer to teach beginners this stroke first as opposed to freestyle. In fact, casual swimmers are actually swimming it without knowing what it’s called. Breaststroke is the slowest of the competitive styles. You are doing short synchronous half-circular movement underwater with your arms and a whip kick with your legs. Some argue that breaststroke is quite similar to how a frog swims.

Butterfly stroke

This is the most physically demanding style.  Instead of moving your arms alternatively, you move them both at once while making a dolphin kick with your legs and a wave-like body ondulation. It’s quite difficult to master and even more difficult to be fast when swimming it, which is why it’s usually the last stroke learned. If you have the strength and stamina, butterfly is the second fastest stroke after freestyle in spite of leaving you exhausted.  Michael Phelps illustrates this perfectly in the Olympics.

Source: https://speedoleague.org.uk/2018/02/10/brief-overview-of-swimming-styles-in-competitive-swimming/

Club Seasons

Fall/Winter Season (Short Course Yards)

September, October, November, December, January, February

The Fall/Winter season (also referred to as Short Course Yards or SCY) will start early September and continue until late February.  Swimmers eligible to swim in championship events will continue practice, as necessary, into March.  Please refer to the Practice Calendar for exact practice start and end dates.

Spring/Summer Season (Long Course Meters)

April, May, June, July

The Spring/Summer season (also referred to as Long Course Meters or LCM) will start in early April and continue until late July.  Please refer to the Practice Calendar for exact practice start and end dates.

Pool Distances

How are swim times different at larger pools?  If this is your first season with Flashes Aquatics, or even if you are a returning swimmer, it is sometimes difficult to understand the difference in times from SCY (short course yards) to LCM (long course meters) and also SCM (short course meters).  Here is an article that explains how and why times are different: http://www.dobkanize.com/triathlon-swimming-articles/pool-length-differences-in-triathlon-swimming/   There are several time conversion tools out there, here is a good one if you want to convert a time:  http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/results/conversions.asp

Resources

So Now You're a Swim Parent: www.teamunify.com/czinlsc/UserFiles/File/Parents/So_Now_You_Are_A_Swim_Parent_Updated_2012.pdf