In competitive swimming, sometimes a tenth or hundredth of a second can make the difference between first and last place, especially in the sprints like 50 Freestyle or 100 Freestyle. This can be easily achieved just by spreading your fingers apart in your stroke. The results of a new study were presented last week at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics.
One of my favorite drills to do and one our swimmers seem to love is called the Runner. The Runner is executed by running 5-10 feet along the pool deck then diving in. This drill can be combined with turns, but I caution this to only advanced swimmers who are properly trained and supervised by lifeguards and coaches.
After a hundred years of competitive swimming, Olympian Ryan Lochte has innovated a new way to turn during Freestyle. I first noticed the new innovation while Lochte was competing for a spot on the Olympic team this past year in Omaha, but thought I was mistaken so I shrugged it off. Then I saw it again at the Olympic games and couldn't believe my eyes.
It's taper time again.
Those words bring delight and smiles to any swimmer's ears. After a long hard season, tapering is like the big gift at the end. It's that moment of relaxation both physically and mentally for most swimmers. It's a time when your daily yardage gradually decreases before you head into a big swim meet. You should note though that it's not all about yardage. It's about the mental recovery as well.
I was introduced recently to a new drill for helping to improve your catch and hand position in Freestyle. It doesn't really have a name so I'm calling it the "dip and reset" drill. The idea behind this drill is that it works on your hand entry into the water. It helps you maintain a high elbow throughout your entry.
There are two main things that swimmers should be focusing on every time they hit the water. The first is decrease our resistance in the water and secondly, increase our propulsion. Decreasing resistance is a major key to improvement. There are several forms of resistances we should be striving to eliminate from our swimming.
Swimming is hard. It becomes even harder if you don't have proper nutrition. But this can be confusing. There are so many different perspectives on this. The information on the internet is always contradicting. Eat carbs, don't eat carbs. Eat lots of meat, don't eat any meat. For a swimmer, it should be simple, healthy. Coaches can't control what their athletes eat away from the pool, but the athlete and the parents should be aware of what the right choices should be to help the athlete perform their best.
Learning how to pace medium to longer swims can be quite a difficult process. You need to have the perfect combination of distance per stroke and speed. Some swimmers can just naturally find that steady momentum throughout their entire swim. The rest of us have to learn how to control our speed while maintaining a solid stroke rate properly for an extended length of time.
You've put in hours and hours of training to prepare your body for a big competition. This only gets you partially ready though. You can be in the best physical shape but if your mental game is off. There are ways of being as mentally prepared as your physical body. In fact, there are five ways that used to help me during my swimming days and ones I recommend to all my swimmers.