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Some Technique Tips from Coach Andre

May 11th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Some Technique Tips from Coach Andre)

This past week I have introduced the “roll-over” drill into the mix for my groups’ technical work. The drill is a great way to slow down the process of the pull, helping the swimmer “draw” the proper line with their arm while still working on proper body position and a strong kick.
During last weeks BCSSA coaches conference, Ben Keast (Winskill Dolphins Head Coach) reiterated the fact that a good swimmer must be able to swim SLOWLY with good technique as well as swimming FAST with good technique. This aspect of swimming known as “stroke reliability” is the reason why a swimmer must train long hours, putting in time in order to cement the neuromuscular actions known as “technique”. Swimmers are peculiar athletes in that it is a highly specific type of fitness, unlike anything on dry land. Sure, traits such as explosiveness and general athleticism will be enhanced by doing other sports; but the fact is the only way to get better at swimming, is to actually SWIM.
 In watching the video of Alexander Popov, the idea of “swimming with grace” comes to my mind. Here is the greatest natural freestyler of all time, forget Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe. Popov set standards in the 1990’s that remained untouched until Speedo created the “supersuits”. His coaching included a focus on perfection in timing, and a focus on kick efficiency/speed. His coach (Gennadi Touretski) knew that it was not the fastest person who won the race, but the swimmer who slowed down the least. In focusing on kick fitness and timing, Touretski and Popov found a racing technique in which Alexander would be high on top of the water during the last phase of his 100m Free, allowing him to pull with more strength than those whose hips were low in the water.
For me, the main focus of this drill is to find a good body position where a swimmer can find his “sweet spot” for floating properly. The hips are high, the kick is working both directions with strong  (and supple) legs, and the hips are rotating ever so slightly.
The other part of the drill (equally important), is the rhythm of the arm pull. I have my swimmers do a 10 beat, rollover to 1/3 through the underwater pull phase, then proceed to accelerate all the way until the hand has pushed past the hips. This pattern of “soft catch ——>strong lat recruitment and tricep push” is the way I want to see people swim freestyle; with acceleration from the catch all the way to the tricep push. The “catch” is a weak position for a swimmer in that you are using the smaller muscles of the rotator cuff. The strong part of the pull (where a swimmer actually gains speed) comes from the use of big muscles such as the lattisimus dorsi and triceps in a “pull/push” phase.
I know that was a lot to read, but nothing is as good as merely watching the video and imitating the best freestyle swimmer of all time. Here is another video of one of Popov’s greatest ever races to see the technique in action.

*NOTE* Popov had exceptionally strong and flexible hamstrings so that he could make the “up-beat” of his kick as strong as it could be. He knew that many swimmers before him were focusing on the use of their quadriceps in the “down-beat”. If you want to watch a full video made of Alexander Popov and his coach, search “Alexander Popov: What’s the Limit?” on youtube.
Happy Swimming!
From,
Coach Andre

Are you getting your Notifiers?

May 11th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Calendar | Notifier | Swim Shop - (Comments Off on Are you getting your Notifiers?)

Below is the most recent Notifier sent to all families (May 11).   If you are not receiving these updates and want to be added to our list please send an email to Chris Kennedy at vpinternal@kigoos.com indicating you want to be added and if you are a parent or swimmer.

 

A few updates to start the week:
1)  A reminder that the new practice schedule takes effect tomorrow (Monday).  Please be sure check the website for groups and times
2)  A reminder to all interested parents that we are hosting a stroke and turn clinic on Monday, 7-9pm at Steveston Community Centre. This is for any PARENTS who would like to learn how to be swim officials this season, and for any existing officials who would like to learn about this year’s changes to the BCSSA swimming rules. We hope to see many parents there, and remind you that there will be no childcare provided during the clinic.  We encourage you to let Zoe Lee know if you are attending – vpexternal@kigoos.com
3)  We have just added to the calendar that there will be a Yingfa swimwear sale during next Saturday’s practices between 7 – 11 am at Steveston Pool  – this is a great opportunity to pick up reasonably priced suits and goggles.
4)  Look for sign-up later this week for the Kigoos Mock Meet on May 31st.  This is for ALL swimmers and will have time trials for events and we are also hosting a breakfast that morning.
Should be a sunny week at the pool!

Kigoos Swim Groups – Updated May 8th

May 8th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Registration - (Comments Off on Kigoos Swim Groups – Updated May 8th)

To understand the make-up of swim groups and the progression and pathway between groups please click here.

 

We will be monitoring groups during the month of May, so please be prepared for some extra movements – in particular, among the Junior groups. For the most part though, these groups are final. If you have any further questions, you can contact Head Coach Danna.  

How to read the group lists:

  • Open the excel spreadsheet (here)
  • Click along the bottom tabs to switch between groups
  • The swimmers are organized by first name and first initial of last name

 

Recognition Opportunities

May 7th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Recognition / Sponsorship - (Comments Off on Recognition Opportunities)

Kigoos Swim Club recognizes the importance of building mutually beneficial relationships with our community partners. As a sponsor of the Club, your business has the opportunity to market directly to the more than 130 families who are registered in our programs, to their friends and families, and to the many spectators that support our Club.

Learn more about these HERE.

If you have any questions, or you require additional information about this capital campaign please contact Lisa Cowell, Volunteer Fund Development Manager at 604-839-2205 or lcowell@telus.net.

Kigoos Meeting Notes Posted

May 7th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Kigoos Meeting Notes Posted)

The Meeting notes from the May 7, 2014 Meeting have now been posted:  http://kigoos.com/about/meeting-minutes-financials/

Thanks to the 25 parents who were able to attend.

Swim Shop Update

May 6th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Swim Shop - (Comments Off on Swim Shop Update)

Swim Suit orders will be placed by the end of this week (May 10).  Anyone wanting a team suit prior to the Icebreaker meet, please contact Chandra at  phamchandra@yahoo.ca. Those who have payments outstanding will receive an invoice to be paid in their family box. We will have the suits for sizing at the pool during JD, Div 2 and Div 4 practices this week on Wednesday and Friday.

Anyone who submitted a faulty cap last year from team aquatics, please send  a note to phamchandra@yahoo.ca so we can process a credit for you.We are cross referencing the list with those who submitted caps.

If you would still like other swim gear—parkas, sweats, shirts—please also let Chandra know by Friday so we can submit our order to arrive by the Icebreaker.

Updated Practice Schedule

May 6th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Updated Practice Schedule)

Please note the updated practice schedule that starts on Monday, May 12th has been posted:  http://kigoos.com/calendars/swim-practice-schedule/

 

 

Update on Groups and Schedules (From Danna)

May 6th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Update on Groups and Schedules (From Danna))
Welcome to week 2 of practices! There’s been some great turnouts, and with the way we’re swimming, it looks like we’re going improve our strokes and swim fast! Parents, thank you for your time, patience and understanding with practice schedules. I know many families are busy with other activities and multiple siblings, so we appreciate your efforts in getting kids to the pool.
I’m going to have to ask for you patience one more time – the coaches and I have decided to create the groups this week and have the new May schedule take in effect next Monday. This is so that the variation in skill level is not so wide in practice, and the coaches are better able to write practices that are less general and more specific to a group of swimmers that are at the same level. The coaches love working with so many swimmers, but are very keen to start their group season plans.
You can see the practice schedule under the Calendars Tab.
A note on groups: we ask that you respect the coaches’ decisions on group placement. We have many swimmers in our club, with different needs and skill levels, and we spend much time discussing and planning groups. Whatever group your child is placed in, we feel is the one that best suits your child’s ability and that provides the best environment for improvement. You can follow-up with me directly if you have any specific questions.
Please check back frequently, there will be updates to the schedule with dryland times (they will be 30 minute sessions before or after group practices on Monday/Wednesday/Friday), and some specifics on Group Meetings – this is a chance for you to meet your group coach.
Keep up the great work Kigoos!

Welcome to the Swim Season (Danna Blog Post)

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to the Swim Season (Danna Blog Post))

Hey Kigoos,

The sun is shining, the pool is blue, the coaches are ready and I hope you are too!
Today marks the start of the summer competitive season – to all new Kigoo members, welcome to the family! This will be a hectic, but incredibly fun and unforgettable summer where you will meet new friends, participate in our great social events, and improve your swimming technique and racing skills.
The first thing I’d like to point out to all Kigoo members is our schedule for the first two weeks, where most of you will be swimming within your division as opposed to the usual “groups”. This is for you to get to know more swimmers within your age group, for coaches to work with a range of different ages and abilities, and so that the coaches can come up with the best functioning groups. We’ll be working on a lot of “basic” skills, like streamlines, kicking, and sticking to freestyle/backstroke technique, so it’s important for you to come to as many practices as possible for this first bit – it will help you greatly as the season progresses and your coaches work on more complex skills in your group. If you can’t make most of your division practice times, feel free to contact me to work out an alternative schedule.
I also want to iterate how important it is for families to regularly check for Kigoo Notifiers in their emails, as well as the website and/or Facebook page for updates. There is a lot going on, especially in May, so please make sure you keep track of the communication so that you don’t miss anything important.
Lastly, to parents: if you would like to come watch practices, there are designated viewing areas, such as the bleachers towards the shallow end of the pool, or outside the fence – the office and the area outside the changerooms are not viewing areas, and you will be asked to go to a proper viewing area. If you would like to talk to a coach, please do so after the practice, and not during (emailing the coach beforehand to set up a good time to meet is the best way to go).
Unfortunately, I have to leave right after my practice tomorrow, but I will be on deck during all practices on Saturday and most of next week as well if you want to say hi or talk swimming. You can also contact me at danna@kigoos.com orheadcoach@kigoos.com.
I want to leave off with this video of Bob Bowman (the coach of Michael Phelps) talking about the characteristics of champions. Whether you’re a coach, swimmer or parent, I think there’s a lot to be learned here and sets up nicely for a great season.
See you on deck!
Danna