Congratulations on a great first week everyone! It was great to see so many new and familiar faces enjoying the great weather we had back at Steveston pool!
Last week in Intermediate Red we began the season by reviewing the basics of streamlines, push offs, and flutter kick. Here is a summary of what we practiced:
Streamlines: Holding the arms tight behind the head elongates the shoulders forward and creates a ‘super streamline.’ This streamline position should be achieved before the swimmer leaves the wall and held until the swimmer is ready to engage the arms in swimming.
Push offs: With two feet and one hand on the wall, the swimmer sinks under the water, brings the arms into a tight streamline position and pushes off on their back. With the toes pointed, the swimmer squeezes their streamline while rotating onto their front. We practice pushing off on the back, to mimic the push off following the turn. The swimmer always leaves the wall on their back or side, rather than turning the body around on the wall and pushing off on the front which is more time consuming. How to push off the wall correctly is explained here.
Kicking: Keeping the legs straight and slightly apart and beginning the kick with the hips to utilize the large muscles in the legs. The ankles should be relaxed to help generate power and propulsion. We talked a lot about kicking in both directions and more specifically focusing on the upward kick, which is commonly much weaker than the downward kick.
We also began working on freestyle, specifically extending the arm forward in preparation for the freestyle catch and pull. One of the most common mistakes in swimming is allowing the arm to drop down in between strokes (especially after the breath) which decreases the opportunity for a strong catch and pull.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Intermediate Red’s first swimmer of the week, Julien M! Julien is often the first swimmer to get in the water and the last swimmer to get out. During the first week, he had excellent attendance and impressed me by demonstrating a positive attitude and leadership skills. Julien displayed excellent practice habits by listening carefully to instruction, and following the pace clock. He was a leader to others by helping his team mates follow the clock and was patient and welcoming to new group members. Way to go Julien!
I will be away from the pool this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I encourage swimmers to attend as much as they can during the beginning of the week to get up to speed with this weeks goals. I expect everyone to represent our group with pride for Kaylyn (Thursday PM, Friday PM), Sophia (Friday AM) and Alexis (Saturday AM) who will be filling in during my absence.
See you at the pool!