Great work at the Ice Breaker and Boundary Bay meets! It has been exciting to get back into racing and all the coaches have enjoyed seeing the swimmers apply what we have been coaching in practice over the last six weeks to their races.
The intermediate Red’s have spent a large portion of the season so far focussing on technique, but it has been exciting to still see so many best times so early in the season! As a group, our primary goal has been to push straight off the wall and streamline to the flags. We will continue to work on this skill, however, I was excited to see an improvement in this goal when comparing the Ice Breaker to Boundary Bay. The next phase of our training will be focused on translating good technique to improved aerobic endurance, and I am looking forward to seeing refined technique translate into faster swimming as the season progresses!
As a group we have spent the last few weeks focusing on butterfly. We have been working on creating a relaxed stroke by entering with the arms straight and behind the head, and pressing the chest down to elevate the hips. We have also worked on keeping the head low to the water when breathing, by tilting the chin forwards and keeping it at the surface of the water. The breath has to occur quickly for correct butterfly timing, so once the head clears the water for a breath, it should continue to move back down to not disrupt the stroke.
This week we will spend some time working on breaststroke. So far, we have focused on pressing down with the chest while fully extending the arms during the glide phase, now we will translate our focus to the kick. While the kick is important in all four strokes, whip kick accounts for nearly 80% of the propulsion in breaststroke, making a strong kick essential for fast breaststroke. A strong breaststroke kicker is one who can pull their legs back quickly and keep their knees at or inside their hips. This quick, narrow kick is important to reduce drag and generate sufficient propulsion, but also to allow the kick to be initiated with the forward lunge of the upper body. In order for breaststroke to be most efficient, the kick should be initiated prior to the shoulders entering the water, with the knees in and the feet turned out.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the last two swimmers of the week, Tiana M and Bronwyn A! Tiana is a leader to the group and to the club. She keeps everyone on task during practices by helping her teammates with their pacetimes, and ensuring that everyone in her lane understands the set. She has shown improvements in her consideration of technical feedback, which has led to some significant improvements in her butterfly technique. Tiana is a valued member of the CIT program and gives back by volunteering with the JD program every week. Bronwyn consistently practices consciously and purposefully. She listens intently to instruction and applies feedback immediately. Although she has only been swimming for a short while, these qualities make her one of the first people I look at when showing an example of correct technique during drills. These attitudes have lead to some serious improvements, as Bronwyn took over 1 minute off her times at Ice Breaker. Way to go girls!
With school and other activities winding down, I hope to soon see everyone attending almost every practice. We have a lot of work still to do and only 10 weeks left in the season!
See you at the pool,