Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some More Stroke Instruction

Again last night Brad offered video stroke analysis to the few who showed up for practice. I sneaked in at the end to have Brad take another look at my backstroke to see if the changes I made after Wednesday’s critiques were moving me in the right direction. Reassuringly I saw a definite improvement in the ‘connectedness’ of my stroke and kick through my core. Enough improvement for Brad, after a couple of cursory comments on the need to coordinate the hips better with my stroke, to move his attentions to another problem. It was clear looking at the video my catch is going too deep and causing problems. First thing it’s forcing me to spend a part of my stroke bringing my hand up before finishing instead of always moving parallel to the wall, meaning a significant portion of my stroke is wasted pushing up instead of back. The second flaw is the deep initial pull creates a very long stroke which limits my maximum stroke rate. Lastly the deep catch requires significant and conscious muscular effort from me. Each time my hand enters the water I can feel the pull across my chest and shoulders as I accelerate my arm stroke – but doing so causes me to neglect my other arm’s recovery, necessitating the opposing arm to be ‘snatched’ out of the water late in the stroke cycle to catch up. Broadly speaking I’ve been swimming one stroke at a time instead of maintaining a proper rotation of both arms. We hope by making my pull shallower and bringing it back more parallel to my side will allow a better connected and smoother stroke which in turn will improve my overall balance and stroke rate. Not to mention providing more propulsive power.

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