Saturday, April 14, 2007
An Update on My Back Rollover Turns
After Semiahmoo coach Dennis Caldwell pointed out how much time I could take off by merely bringing my back turn up to an average level I’ve been concentrating on doing just that. It seems only logical – what with the limited hours I have available for training devoting as much time as possible to my turns clearly provides the best payback. I think my distance to turn has seen significant improvement and my turn initiation also is looking up. At last night’s practice Brad gave me some more coaching on my turns and we saw my time from flag-to-flag (the five meters before and after the turn) drop from 6.1 seconds to a more palatable 5.6 seconds merely by better form in commencing the turn. Of course there are still lots of problems to work on. My foot placement is considerably better but because I’m now visually checking where my feet go my head position during the turn has become a problem. Furthermore I’ve not seen any improvement in the most important part of the back rollover, that of the dolphin kick, as presently my dolphin is only a quick two kick before surfacing. This is necessitated by my poor aerobic conditioning which leaves me just a couple seconds of air because I'm not taking a breath going into the turn (at least when I’m not too tired!). I’m working on extending this mostly by keeping my head down for a few strokes on every start and after every turn I swim, plus doing extensive breathing drills in my non-Hyack practices. Hopefully this will pay off and over time I’ll see my dolphins rise from two, to four, to six, and eventually eight. I’d be happy with eight underwater kicks. But for the present just making sure I get back to the surface is my first priority. I still mess up about one in six turns, and about every third botched turn is a lulu resulting in me lurching to the surface sputtering and coughing out the water I’ve taken in. I’m just going to be screwed swimming the 200 back and its seven turns next week. Damn.