Friday, November 03, 2017

Great Sporting Rivalries In Other Sports: Swinger vs. Smooth?

Clinics, Camps and 1to1s:

North America

Providence / Boston Video Analysis

Calgary Squads

Calgary Video Analysis

2 Day Swim Camp Oct 21-22 Carlsbad CA

New Oceanside CA Squad starting July 26th

Solana Beach / Oceanside / Carlsbad Video Analysis

Chicago Video Analysis

Chicago Squads

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

The Woodlands TX, Swim Squad

SS Clinics Chicago

Asia / Middle East / Australia / Africa

Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis

Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Perth Squads

Perth Video Analysis

Kuala Lumpur Swim Squad

NEW Johannesburg Video Analysis

NEW Johannesburg Squads


Wachtebeke Clinc Dec 2017

Nijmegen Squads

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Video Analysis

Nijmegen Video Analysis.  & Stroke Correction

City Of Elche Video Analysis / Squads

SS Camp Lanzarote Mar/Apr 2018 (English - Dutch)

United Kingdom

Breathing Masterclass, Abingdon Dec 6/13/20

Reading Video Analysis Clinic Dec 17
Only 2 Places Left

West Lothian Video Analysis

Richmond London SS Squad

SW London Swim Workshops

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis

Twickenham Video Analysis

Lancaster SS Squad

Swindon/Cotswolds Video Analysis

Lancaster Video Analysis

Northampton Swim Squad

Millfield Stroke Correction Clinic

Swindon SS Squad (Try for free!)

Felixstowe Video Analysis

Stratford upon Avon & Birmingham/Coventry Squads

Felixstowe Squads

Heston West London Video Analysis

Cardiff Video Analysis Clinic

Northampton Video Analysis Clinic

Guernsey SS Squads

Guernsey Video Analysis

Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)

Yorkshire Video Analysis

Swim Smooth Kent Squad

Swim Smooth Kent Video analysis
Here's an idea a little from the "left field":

If you've been following Swim Smooth for a while you'll know about our Swim Types system which recognises six classic types of swimmer from complete beginner through to elite competitor. At the top of the tree are two stroke styles that have been used by Olympic champions through the decades: "Swinger" and "Smooth".

Smooths are physically gifted, tend to swim with a long flowing *smooth* stroke style and are natural sprinters. Very good at sport from a young age, they are confident in their abilities but tend to have a reserved modest personality - sometimes so laid-back they are virtually horizontal! Always charming and gracious, they may struggle for motivation (especially in training) - in fact getting fired-up may be the biggest challenge they need to overcome. But such is their talent, when motivated and conditions suit them, a smooth is almost impossible to beat.

Swingers are a very different breed, in the water they are a bundle of energy with a shorter stroke and faster turnover. Less pre-disposed to sprinting than Smooths, they are naturally suited to distance swimming and have the perfect training-personality - endlessly motivated and passionate about their sport. Swingers can be quite reactive, don't fear confrontation (in fact they may deliberately court it - see below) and can't help saying what the think - whatever the outcome. They are very open minded, study the big picture of their sport, take insight and inspiration from a variety of sources and are very open to experimentation and innovation. As a result a mature Swinger has the toolset to adapt to different conditions and can dominate when conditions are not ideally or change quickly.

Great Sporting Rivalries In Other Sports

This may seem like a controversial idea but what if this Swinger vs. Smooth dynamic plays out in other sports too? What if this battle of convention vs. invention and talent vs. drive plays out in other sporting arenas?

Consider these all-time classic sporting rivalries:

Borg (Sm) vs. McEnroe (Sw)

We don't really need to tell you which is which do we? The ultimate "fire and ice" match-up, Borg was the great champion - calm, talented and playing a classical game. McEnroe, unorthodox, aggressive, confrontational and having an endless passion for the game. A fascinating match-up 

Borg (left) looking suave. McEnroe: "When do we get on and start playing tennis?"

Other notable tennis rivalries: Pete Sampras [Sm] vs. Andre Agassi [Sw]. Rafael Nadal [Sw] - Roger Federer [very Sm].

Prost (Sm) vs. Senna (Sw)

What happened in 1988 when the super-smooth Alain Prost was joined at Mclaren by rising star Ayrton Senna? Fireworks is an under-statement! Alain was the established super-star of the sport, calm, considered, playing the percentages, unbeatable on his day. Senna, fast, aggressive, versatile, sending a message with his uncompromising driving style. As teammates they won a world championship each, culminating in their famous collisions at the 1989 and 1990 Japanese Grand Prix.

1988: Senna (left) and Prost (right)

Confrontational is an understatement. One possible
outcome of standing up to Senna on a racetrack.
Senna fundamentally changed the way Formula 1 drivers carried out their craft - pushing the sport firmly into the modern era aggressive overtaking and a win-at-all-costs approach.

Other notable F1 rivalries: Lewis Hamilton [Sw] vs. Vettel [Sm]

Evert (Sm) vs Navratilova (Sw)

The rivalry between Evert and Navratilova became the central spoke of women’s tennis in the '80s. The rivals bore the brunt of building the women’s game. While they each had their fans and detractors, overall their rivalry was hugely positive in building a fanbase for women's tennis.

As the rivalry built and they pushed themselves to greater heights, Evert became more focused, consistent, patient, and determined. Navratilova grew more agitated and volatile, often arguing with the chair umpire or quipping and joking with the crowd.

Unusually for two great rivals their friendship grew stronger over years of competition and today they are closer than ever.

Muhammad Ali (Sw) - Joe Frazier (Sm)

What else can be left to be said about these two great champions? Frazer, quiet, calm, modest, considered. Ali, outspoken, fast-talking, reactive, boundlessly ambitious. There's no doubt that Ali's endless clowning wound up Frazer but this only served to motivate him to train harder in the ring.

Their three titanic clashes in the ring are some of the greatest sporting spectacles of all time.

Arnold Palmer (Sw) vs. Jack Nicholas (Sm)

Arnold Palmer was the original trailblazer of golf, developing a huge following drawn to his charismatic wisecracking personality and devil-may-care play. His swing was never a thing of beauty—more of an agricultural swipe than the elegant arc of a Sam Snead or an Ernie Els—but it would always get the job done.

Arnold Palmer (left) and Jack Nicholas in 2015
11 years younger than Palmer, Nicholas turned pro in 1961. Partly because of natural makeup, and partly due to will, Nicklaus' temperament was built to last and this longevity of career lead to him becoming the greatest golfer of all time. Nicklaus has a "low arousal" personality meaning when tournament pressure increased, it brought him into the sweet-spot of motivation rather than overloading him.

What Jack possessed that nobody else has ever had to such a degree was the combination of power and accuracy, which was partly due to his physical strengths, but mostly due to his technical skill. He simply had the better swing, by far.

Dave Scott (Sw) vs. Mark Allen (Sm)

And last but not least, the greatest every rivalry from our own sport of triathlon. Dave Scott, super-motivated, the great innovator of Ironman and a 6 time champion, taking race winning times from over 9 hours down to 8 hours through the 1980s. Mark Allen, 4 years younger and super-talented, modest and quietly spoken, totally dominant at the short-course distance, looking to dethrone Scott at Ironman.

The classic shot: Scott (left) and Allen

These two all-time greats of our sport went at it year after year in Hawaii. Five times Scott saw off Allen before Mark finally beat him in 1989 and went on to dominate the race himself, also ending up a 6 times champion.

If you think we're imagining things, or this is all a stretch too far then that's fine, please ignore. But if you are seeing what we're seeing - and have examples of your own - then enjoy the view.

Swinger vs. Smooth is everywhere when you look.

Swim Smooth!

No comments: