Thursday, May 31, 2018

Another Great Example - Different Strokes For Two Very Different Folks

Paul Newsome and the rest of the Swim Smooth coaching team have been out in Mallorca the last week running our 3 Day Coach Education Course at the Best Centre and then racing in the amazing Best Fest open water series (if you have the opportunity you've got to get out here for it one year!).

Meet two coaches who attended the Coach-Ed course. Nico (198cm tall) from Tenerife, Spain and Andrés (172cm tall) from Benidorm, Spain :

Both have developed their own swimming and stroke style around our Swim Types model to maximise their own performances given their height, build, arm-length etc.

As you can see from the photo, Nico is very tall and has very long arms and large hands. This makes him perfectly suited to the long stroke style of the classic Smooth Swim Type, which he fully embraces. He looks super smooth in the water - in fact it looks like he's barely trying at all (although of course he is).

On the other hand Andrés uses a shorter stroke with a faster turnover to great effect. We recognise this as the "Swinger" stroke style and done right it is an extremely fast and effective way of swimming. Just to prove that point, Andres is every bit as fast as Nico in the water, in fact he was slightly quicker in our CSS test during the course, posting 5:18 and 2:34 for his 400m and 200m splits, giving him a CSS pace of 1:22 /100m - great swimming.

So how do they look in the water? Here they are swimming one behind the other during that 400m swim:

No prizes for guessing which one is which! Andrés has managed to catch Nico and sit on his feet; that may skew his CSS result a little so be wary yourself of doing this with another swimmer intentionally during a CSS test - leave a big gap to the person in front or smoothly (and safely) overtake them.

It's worth noting whilst we are here that most Swingers enjoy the rough and tumble of open water swimming and are naturally good at drafting - like Andrés - while most Smooths tend to avoid it and prefer clear water to keep that range in their stroke long and continuous.

We've shown you quite a few examples over the years of how the stroke styles of great swimmers vary depending on their height, build, experience and flexibility. You might remember Byron vs. Brad a couple of months ago. We do this to re-enforce the point these differences are everywhere and extremely common - something this is so often overlooked with traditional swim coaching.

You might be thinking that this is an extreme example but really it isn't. In the group of 20 coaches on the Coach-Ed course Nico wasn't even the tallest and Andrés was about average height for the group (there were plenty of shorter coaches). Of course being well matched in pace terms makes these two interesting to compare here. These differences are EVERYWHERE when you look for them.

So every swimmer should be asking themselves the question: Am I trying to swim with the wrong style for my natural make-up? Doing so will SERIOUSLY hold your swimming back!

Swim Smooth!

No comments: