A friend once told me, "You don’t need to be a great swimmer to be an amazing coach, but it sure does help." The athletic experience is earned, and easily relatable to immediate challenges any swimmer faces. But coaching is about sharing what we've learned. So while initially, I understood a great deal about swimming, breaststroke had never 'come easily' - nor been taught to me.
Why Focus on Learning Breaststroke?
Because I could never swim it. I had to study it. Breaststroke was a foreign language to me. And I got dropped into the deep end with only a rudimentary knowledge of breaststroke technique. I learned to teach breaststroke by coaching an Olympic breaststroker.
In the beginning, I never knew what to look for until someone else pointed it out. And listen to Mark explain it to me. But I knew when he was at his best. That became the baseline for his technique.
We trusted biomechanists to experiment judiciously with technique while challenging his physiological limits (a world I felt infinitely more comfortable with). By the end of the immersion, I could see and hear great breaststroke. Like the difference between a curve and a fastball.
How to Swim Faster with Video Analysis
10000 hours of ‘paying attention’ lets a coach begin to understand what is going on with a swimmer. But scaling knowledge helps a coach and/or athlete better understand. More deserve the information inside the best swimmers and sharing is easier than ever with automated video analysis, clinics, blogs, and so much more.
Use the tools at your disposal and I highly recommend a DVR Learning loop - swim, watch, swim - when reinforcing concepts.
What to Look for when Underwater Swimming
Inside KineFusion, we call it form. It is merely a way to 'chunk information' into smaller digestible bites that prioritize coaching to maximize technical gains. Notifications and/or shorthand to keep the learning loop referenced above moving.
- Catch - If the elbow is 'dropped' or under the hands - you have a problem
- Position - head bobbing and hips waggling are an easy indication of poor body position
- Kick (ML) - toes that aren't pointed like a ballerina (freestyle, backstroke, butterfly) or toes that never flex toward the shin to 'turn out' (breaststroke)