Missiles and Such

Posted on December 12, 2009


Every now and then you need to take a step back and realign yourself in swimming, and probably in everything else you do. We are going through that period right now on our team. We just completed a very long season, and now it’s time to reset the registers and get everything back in line for 2010. I mean strokes, turns, starts, as well as other things that you didn’t have time to work on and now you do!

Missiles and Such
Our athletes work extremely hard during the season. Imagine workhorses going as hard as they can, plowing road after road. Perhaps envision a missile, burning the air as it soars towards its target. It is this raw power and determination that we have worked hard to achieve. However, power cannot do it alone. So, we build in a bit of rest period where we focus on stroke technique.

Blue Dolfin Coach Kevin Meisel is known in swimming as the “Master of the Stroke.” His drilling of the basics, teaching of the stroke, fine-tuning of the kick is legendary, just as his father’s reputation is. And, one thing we Blue Dolfin coaches know, is that no matter what the raw power, potential, and strength, even guided missiles can sometimes need to be realigned.

There’s a reason even Olympic-level swimmers have coaches to constantly be adjusting their athletes’ stroke and turn, sharpening the movement, shaping the cut into the water. Ramp up the power; fine tune the stroke. A bit of a cycle is created throughout the season. Our athletes do the same. While we will keep the dryland portion fairly intense, in order to keep our strength, massive stroke work and intense technique will also be thrown into the mix.

Breaking Bad Habits
Even the best swimmers can fall into a rut and unknowingly have their stroke go off course. So, the coaches are also slowing the kids down to “feel” the water and actually notice what is going on with their hand placement, elbows, entry and breakout…it does take time especially when you need to do it over and over to ‘re-teach” them or to break old habits. Every athlete I’ve seen has an issue here or there, even if they are Senior or Junior National qualifiers. We are even breaking the turns down into 3 parts in order for swimmers to truly perfect their technique. Efficiency=power!

Return to Power
Our power training season will ramp back up in a couple weeks after this“realignment” period. At that time, practices will become some of the most intense swimming and dryland workouts the swimmers have ever had. In order to do that, this “break” will give them the physical and mental capacity to do so. I have always noticed a more intense training season by these athletes if this type of break is recognized.

So, remember, get back to basics, take a mental break here and there in anything you do, you will definitely come back stronger and more focused and ready to gear back up!

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