Proper form for using a kickboard

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Pat, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest

    I know this sounds elementary, but I am not sure I am doing it right. Could someone tell me the
    proper form?

    Pat in TX
     
    Tags:


  2. De Valois

    De Valois Guest

    Pat left this mess on Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:39:44 -0600 for The Way to clean up:
    >
    >I know this sounds elementary, but I am not sure I am doing it right. Could someone tell me the
    >proper form?
    >

    Assuming you mean for the flutter kick, you'll want to recreate the stroke as best as you can in
    terms of hand placement, naturally. But of course, that's tiring to hold. I will usually start with
    my hands at the sides of the "bottom" (the edge closest to me), face in the water taking "crawl"
    breaths, then slide them on top, again maintaining crawl breaths, and then rest my arms on the board
    as I get even more tired, lifting my head to the traditional lifeguard position of facing forward
    over the board.

    There really is no one right way to do this, Pat. My workout is designed to strengthen my arms (a
    little bit, that's given) as much as possible while kicking. I've seen many people lay their arms
    over the board from the get-go. My beef with this is, while it rests your arms and shoulders, your
    neck and back can get tired.

    Tao te Carl "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003

    (Kudos to Cap'n Jim Wyatt for this link) BEFORE you ask a dumb-ass question
    here...http://www.speakeasy.org/~neilco/bart.gif
     
  3. Diablo

    Diablo Guest

    Lots of stuff to think about here, a good question. It all depends, kind of like Carl alluded to, on
    what you're looking to get out of the workout. Consider this - the further up the board your hands
    are, and the degree to which you are laying them on the board will dictate how much support it gives
    you. Therefore, to get maximum support, lay your arms on the board and hold the leading edge. This
    is generally something i encourage with younger swimmers, so all they're doing is working the legs
    and don't have to worry about staying afloat. With more advanced swimmers, i would recommend holding
    it in a minimal support position, so as to strengthen core muscles maintaining posture.

    Having said all of that, i stopped using boards for kicking a long time ago (when i stopped working
    with developmental swimming), figuring that i can work on body rotation drills while they kick in a
    streamlined body position. The only time i use a kick board is for resistance (held perpendicular to
    the water). My breaststrokers kick only as 3kick-1pull, my butterly crew swim u/w dolphin kick on
    all four sides along with a spiral format, and my back/free swimmers kick streamlined.

    Pool toys are evil ;)

    "de Valois" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Pat left this mess on Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:39:44 -0600 for The Way to clean
    up:
    > >
    > >I know this sounds elementary, but I am not sure I am doing it right.
    Could
    > >someone tell me the proper form?
    > >
    >
    > Assuming you mean for the flutter kick, you'll want to recreate the stroke
    as
    > best as you can in terms of hand placement, naturally. But of course,
    that's
    > tiring to hold. I will usually start with my hands at the sides of the
    "bottom"
    > (the edge closest to me), face in the water taking "crawl" breaths, then
    slide
    > them on top, again maintaining crawl breaths, and then rest my arms on the
    board
    > as I get even more tired, lifting my head to the traditional lifeguard
    position
    > of facing forward over the board.
    >
    > There really is no one right way to do this, Pat. My workout is designed
    to
    > strengthen my arms (a little bit, that's given) as much as possible while kicking. I've seen many
    > people lay their arms over the board from the
    get-go. My
    > beef with this is, while it rests your arms and shoulders, your neck and
    back
    > can get tired.
    >
    > Tao te Carl "It takes a village to have an idiot." - Carl (c) 2003
    >
    > (Kudos to Cap'n Jim Wyatt for this link) BEFORE you ask a dumb-ass
    question
    > here...http://www.speakeasy.org/~neilco/bart.gif
     
  4. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Pat says...
    >
    >
    >I know this sounds elementary, but I am not sure I am doing it right. Could someone tell me the
    >proper form?
    >
    >Pat in TX

    Another alternative - I use a snorkle, with no board, for kick laps. Arms stretched out in front, or
    even alongside. It's a lot easier on my neck.
     
  5. The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades. Virtually all of the greatest swimmers of
    the world have trained hundreds of thousands of meters with kickboards over the span of their
    careers. Specifically including the new generation of great American female distance swimmers, such
    as Hayley Peirsol and Adrienne Binder. Even though female distance swimming does not rely on kicking
    to the extent as in other freestyle events.

    Perhaps the greatest value of kickboard training is that it specifically trains the lower lumbar
    back muscles which are crucial for creating a stable, horizontal platform to minimize drag in the
    water and keep the butt on the surface of the water, which is a major hallmark of elite freestyle
    swimming. It is also important, but not easy, to maintain this lower lumbar muscular tension while
    still maintaining an active and propulsive kick. In addition to lower lumbar muscle training,
    kickboard training specifically teaches and trains the swimmer to kick productively _in the presence
    of a distinct lower lumbar arch_.

    You can either kick with the board in the usual position (on top of the water). This is optimum for
    training the lower lumbar spine muscles and for teaching the body to maintain the crucial lower
    lumbar arch while also maintaining an effective kick. Or else you can hold the board completely
    under water, parallel to the water surface. This position approximates a full stroke swimming
    posture (without board) and may produce a greater degree of specificity with respect to training the
    kicking muscles.

    The kickboard should be held with the thumbs facing up and the pinkys down to maintain the arm in a
    position of relative external rotation, to minimize rotator cuff impingement. Many swimmers
    (particularly breaststrokers) place there fingers over the far end of the board, with their thumbs
    facing each other. This increases impingement and is particular harmful to swimmers prone to develop
    impingement-type shoulder pain.

    Larry Weisenthal

    Certitude is poison; curiosity is life
     
  6. M.W.Smith

    M.W.Smith Guest

    Pat wrote:

    > I know this sounds elementary, but I am not sure I am doing it right. Could someone tell me the
    > proper form?

    The main idea is to hold it way out in front and don't press down on it at all. It isn't meant to
    provide any floatation effect. It just allows you to keep your head up while kicking.

    martin
     
  7. Scott Lemley

    Scott Lemley Guest

    Happy Thanksgiving, all! I can't resist throwing in my 2 cents on the value of kicking with a board.
    First of all, Larry, I'll take you to task a bit. The relative value of kicking with boards has not
    been "proven". Please be careful how you use that word. I'm sure what you meant to say was kicking
    with boards is "common" and that your "belief" in their use is strong. Belief needs no proof, right?
    Otherwise, please publish the peer reviewed studies where your "proof" exists. Thanks.

    Like many coaches, I'd given up using boards with my swimmers for about 15 years. There are many
    reasons for this: their use can result in shoulder impingement (the prevention of which is a crusade
    many of us who frequent this newsgroup have been on for years and which, Larry, you conveniently
    forget when trying to "prove" your point about the value of promoting the lumbar arch), they can
    hide one's lack of balance, they can become pillows where one sleeps during kick sets rather than
    staying engaged, etc.

    One of the most important aspects of ANY athletic movement is to be balanced. I won't say this is a
    "proven" fact, however, I haven't heard anyone dispute the importance of being balanced. I learned
    the value of balance first from my martial arts teacher, who could knock me over with one finger.
    Finding my balance when stationary became one of the first and most important lessons I learned in
    the dojo. Staying balanced as I moved across the mat was the second most important lesson I learned
    - dynamic balance. My offensive moves were much stronger when I was balanced and I was able to
    defend much better as well. Voila! Two sides of the equation taken care of with the mastery of one
    principle. I was taught that the principle of "balance" was a reconciling principle (kind of a
    master principle) and thus one of the most important aspects of Aikido to understand and practice.

    I applied that lesson to teaching swimmers from Day One as a professional coach. Being balanced
    appeared to me to enable swimmers to better apply power to the water as well as to more successfully
    evade or minimize the resistance of the water. Voila! Two sides of the equation addressed with the
    mastery of one principle. Kicking on one's side - the most common position freestylers and
    backstrokers find themselves in when they race - as opposed to kicking flat on your stomach or flat
    on your back, has become the foundation upon which I teach my swimmers to "swim in balance".

    Having said that, I do occasionally promote the use of boards in practice; about once a week I have
    my swimmers engage in what I call a "social kick" where they kick on boards and are required to talk
    with each other. I think that's an important part of why they swim on a "team", for camaraderie.
    Swimming is such a sensory-deprived sport that I recognize the need for talking with your teammates
    as a necessary balance to the time the swimmers spend with their heads in or under the water.

    I've come around to believe there are no "evil" pool tools. Boards can be beneficial if used
    intelligently and sparingly. I admit I don't use paddles with my swimmers (not for 20 years,
    anyway), however, I can see how they might be beneficial if carefully integrated into certain sets.
    I admit I don't use buoys very often, however, when a swimmer has a leg injury I let them use a buoy
    so their training isn't interrupted. We use fins perhaps once a week, both as a teaching and a
    training aid. We use fistgloves (obviously) under a variety of circumstances. We use surgical tubing
    for resisted and assisted swimming. We've started to use tempo trainers over the last year or so.

    I see the use of these kinds of devices much the same way I view food: moderation in all things is
    the rule. Too much pepper will probably kill you, however, a little pepper in the crock pot produces
    a wonderful flavor in the stew. Too many carbs puts me in a coma, however, a side dish of rice or
    pasta is a fairly clean energy source. There are exceptions to "the rule" as well. I don't see any
    need for tobacco (in moderation or otherwise). I don't see any need for the regular use of narcotics
    (though my own father's death was made easier with a morphine drip). A coach's common sense and
    experience will tell him or her what's beneficial for the swimmers they coach.

    Regards,

    Scott
     
  8. Olivier

    Olivier Guest

    Larry Weisenthal <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message :
    [email protected]
    > The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades.

    Plus: this is the best (and only) way to chat a bit with your lane mates while swimming!

    -- Olivier
     
  9. On 27 Nov 2003 02:58:23 GMT, [email protected] (Larry Weisenthal) wrote:

    >The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades. Virtually all of the greatest swimmers of
    >the world have trained hundreds of thousands of meters with kickboards over the span of their
    >careers. Specifically including the new generation of great American female distance swimmers, such
    >as Hayley Peirsol and Adrienne Binder. Even though female distance swimming does not rely on
    >kicking to the extent as in other freestyle events.
    >
    >Perhaps the greatest value of kickboard training is that it specifically trains the lower lumbar
    >back muscles which are crucial for creating a stable, horizontal platform to minimize drag in the
    >water and keep the butt on the surface of the water, which is a major hallmark of elite freestyle
    >swimming.

    But does that hold true even if your kickboarding speed is embarrassingly slow? In my case, the slow
    kickboarding (1:30 - 2:00 per 50 yds without fins) is due entirely to mechanics/flexibility problems
    and not a lack of power in the lower body. If I put on a set of the small blue zoomer fins, I can do
    the 50 yd kickboard sets in about 0:45 or do 1000 free in the 14:30 range.

    The question here is would I benefit more from kickboarding at normal speeds with the fins or
    kicking like crazy, but moving like a lump without them? Without them, I can certainly feel more
    tension in the lower back, but that comes at the expense of having a non-productive kick.

    >It is also important, but not easy, to maintain this lower lumbar muscular tension while still
    >maintaining an active and propulsive kick. In addition to lower lumbar muscle training, kickboard
    >training specifically teaches and trains the swimmer to kick productively _in the presence of a
    >distinct lower lumbar arch_.
    >
    >You can either kick with the board in the usual position (on top of the water). This is optimum for
    >training the lower lumbar spine muscles and for teaching the body to maintain the crucial lower
    >lumbar arch while also maintaining an effective kick. Or else you can hold the board completely
    >under water, parallel to the water surface. This position approximates a full stroke swimming
    >posture (without board) and may produce a greater degree of specificity with respect to training
    >the kicking muscles.

    One of the shortcomings of kickboarding is that it does not practice the body rotation that takes
    place during an unaided freestyle stroke. In my own limited experience with masters swimming and
    triathlon training, I have noticed that maintaining the correct rotation, with the hips leading,
    requires conditioning to maintain over a long distance. It would seem like the best way to acheive
    this conditioning is either swimming unaided freestyle with correct technique or doing some type of
    drills with exaggerated body rolls while kicking.

    I suspect that there is a small additional propulsive effect that results from the combination of
    rolling and kicking. In my case, I believe that is true because I can swim faster unaided than
    with a pull-buoy (with or without paddles). If my actual kick during freestyle were as
    non-propulsive as my kickboard kick, then I should logically be able to swim as fast or faster
    with a pull-buoy than without.

    >
    >The kickboard should be held with the thumbs facing up and the pinkys down to maintain the arm in a
    >position of relative external rotation, to minimize rotator cuff impingement. Many swimmers
    >(particularly breaststrokers) place there fingers over the far end of the board, with their thumbs
    >facing each other. This increases impingement and is particular harmful to swimmers prone to
    >develop impingement-type shoulder pain.
    >
    >
    >
    >Larry Weisenthal
    >
    >Certitude is poison; curiosity is life
     
  10. M.W.Smith

    M.W.Smith Guest

    Olivier wrote:

    > Larry Weisenthal <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message :
    > [email protected]
    >
    >>The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades.
    >
    >
    > Plus: this is the best (and only) way to chat a bit with your lane mates while swimming!

    And that fellowship is important during a long, arduous workout.

    martin
     
  11. M.W.Smith

    M.W.Smith Guest

    Radioactive Man wrote:

    > On 27 Nov 2003 02:58:23 GMT, [email protected] (Larry Weisenthal) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades. Virtually all of the greatest swimmers of
    >>the world have trained hundreds of thousands of meters with kickboards over the span of their
    >>careers. Specifically including the new generation of great American female distance swimmers,
    >>such as Hayley Peirsol and Adrienne Binder. Even though female distance swimming does not rely on
    >>kicking to the extent as in other freestyle events.
    >>
    >>Perhaps the greatest value of kickboard training is that it specifically trains the lower lumbar
    >>back muscles which are crucial for creating a stable, horizontal platform to minimize drag in the
    >>water and keep the butt on the surface of the water, which is a major hallmark of elite freestyle
    >>swimming.
    >
    >
    > But does that hold true even if your kickboarding speed is embarrassingly slow? In my case, the
    > slow kickboarding (1:30 - 2:00 per 50 yds without fins) is due entirely to mechanics/flexibility
    > problems and not a lack of power in the lower body. If I put on a set of the small blue zoomer
    > fins, I can do the 50 yd kickboard sets in about 0:45 or do 1000 free in the 14:30 range.
    >
    > The question here is would I benefit more from kickboarding at normal speeds with the fins or
    > kicking like crazy, but moving like a lump without them? Without them, I can certainly feel more
    > tension in the lower back, but that comes at the expense of having a non-productive kick.

    I say use the fins, but don't bother your lanemates. If they don't have fins, do stroke drills while
    they are kicking, ie do some right arm only laps, some left arm only laps, some catch-up and glide
    laps, basically kicking without a kickboard but using your arms a bit, at least to stay on the
    interval the others are using.

    >>It is also important, but not easy, to maintain this lower lumbar muscular tension while still
    >>maintaining an active and propulsive kick. In addition to lower lumbar muscle training, kickboard
    >>training specifically teaches and trains the swimmer to kick productively _in the presence of a
    >>distinct lower lumbar arch_.
    >>
    >>You can either kick with the board in the usual position (on top of the water). This is optimum
    >>for training the lower lumbar spine muscles and for teaching the body to maintain the crucial
    >>lower lumbar arch while also maintaining an effective kick. Or else you can hold the board
    >>completely under water, parallel to the water surface. This position approximates a full stroke
    >>swimming posture (without board) and may produce a greater degree of specificity with respect to
    >>training the kicking muscles.
    >
    >
    > One of the shortcomings of kickboarding is that it does not practice the body rotation that takes
    > place during an unaided freestyle stroke. In my own limited experience with masters swimming and
    > triathlon training, I have noticed that maintaining the correct rotation, with the hips leading,
    > requires conditioning to maintain over a long distance. It would seem like the best way to acheive
    > this conditioning is either swimming unaided freestyle with correct technique or doing some type
    > of drills with exaggerated body rolls while kicking.

    I agree, and the drills I suggested will do that. But this is not to minimize the value of kicking
    with a board. There are, however, a few people like you and me who will *never* improve as kickers
    without fins.

    > I suspect that there is a small additional propulsive effect that results from the combination of
    > rolling and kicking. In my case, I believe that is true because I can swim faster unaided than
    > with a pull-buoy (with or without paddles). If my actual kick during freestyle were as
    > non-propulsive as my kickboard kick, then I should logically be able to swim as fast or faster
    > with a pull-buoy than without.

    That *is* true in my case. I swim faster with a pull-buoy than without and the difference in speed
    is significant.

    martin
     
  12. On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 09:43:30 +0100, "M.W.Smith" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Radioactive Man wrote:
    >>
    >> The question here is would I benefit more from kickboarding at normal speeds with the fins or
    >> kicking like crazy, but moving like a lump without them? Without them, I can certainly feel more
    >> tension in the lower back, but that comes at the expense of having a non-productive kick.
    >
    >I say use the fins, but don't bother your lanemates. If they don't have fins, do stroke drills
    >while they are kicking, ie do some right arm only laps, some left arm only laps, some catch-up and
    >glide laps, basically kicking without a kickboard but using your arms a bit, at least to stay on
    >the interval the others are using.

    When I am swimming at the morning master's practice, I always make adjustments needed to match the
    group with which I am swimming. That may mean using fins on a drill or kick set, taking off ahead of
    the slower ones, behind the fast ones, etc. In the evenings, I have a lane to myself most of the
    time and can be as much of a lump as I want to be on the kickboard.

    >
    >>
    >> One of the shortcomings of kickboarding is that it does not practice the body rotation that takes
    >> place during an unaided freestyle stroke. In my own limited experience with masters swimming and
    >> triathlon training, I have noticed that maintaining the correct rotation, with the hips leading,
    >> requires conditioning to maintain over a long distance. It would seem like the best way to
    >> acheive this conditioning is either swimming unaided freestyle with correct technique or doing
    >> some type of drills with exaggerated body rolls while kicking.
    >
    >I agree, and the drills I suggested will do that. But this is not to minimize the value of kicking
    >with a board. There are, however, a few people like you and me who will *never* improve as kickers
    >without fins.
    >

    I believe I have made very slight improvements in kicking over the last few months because I find it
    a little easier to do the vertical kick-in-place drill where one is essentially treading water using
    the freestyle kick. When I took a lifeguarding course in high school, I remember having to do this
    while being required to keep both a 10 pound brick and my nose above water for one minute. That was
    an ordeal.

    >> I suspect that there is a small additional propulsive effect that results from the combination of
    >> rolling and kicking. In my case, I believe that is true because I can swim faster unaided than
    >> with a pull-buoy (with or without paddles). If my actual kick during freestyle were as
    >> non-propulsive as my kickboard kick, then I should logically be able to swim as fast or faster
    >> with a pull-buoy than without.
    >
    >That *is* true in my case. I swim faster with a pull-buoy than without and the difference in speed
    >is significant.

    For me, the biggest difference is that, while I am slower with a pull buoy than without, I am able
    to do bilaterial breathing indefinitely and also feel like I'm using less energy. With unaided
    freestyle, I can only keep up the bilateral breathing (one breath per 3 strokes) for 100 yds or so.
    Anything beyond that, and I am breathing at every cycle (2 strokes).

    >
    >martin
     
  13. Diablo

    Diablo Guest

    "Larry Weisenthal" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > A better way to have said it would have been to state that kickboard training has "withstood the
    > test of time and continues to
    be
    > used by many of the most experienced and successful coaches in swimming."

    those coaches do a lot of things that are dubious in terms of training methodology! it irritates me
    not a little that other coaches "do what the big boys dp" for no other reason than who they are.
    There are too many myths perpetuated by my esteemed colleagues ;)
     
  14. Olivier

    Olivier Guest

    > > The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades.
    >
    > Plus: this is the best (and only) way to chat a bit with your lane mates while swimming!

    Plus: I think that kicking hard with a kickboard is the best way to make your heart consistently
    beat fast. Larry would certainly find some explanation for that (large "red" O2 gobbling muscles in
    the leg, vs. white muscles in the arm...), but I remember that hard kicking sets were the only way
    to go close to HRmax during my training days. Some will argue that a big VO2max is not that
    important in swimming, but I tend to think that it cannot do harm...

    -- Olivier
     
  15. Scott Lemley

    Scott Lemley Guest

    "The difference for both me and the West Point swimmers -- we're balanced."

    Terry

    Balance is definitely our mantra. I think it's even important to be "balanced" about being balanced,
    that is, there's a certain balance to be found at times when one is "unbalanced". There are lessons
    to be learned there, as well.

    For instance - I know my high school swimmers will experience disapointment at some point during
    the season and I use those moments to teach them about its importance in the big scheme of things.
    There is definitely a balance to be found between contentment and disappointment and I think you
    need both.

    We certainly don't train to be disappointed; we simply know it'll happen. How can one develop
    strategies to cope with disappointment if one never fully experiences that emotional state? Most
    high school age swimmers would rather "get through it" and seek a more "rewarding" experience.
    Wouldn't most of us?

    Except I don't let them. I encourage them to practice what's called "eating bitter" in the East.
    Don't simply spit out that negative experience, eat it, or the lesson may be lost. That "negative"
    experience will leave much more of a mark, teach much more of a lesson, if the swimmer doesn't try
    to minimize the pain involved.

    Unfortunately, that's the message often delivered by our culture - you CAN live a pain free life. Be
    happy! Well, we're not always happy. Certainly the high school kids I coach are often in turmoil
    just because of their age and stage. I try to give them some perspective on where they're at and
    help them learn from what they're going through. I don't want to help them mask the pain, I would
    rather help them learn to face their pain.

    So "balance" is our mantra. Understanding "balance" as a concept helps the swimmers I coach gain
    much needed perspective on both success and failure, pain and pleasure, short term loss and long
    term gain. And I personally rely on my understanding of balance to help me design a single set's
    focus, our weekly cycles, each training phase's goals, and our seasonal mantra. What's all this got
    to do with using or not using a kickboard? Everything.

    Regards,

    Scott
     
  16. Madelaine

    Madelaine Guest

    Olivier wrote:
    > Larry Weisenthal <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message :
    > [email protected]
    >
    >>The value of the kickboard has been proven over decades.
    >
    >
    > Plus: this is the best (and only) way to chat a bit with your lane mates while swimming!
    >
    > -- Olivier
    >
    >
    Not quite--I recently witnessed two elderly fellows (probably professors) holding what appeared to
    be a quite serious meeting while swimming sidestroke face-to-face! Madelaine
     
  17. Donal Fagan

    Donal Fagan Guest

    On 02 Dec 2003 14:45:03 GMT, [email protected] (Totalswimm) wrote:

    >Another rule for living I am attracted to is Einstein's Elegant Solution: "The simplest solution is
    >usually the best."

    You may have noticed this in Sunday's NY times magazine:

    "... simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation." - Raymond Loewy

    Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
  18. Scott Lemley

    Scott Lemley Guest

    "diablo" wrote in message

    "Those coaches do a lot of things that are dubious in terms of training methodology! it irritates me
    not a little that other coaches "do what the big boys do" for no other reason than who they are.
    There are too many myths perpetuated by my esteemed colleagues."

    Isn't that the truth. I believe most coaches teach the way they were taught, which in many cases
    means they don't teach, they simply train athletes like race horses. And when you have some real
    so-called "horses" on your team, meaning very talented and commited athletes, you can almost stand
    on your head as a coach and have success.

    Having said that, I presume there are hundreds of professional swim coaches around the world who
    ARE great teachers. There are probably thousands more who are great trainers. And it's almost a
    given that MOST swim coaches are great motivators. Coaching legend Doc Counsilman used to say, if
    three coaches who were also gifted as A. a great stroke technician, B. a great physiologist, and
    C. a great
    psychologist, all coached the same swimmer, the psychologist would get the best results. I don't
    think that fact is lost on most coaches. The Mind Leads The Body. If we only have time to do one
    thing well, we motivate.

    I was struck by the above early in my career and thought, why not be effective in all three areas!?
    I had the time. So I decided I'd just coach, not try to teach high school classes during the day
    and coach at night or work at the hardware store and coach or even manage the pool and coach. I
    just coached. When I retire from coaching (25 years invested to date, I plan to coach for another
    10 and then find a job with actual retirement benefits), I want to be able to look back at my
    career and say I did my best to understand the biomechanics of the sport and gave my athletes the
    smoothest, most efficient strokes I could; I did my best to understand the concept of adaptation
    (the so-called "training effect") and gave my athletes the best balance of endurance, power and
    speed I could; and I took the time and made the effort to understand what motivated each and every
    one of my swimmers and did my best to help them accomplish what they wanted to accomplish through
    the sport of swimming.

    Having stated in an earlier post that I've come to believe there are no inherently "evil" pool
    tools, I certainly think there are myths surrounding a lot of what coaches DO and the tools they use
    to do it. Take kick boards - it sure is easy to put your age groupers on a board for 40 minutes
    every day and tell yourself they're strengthening their legs (or strengthening their lumbar arch,
    whatever) as opposed to working with their evolving stroke technique. Critically watching a 10 year
    old trying to swim butterfly and coming up with creative and beneficial drills and sets for them to
    execute is hard work. If I just put in an 8 hour day teaching math to middle school kids I may not
    have the energy to do that. My swimmers do a fair amount of underwater dolphin kicking and always
    have. They do abs and back extensions and always have. They do vertical kicking in the diving well
    and always have. I believe those kinds of exercises are more focused and just as beneficial as
    endless kick sets while resting on red and blue foam pillows.

    How about hand paddles? Are they best used to build strength or finesse? Years ago I thought I was
    using them for both. The major downside was I always felt I ran the risk of promoting shoulder
    injuries every time I watched my swimmers putting pressure on the water with those huge surface
    areas. And though sprinting with paddles seemed like a fairly good idea at the time, the potential
    liabilities just proved too costly to continue any strength building with them. So for the last 20
    years my swimmers have eschewed paddles.

    I also thought that same huge surface area probably inhanced the swimmers' ability to "feel" the
    most effective hand path for each stroke. The downside there seemed to be when they took the paddles
    off and swam with "open" hands (the actual condition which I wanted them to adapt for) and they
    immediately lost that "feel". This was one of the creative conditions under which I invented the
    fistglove, which I used to call "the unpaddle". Wearing a pair of fistgloves reduces the surface
    area of the hands and allows the swimmer to better feel the pressure of the water on their forearms.
    That's a plus. Taking the fistgloves off reduces the awareness of the usefulness of the forearms but
    ENHANCES the feel for the water on the hands (since the sensory nerve organs in the skin of the palm
    and the back of the hand become so sensative to the force of the water's pressure after being
    shielded). So, a win-win situation.

    In your opinion, what are the myths surrounding fins? Drag suits? Hypoxic sets? Stationary swimming?
    Weight lifting? Etc. What are the facts?

    Regards,

    Scott
     
  19. Rtk

    Rtk Guest

    Donal Fagan wrote:

    >
    > "... simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation." - Raymond Loewy
    >
    >

    Did the article mention that he did the Coca-cola bottle? Hardly following his own advice. Was it
    Albers or Newman that started the Less is More statement? Anyhow, I don't know if I could work that
    into any kind of advice for swimming. I'm sure I can't put swimming into any aesthetic equation
    unless we include Esther Williams. The prettiness of a stroke or even a dive doesn't qualify it for
    aesthetic consideration that I can think of.

    Ruth Kazez
     
  20. Donal Fagan

    Donal Fagan Guest

    On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 21:23:19 GMT, rtk <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Donal Fagan wrote:

    >> "... simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation." - Raymond Loewy

    >Did the article mention that he did the Coca-cola bottle? Hardly following his own advice.

    I thought Terry would be interested because Loewy was the king of streamlined design, having also
    designed the Avanti and the Greyhound bus.

    http://www.raymondloewy.com/

    >Was it Albers or Newman that started the Less is More statement?

    I thought it was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. But later Robert Venturi came back with, "Less
    is a bore."

    >The prettiness of a stroke or even a dive doesn't qualify it for aesthetic consideration that I can
    >think of.

    Most of the elite strokes I've seen have been very elegant.

    Donal Fagan AIA [email protected]'Fagan.com (Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
     
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