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After our first round of Swim For a Mile 2019 Technique Clinics, we thought we would put together a few technique tips on areas that we focused on last weekend! Hopefully, this will refresh the minds of those of who attended and fill everyone else in! #Tricksofthetrade
Body Position Tips:
Any elevation of the upper body causes your lower body to sink. The aim is to keep as flat on the water surface as possible. To do this:
- Apply constant pressure with your chest (not head!) into the water, pushing towards the floor – imagine you are trying to swim downhill!
- Always perform trickle breathing (letting your air out slowly) when your face is in the water, this will ensure your lungs aren’t so full that your upper body floats.
- Keep head movements to a minimum when you breathe, so that you’re are rotating your head to the side rather than lifting it up – remember the one goggle rule: aim to keep one goggle in the water when you rotate to breathe, if you can see the ceiling when you breathe – you’re lifting your head too high!
Freestyle Kick Tips:
- You never stop kicking when swimming Freestyle and Backstroke, even when swimming slowly!
- Focus on keeping your knees and ankles close together, kicking from your hips and bum rather than your knees.
- Kicks should be small and fast, check out our kick demo for a better idea!
Recovery Phase Tips – High Elbows!
- Elbows stay high during the recovery phase of the stroke to prepare for the catch, you need a high elbow during the catch in order to grip the water effectively. Finger trail / tickles drill is good for reinforcing high elbows!
- To keep a high elbow during the catch, imagine your elbows are pinned to the water surface!
- As you begin the underwater pull phase, imagine your forearm as the paddle, a higher elbow exposes more of your forearm, which increases the surface area of your paddle, helping you push against the water to go forward!
Sculling Tips:Sculling replicates the catch motion. To find your hand shape during scull, place your hands on your cheeks and then take them off holding that position, you will notice that they are slightly cupped – these are your sculling / catching hands!
- Your hands guide the movement, finger-tips must point down to move forward (and up to move backwards).
- Keep your wrists stiff while sculling and catching- you can’t grip any water with floppy wrists! To point your finger-tips down, raise your elbows (pin them to the water surface!)
- Your forearms do most of the work; palms should alternate from facing in and out, wrists stay stiff and the forearms grip the water. Check out our sculling demo!
Weekly Update: Technique Clinic Tips
After our first round of Swim For a Mile 2019 Technique Clinics, we thought we would put together a few technique tips on areas that we focused on last weekend ...
Whatever stage you’re at with your Swim for a Mile training, we’re with you every stroke of the way! To help in these early stages we’ve put together some descriptions and technique tips for training, so you can make the most of your Swim for a Mile journey!
Description of the 4 Phases of a Freestyle Stroke
Your hand should enter in line with your shoulder to prevent crossing over your centre line – this is an imaginary line down the middle of your body, which you should never cross! The reason we stay outside of the centre line, is to ensure that all of your energy is going into moving forward. If you cross the centre line, you are apply force to the side, meaning the propoluson you receive will be to the opposite side, creating that well known snake motioned stroke. We want to push back to go forwards!
This occurs immediately after your hand enters the water. The catch is basically a small scull pushing into the water, however it is called the catch, as you are literally trying to catch or grab the water to use the resistance to push you forward during the underwater pull. This is one of the rare occasions where we want to have water resistance!
This can be further broken down into the initial downward phase and the latter backwards phase. Initially you want to push your palm and forearm down into the water WHILE keeping your elbow at the surface, creating a “high elbow catch”, this position allows for greater surface area, in which to grip the water. Once your hand passes the line of your chest, you begin to rotate your body in the direction of your stroke arm, keeping your hand close to your trunk, explosively push past your hip until your hand exists the water.
The recovery, as suggested by its name is the relaxed part of the stroke! Its purpose is to get your hand from the exit position back to its entry position. All you have to remember is to keep your elbow high in the air, pointing to the ceiling WHILE your hand stays directly below and close to your body. This ensures that your hand is in the perfect position, ready for the catch. Full Stroke Freestyle Demo Video!
Weekly Update: Freestyle Stroke Tips
Whatever stage you’re at with your Swim for a Mile training, we’re with you every stroke of the way! To help in these early stages we’ve pu ...
Were back for Swim for a Mile 2019 and its going to be bigger than ever, with 22 events and 30 Swim for a Mile Training pools confirmed so far.
We are delighted to be bringing Swim for a Mile events all over the country during the month of April so you can get the most from your swim. Lap up the atmosphere of Swim for a Mile as you finish out your mile in the buzz of a Swim Ireland event. Music, commentary and Swim for a Mile mentors and spectators to cheer you on!
Not sure if SFAM is for you? Perhaps you’re a lapsed swimmer, or would like to set yourself a challenge for the new year, as long as you can swim two lengths of a pool, our Swim for a Mile training programme is for you! Swim for a Mile training commences in January with events happening through the month of April.
Swim Ireland coaches have written easy to follow swimming programmes that will enable those of various swimming abilities to swim a mile in just 10 weeks! Additionally, you can attend free coaching and technique clinics from former Olympic swimmers at designated centres.
Once signed up you will receive a weekly FREE #SFAM2019 12 week training programme which will provide swimmers with the guidance and support to bring you over that mile! How you train is completely up to you, whether it’s in own time or you find a #SFAM pool to attend paid, coached training sessions. Register for one of our many timed events that will take place in pool nationwide via your swim for a mile dashboard. What are you waiting for?
#Swimmore #Takethechallenge #SFAM2019
Here it is: Swim for a Mile Event Schedule 2019
Were back for Swim for a Mile 2019 and its going to be bigger than ever, with 22 events and 30 Swim for a Mile Training pools confirmed so far. Click h ...
This is our fifth year of Swim For a Mile, each year we run monthly technique clinics during January, February and March. Over the years we have noticed a few common mistakes when it comes to technique.
To help you get a head start on the 2019 Challenge, here are the top four areas that you can focus on improving!
1. Crossing the “centre line”:
The centre line, being an imaginary line that runs down the centre of your body, from your nose to your toes! We want to stay outside of this line to ensure that we are pushing backwards, to move forwards, rather than pushing across your body and moving side to side (known as snaking) as a result.
Your hand should enter in line with your shoulder out in front. Sometimes it is best to over-exaggerate the wideness of this entry. think 10am and 2pm on a clock face for example, you may think it feels too wide, but the chances are, you are still entering and 11am and 1pm! *You can also use hand paddles to train this, as when you cross your centre line with hand paddles it is a lot more obvious and you will be aware of the error.
2. Lifting the head too high when breathing
This causes the hips and legs to sink and makes moving forward a lot harder, with the added water resistance from your lower body. Focus on the 1 goggle rule! If you can see the roof of the swimming pool, then you are lifting your head too high. Aim to keep one goggle in the water while you sneak your breath.
*Snorkel’s can be useful when trying to stay low in the water and is a good way to train yourself into this habit, however don’t rely on your snorkel too much, otherwise you can’t challenge your bad habits!
3. Incorrect Rotation:
This can be too little or too much rotation when swimming Freestyle. You should rotate your body – shoulders and hips as one, around 45 degrees to either side, this allows just enough rotation for an efficient and effective arm cycle, as well as enough space to take your breath without disrupting your rhythm.
If you rotate too much, you will lose the rhythm and momentum of your stroke. This mistake often leads to other mistakes like crossing the centre line and lifting your head high when breathing.
4. Kicking from knees:
When performing Freestyle leg kick, people often focus on using the power of their knees. However, this causes extra drag, as when you bend your knee at a right angle it causes a lot of drag inside this angle.
Focus on kicking from the hips and bum, keeping your legs relatively straight with a soft fix on your knee, keeping the movement of the knee at a minimum. Knees and ankles should remain close together during the freestyle kick and the kicks should be short and rapid rather than long and slow.
The Most Common Swimming Mistakes
This is our fifth year of Swim For a Mile, each year we run monthly technique clinics during January, February and March. Over the years we have noticed a few ...
If you don’t believe us when we say that you can swim the mile, why not hear from our 2018 participants! We asked our SFAM’ers what they learnt and found most rewarding about challenge, their responses were motivating, heart warming and eye opening!
Read below to help give you the encouragement to take on the challenge!
- “That I Can!”
- “To challenge myself”
- “It built my confidence in and out of the water!”
- “I fell back in love with swimming”
- “How important training is”
- “That it’s all mind over matter”
- “How to pace correctly”
- “How to touch turn properly!”
- “A better understanding of stroke technique and how it helps me go faster”
- “To be proud”
- “The community of swimming in a group”
- “I learnt that with a good coach and training, everyone can complete a mile swim. In this case congrats to Pat Boyd and the Watershed”
- “How effective technique leads to efficient swimming”
- “I found training difficult due to work and other commitments but on the day, with the encouragement of the helpers I swam way better than I thought I could. The atmosphere, even nerves helped push me further than I thought I could go. That’s given me confidence in my swimming and more desire and passion to improve. Great event”
- “Goal setting and exceeding personal expectations”
- “That it was not actually that hard and yet very good exercise”
30 Reasons to take the SFAM 2019 Challenge!
If you don’t believe us when we say that you can swim the mile, why not hear from our 2018 participants! We asked our SFAM’ers what they learnt and found mos ...
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