Stroke timing

It was a great way to finish the year last weekend at the POTP. Thank you to everyone that came along and made it such a fantastic night. Thank you especially to Chris Skinner, Seb Balcombe and Amanda Wilmer for getting up and saying a few words. You all did a great job. I was very pleased to hear people discussing plans for next season, taking on bigger challenges, racing longer, going faster, going for team GB, very exciting!

This weekend in our swim session we’ll be looking at stroke timing. Timing is so important and hopefully Sunday’s session will demonstrate this. What we are aiming for is front ‘quadrant or ¾ catch up timing’. Let’s look at a couple of examples of timing faults first. Take a look at these Swim Types.

The first is the Bambino. Here you will see rotary timing with the arms ‘windmilling’. Developing front quadrant or ¾ catch up timing in this type of swimmer gives better support and time to breathe, plus more time to develop an effective catch.

Now take a look at the Overglider. You will see in the first three videos that the swimmers almost swim with a ‘catch up’ style meaning both hands almost ‘catch up’ at the front of the stroke. For a swimmer with full catch up timing, developing a ¾ catch up removes the dead spot giving better rhythm. The increase in stroke rate, without increased effort, can also allow bilateral breathing in an Overglider who breathes unilaterally.

Now take a look at Mr. Smooth himself, Jono Van Hazel, demonstrating front quadrant timing. Catch up and variations of this drill are commonly used drills. You can see that for one swim type it might be very useful and for another it may be reinforcing bad habits.

During the session I want you to think about your breathing, your kick and your perceived effort with each drill. Hopefully the importance of timing will be revealed and you’ll finish the session swimming like Jono! You will need pull buoys and fins so please don’t forget them.

Coach Seb will be escorting you on a long run down to Victoria Park and back. Best to leave your kit in a locked locker and pick it up when you return. Take care crossing the road kids!

See you next weekend. Tim (LFTC Coach)