Friday, July 4, 2008

Freestyle Swimming Footage

While in Kenting at the open air pool, I was able to persuade our sons to film me at swimming. This is the first time in my life that I have had a video like this. I used to think I had quite a good technique, and now I can immediately see a few errors in my stroke (like my left hand coming over too much, and my feet coming apart), not to mention the flip turn, which still has me a bit baffled. At least I am doing them without getting a lot of water up my nose. So I have a few things to work on. Hopefully, I will become a little more streamlined and a little faster as a result.
This is a 25 meter pool, and you could say I was trying to swim fairly hard but without losing my stroke since I appear to have swum 50 meters in about 40 seconds. I took like 16 strokes one way and about 17 the other, no doubt due to a fairly weak flip turn. These days when swimming a little slower, I tend to take 15 to 16 strokes per length.
While I learned to swim as a child, I did not have any formal training until I did a lifesaving course in Taiwan in 1997, at which point in time I received a lot of helpful advice on how to swim freestyle. In Kona, I received quite a lot of help from Steve Borowski of Kona Aquatics when I attended Master's swimming as well as his 101 classes for a few years. However, since we were in a fairly large group setting, advice only came intermittently. In addition, at that time, I did not have any video footage.
Of course, just correcting a few mistakes isn't going to suddenly make me faster, and correcting them may be easier said than done, since my body has probably adapted itself to the wrong technique so that it may be hard for me to do something else. However, I will try, and that will give me a reason to continue swimming, as sometimes I wonder why I swim anyway.
In the future, I would like to attend a class taught by Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen, who runs Aquatic Edge. However, that will depend on a lot of things like my happening to be in Hawaii when she is actually running a workshop at that time. Anyway, I can dream of being taught by the best teacher around for now.

Picture of me in the ocean at Chialeshuei. The sea was really calm, which was a surprise to me as last time I was here (in February) the sea was rough and there were a lot of surfers.

Swimming freestyle 50 meters seen from a side view. The background noise is that of a lawn mower!

Swimming freestyle from the front and behind. From this angle, the weaknesses are more obvious. Maybe nerves (because I was being filmed) contributed to the poorer technique. In any case, I have plenty of things to practice now. Again, thanks to James and Morrison for filming and the still photos, too.


Dolphin Boy said...

Hey nice stroke Bruce. Nice high elbows!! I don't even do flip turns!! Good job!

LeAnn said...

Yeah, I think you should invest in those speedos...seriously. All the guys at the meets here wear them...cuts down the drag. I was looking into buying one...I checked ebay last night...good prices.

Phelps is an amazing swimmer. I wish I had those fins. Well, that wouldnt look to good...petite asian women with big feet.

LeAnn said...

Do you have access to a kickboard? I tell you why if you do.

BreeWee said...

Get a speedo! ha ha.

That pool looks so cool! Bruce, your stroke looks WAY better than it did when you lived in Kona too. I love the photos, thanks for sharing!

Dolphin Boy said...

Thanks Bruce,
Faris seems to be pulling ahead while Chrissy Wellington is holding strong....