Stroke Analysis with IowaTriBob (Part 2)

I have had mixed feelings about publishing this post today. We are all devastated by the news from Boston and full of questions we hope will be answered even though we already know the answers will never be enough. Our hearts reach out to those who have been affected by yesterday’s events. Here are two important numbers: anyone still trying to locate family members should call 617-635-4500; people with tips can call 1-800-494-TIPS.

We’ve decided to share IowaTriBob’s stroke analysis today, not as a distraction, but as part of our healing process to help us regain a sense of normalcy in a world where terrible  things can happen suddenly and without warning. Life is precious. The best we can do is live it to fullest, without fear – because if we don’t, the bad guys have already won.

“This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

-Patton Oswalt, Actor & Comedian

Here is our stroke analysis for IowaTriBob:

  • You should dolphin kick or at least flutter kick off the wall so you don’t slow down after your push off. Obviously this doesn’t matter if you’re in an open water situation, but in the pool it will help you keep up your momentum. Also, you wait too long to start swimming after your push off…you almost stop before taking a stroke. You should begin swimming before you lose all your momentum.

IowaTriBob's Streamline

  • During your recovery, your hand and forearm are swinging up to the front too close to your body. Try moving it out a few inches away from your body. This will help your body roll be less severe, and may also help keep your hips from nudging out to the side.

IowaTriBob Over Rotating

  • It appears that your fingers drag across the water after you exit the water until about your lats, as if you are doing Fingertip Drag or Zipper Drill. We use these drills to help swimmers recover with a high elbow but you don’t want to do them all of the time. You should try Freestyle Finishing Drill to work on exiting the water earlier. You want your hand to completely exit the water closer to your hips than your lats.

IowaTriBob's Hand Dragging

  • Your left hand sweeps upward after entering the water but before starting your catch. You’re doing this to compensate for crossing over. Basically you extend your hand underwater to make up for a short/crossed over stroke so you’re in the right position to begin your catch with that arm. Practice Fists Drill to force you to hold the water with your forearms and work on Catch Up Drill to maintain the length out front, as you sometimes initiate your catch too early (due to crossing over).  Switch arms when one is by your ear so there’s less of a windmill effect.

Wrist Curving Up

  • You are over emphasizing your high elbows which is causing a shortened stroke out front with a slight crossover. High elbows can be done with a wider, more comfortable stroke (see this video of Vicky’s stroke).  Not everyone is flexible enough to have a super high elbow, Vicky included, and her stroke tends to be a bit wider.

Crossing Over
Other things to Consider:

  • You have decent body/head position during your breath, but be careful of independent head rotation.  The head should roll into the already existent rotation of the body.
  • This was too difficult to show in a screenshot, but look at your right leg compared to your left when you’re kicking. You’re left leg is doing a great job but your right leg tends to be too straight sometimes. Obviously you’re going to drop your legs on race day but you want to practice a more steady/symmetrical kick the rest of the time.
  • It could be that you’re rolling too much on your side as you swim, but definitely when you breathe your hips kick out a little. Swimming with a front breathing snorkel can help you get the feel for how to stay in line and swim straight, and when you go back to swimming without a snorkel, ideally, you’d feel the difference in how your body moves so you can be mindful and correct any issues.


Categories: Dear Water Bloggers, Video Analysis

Tags: , , ,

3 replies

  1. Thank you very much for the analysis and I’ll definitely pay attention to each in tonight’s swim to see if I can catch myself doing these. I’ll keep you posted with my progress and thanks again, especially given this was sent in the final stages of the book (which I’m definitely looking forward to getting).

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