PERFORMANCE OF TECHNICAL EXERCISES IN THE WATER

For better use of the requirements the technical exercises performed in the water should be directed to:

perfecting the movement of a certain phase,
polishing the movement of a certain part of the body
developing the coordination of all movements as a whole.


All the exercises should be performed with high concentration of attention.
The program of technical exercises in the water integrated with requirements consists of the following:

exercises for perfecting the movements of the arms, legs and the body separately, for example we swim in freestyle by one arm stressing the active start of the pull, after that the same with the stressed high position of elbow, etc.

exercises for the movements of one part of the body only, swimming in freestyle by one hand stressing the pull, push, speeding up, recovery, etc. at the same stroke.

exercises by elements for accomplishing the requirements in full coordination with concentrated action. For example, the exercise 10 x 50 m. Attention should be concentrated on 4-5 requirements. Every requirement should be followed twice.

exercises with special equipment increasing speed, increasing push power in start or turn.

In every swimming style, start or turn there are more than 50 requirements for technique, providing enough technical exercises for several periods of training in one year.

Work with video and computer for testing swimmer's technical skills

For the recording of swimmers movements on tape you can use normal video equipment with special underwater system. It is important, that the main view for swimming movements, starts and turns are from the side view. For start you need 2 videocameras: one for movements above, another for underwater part. For swimming styles front view, back view, view from the bottom and above the water are useful. Too many views are not good for practical testing and analysis, you must select two or three according to your possibilities and needs .
After videorecordings the swimmers must have an analysis and discussion about his technique with the coach.
For measuring some movements parameters from video you need a computer with a videoboard. The videoboard represents a system permitting to link the electronic computer display with the videoimage screen. Relocating the computer's marker with mouse along the screen it's possible to measure parameters. In the course of testing the quality of technique is analyzed by some details (the catch must be active; the push- off powerful, the arms are together etc.). Special software has been made up for analysis using the video frame by frame or watching the videotape forward- backward, slow-motion replay and still picture of positions. The program has been elaborated so that the swimmer himself may fill up a list of requirements followed on the display. After the last requirement is analysed , the computer will promptly display the mark as %, given according to, how many mistakes occurred totally.


PARAMETER FIRST SECOND THIRD FOURTH    
  C100% swimmer   swimmer   swimmer   swimmer   X%
Reaction phase time 0.50 0.68 55 0.68 55 0.62 70 0.62 70 67
Pushing phase time 0.12 0.12 100 0.2 50 0.2 50 0.2 50 68
head speed forward 5.50 5.3 92 3.91 39 3.77 33 3.68 30 49
Flight phase speed 6.00 4.62 61 4.31 52 3.93 41 3.62 32 45
length of jump 3.50 3.12 73 2.92 59 2.95 61 2.58 34 56
Entry phase speed 5.50 4.97 62 4.89 56 4.47 26 4.37 19 39
glide speed after entry 4.00 2.94 47 2.84 42 3.1 55 2.62 31 45
Kicking phase speed 2.70 2.18 57 2.07 48 1.89 33 2.03 44 45
Kicking phase time 3.50 1.58 58 0.7 39 1.88 65 0.66 38 51
First pullout speed 2.30 2.06 70 2.06 70 1.58 10 1.82 40 43
Second pullout speed 2.30 2.07 71 2.1 75 1.86 45 1.72 28 54
Speed after start 2.30 1.96 58 2 63 1.79 36 1.77 34 48
FREE Start 15 m time   6.46   6.62   7.4   7.48    
                     
Average %     67   54   44   38 51


In the course of testing quality of technique, the parameters must be analyzed as well. With the special software ,the mark is given for each parameter of technique which serve as basis for the computer calculations. Thus the mark given for any parameter depends on the individual level of the swimmer's results.


Quality control of BUTTERFLY START technique


1. Reaction & preflexion phase


Body position
Movement of hip
Reaction time from start signal to beginning push-off
Preflexion of knees


2. Pushing phase


Transfer impulsive pushing forces
Timing of arms action
Head speed forward
Body position at the end of push
The duration of pushing action


3. Flight phase

Hip position during flight
Legs action (rise up before entry)
Arms action (straight forward)
Flight speed

4. Entry & glide phase

Head position during entry (between arms)
Body and legs position during entry (without splashing, entry kick)
Forward speed of hands during entry (max)
Forward speed immediately after entry

5. Underwater kicking phase

Speed immediately after entry before first kick
Timing of the beginning of the first leg kick
Head and arms position during leg kicks
Rhythm and action of legs during kicking
Duration and number of kicks to keep high forward speed
Speed during leg kicks
Trajectory of gradual rise to surface



6. Pullout phase

Timing of the beginning of first pullout stroke
Forward speed during first pullout stroke
Arms action during pullout stroke
Forward speed during first recovery
Body position during first recovery
The action of body during pullout
Timing of arms and legs at the end of pullout strokes
Timing of the entry of hands at the end of recovery with leg kick



7. Swimming after start


Swimming speed after pullout strokes




65 %


The key principle is in answer to question "What will happen if you will change some in your technique..?.". Indeed, before one begins perfecting technique both the coach and the swimmer must be sure that perfecting technique will lead to better results. One must know what to alter and to what extent. That's were the computer will be handy: it will offer trustworthy directions and values. The coach, and the swimmer together discuss modification variants of technique and conclude what to alter and to what extent.
Graphic analysis of movements with the computer is used for more detailed visualization. The graphic programs are intended for the interactive analysis of movement. It can be used for many purposes: For editing the original movement. It is possible to change the individual style in the picture. It is possible to place more swimmers movements on screen at the same time to analyze their difference. In the animation mode, you will see a cyclic movement on the computer screen, which is impossible to visualize by using video. For example, if you have 2 stick figures, then you will see simultaneous movement of both figures on the same screen. Figures can be represented in different ways: - as a silhouette, - set trajectories. - increase speed, -decrease speed. Very useful is to show path of arm stroke and leg kicks. Everybody knows those curves from the swimming books but now they have a chance to analyse their own. With using this kind of computer animation it is possible to create nearly 100 % visual image for any swimmer.

Summary

This kind of approach for technical preparation of swimmers are more professional and it helps to:

find new variants in technique according to individual styles, develop the swimming technique.
to control the technical preparation.
to planning technical work for a year it is enough to test swimmers 2-3 times : at the beginning of season, during competition. The effect of the created method has been proved by scientific experiments with the swimmers of swimming clubs and national teams and it gives positive results.


... back to the beginning.