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View Full Version : End of Controversy - No catch-up or straight arm catch



tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 11:38 AM
I know everyone has been watching the Olympics and if anyone sees someone (in any stroke and at any distance) not showing an Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) stroke please point it out to me. In the menís 400 Fr Relay, Lezakís better EVF stroke helped him touch the wall before Bernard who dropped his elbows in the last few strokes. These Olympic Games should put to rest the controversy of the catch-up stroke (never once performed by any freestyler in these Olympics). So what you see someone do in a drill (catch-up) is not done in competitive swims when it counts!! The high elbow at the front quadrant of every stroke is so pronounced that every lay-on-a-straight-arm proponent has to become a convert (I know itís not ever going to happen). Iím anxious to hear the rationalizations and support from the opposition. If youíre watching with your eyes open, thereís no catch-up and no straight-arm catch - PERIOD!!!
If you want to make significant gains in your swimming focus on improving your Early Vertical Forearm technique. Improving your EVF should take about 6 to 8 weeks and when that becomes better you should focus on improving a good streamlined position by spending as much time as possible on your side while making sure that your catch begins early. Of course athleticism goes hand in hand with improvement. But you get my drift. Nuff-said.

ndecker
August 11th, 2008, 11:43 AM
I actually saw the opposite! I saw a few swimmers with a pronounced catch up stroke. When viewing them on top of the water, they sort of lope along as their right and left sides are not even and symmetrical. Additionally, the underwater footage showed some of the right hands just about to enter the water as their left arm was still at the front of the stroke.

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 11:43 AM
I'm not sure why you think a catch-up style freestyle is antithetical to EVF. Jensen, for one, does a catch-up stroke and also has a very pronounced high elbow stroke.

tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 11:56 AM
I think you need to look again. Not one swimmer put their hand in while the other was still in front (catch-up) or even near it. The entry of the hand for every swimmer started while the other hand was in the EVF or catch position. Even Rowdy commented on the over-the-barrel position as the technique the swimmers were using. It is interesting how we're both looking at the same thing and seeing something totally different.

ehoch
August 11th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Here is what I have seen - and there are always some exceptions -- but overall.

A) the sprinters have gone to straight arm or no catch-up - that is very obvious. They don't spend even a split second with either hand stretched out (which makes sense - it's an all-out sprint).

B) the 400 swimmers all did close to a catch-up stroke with a monster kick. Nobody actually catches in the front - but many of the swimmers have one or both sides where the hand is almost ready to enter and the other hand is just starting to catch.

Now - I am wondering if one should make a decision early on - depending on being a distance swimmer or a sprinter. If you are a sprinter and learn I nice long close to catch-up Free stroke - you will never reach the top.

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Did we see a catchup stroke or was it a just slowed drop to EVF which I think we actually saw. I saw some great swimming I also noticed lots of dropped elbows, by some very good swimmers. The dropped elbows only happened a few times during their swims not every stroke.

Jazz Hands
August 11th, 2008, 12:00 PM
It is interesting how we're both looking at the same thing and seeing something totally different.

The difference is that you are looking for something that you've been advocating for a long time, and the rest of us are just looking.

Also, do you call this EVF? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7oL8y8xRA4

And how do you know Bernard wasn't "dropping his elbows" the whole way? He split 46.7, which is one of the fastest swims of all time.

gull
August 11th, 2008, 12:05 PM
This morning our coach was commenting on the fact that the 400 swimmers were all using a catch up stroke. It was very apparent to me as well. Perhaps you are using a more restrictive definition than the rest of us?

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 12:19 PM
B) the 400 swimmers all did close to a catch-up stroke with a monster kick.

The monster kick is probably the big thing that sets these guys apart. To be able to kick like that for 400 meters is pretty incredible.

smontanaro
August 11th, 2008, 12:30 PM
This morning our coach was commenting on the fact that the 400 swimmers were all using a catch up stroke. It was very apparent to me as well. Perhaps you are using a more restrictive definition than the rest of us?

I wouldn't call it "catch up". That's what we do in the drill. I would call it "front quadrant" though. They all have that EVF/EDF thing going though.

It would be real nice (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) if someone with a DVR and a little bit of video editing expertise could splice together all of the underwater footage with simple captions. NBC doesn't show a lot of it, but it does seem instructive.

Skip

lobaugma
August 11th, 2008, 12:41 PM
All I see is a lot of swimmers using a high-elbow catch, while galloping like a horse. Watch Michael Phelps tonight in the 200 and tell me he is not galloping.
We should have someone measure the stroke rate of individual arms to see if one arm is truly catching up with the other. I bet his left arm cycle is slower.

mctrusty
August 11th, 2008, 01:14 PM
All I see is a lot of swimmers using a high-elbow catch, while galloping like a horse. Watch Michael Phelps tonight in the 200 and tell me he is not galloping.
We should have someone measure the stroke rate of individual arms to see if one arm is truly catching up with the other. I bet his left arm cycle is slower.

Park was one of the only freestylers I've seen this Olympics that didn't gallop.

gull
August 11th, 2008, 01:27 PM
I wouldn't call it "catch up". That's what we do in the drill. I would call it "front quadrant" though.


"Catch up style" might be a better term. A strong six beat kick seems to be a common denominator.

tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Itís so interesting that we see such different things. For instance Rebecca Adlingtonís EVF(and all swimmers in events over 100 meters) is so pronounced it would be hard to argue the overt early catch. I have not seen one catch-up stroke swimmer in any the events that were covered. The definition of a catch up stroke vs. a mirror image stroke needs to be covered. In a catch-up stroke, one arm is in front while the other arm meets it, in a mirror image stroke when one arm is ending the power phase (middle of the stroke) the other arm is entering the water.

I think this discussion is very important because unless certain propulsive fundamentals are followed, swimmers are being pulled in two different camps (and there should be only one). Swimmers from the games in Athens were watched my bio-mechanist Russell Mark from the USOC and he concluded in front of USA National Coaches, that 16 of the 20 gold medals and 43 of 60 medals were won with a high-elbow stroke. In these Olympics I have not seen one swimmer in events over 100 meters showing anything but a mirror image stroke with a pronounced EVF. I can conceded that taller swimmers in the 100 and 50 have a less pronounced EVF but it can be argued that even they present the catch early during the first quadrant of their stroke. I did see Lezakís last few strokes and he didnít drop his elbows and it helped him touch the wall before Bernard who did drop his elbows. We should all agree that dropping your elbows is a critical propulsive flaw.

The coverage of swimming and water polo has been amazing and I will watch intently as my position is: no one swims with a catch-up stroke or with a straight arm (not talking about the arm that is out of the water). I believe that the EVF will be analyzed by our Olympic experts and will help us sort out the important propulsive fundamentals that will help all of us enjoy swimming more.

If someone would like more information on EVF and it's importance to swimming propulsion please email me at tomtopo@netzero.com
I have a powerpoint and some video's you can see. Good luck and GO USA!!!

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 01:37 PM
The definition of a catch up stroke vs. a mirror image stroke needs to be covered. In a catch-up stroke, one arm is in front while the other arm meets it, in a mirror image stroke when one arm is ending the power phase (middle of the stroke) the other arm is entering the water.

By that strict a definition then you are probably right. No one is truly meeting the other arm out front before beginning the pull. However, other than the sprinters, most swimmers aren't using a mirror-image stroke either. From the swimmers I've seen in events 200 meters and over most use a front-quadrant type stroke, and, again, I don't see why a front -quadrant stroke precludes an EVF stroke. In fact I believe the two are generally complimentary.

The Fortress
August 11th, 2008, 01:40 PM
Why don't the women gallop?

quicksilver
August 11th, 2008, 01:42 PM
Anatomical differences.

LindsayNB
August 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Why don't the women gallop?

It is just an untested fledgling hypothesis but in a couple cases I looked at it seemed that the gallop was the result of swimming very low in the water and rising to the surface to breath. Phelps for example swims very low in the water with an almost fly-like breathing pattern. If it were the case that women don't tend to swim as low in the water, possibly due to higher buoyancy, that might account for some of the difference?

On the original topic, I think Kirk is correct that it isn't helpful to mix up effective forearm positioning, i.e. not dropping the elbow, and stroke timing, i.e. kayaking versus larger front quadrant overlap, they are two independent phenomena.

Jazz Hands
August 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM
If you’re watching with your eyes open, there’s no catch-up and no straight-arm catch - PERIOD!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im3CBmlZq4k

This is Alain Bernard swimming really fast. He's doing the exact same thing with his elbows that he did at the end of relay, which you call bad technique. Have you been watching with your eyes open?

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 01:56 PM
Sorry you people who call front quadrant swimming a catchup stroke it is not. Just because you see something and give it the wrong name does not mean you are right. If your coach told you they were swimming catchup front crawl, better change your coach.

These guys with the hands extended let it drop into position and then start the catch phase properly.

May I add this even though delayed slightly I shall call it it D+EVF

gull
August 11th, 2008, 02:03 PM
I will notify Maglischo of his error as well. Thanks for pointing that out.

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Sorry you people who call front quadrant swimming a catchup stroke it is not. Just because you see something and give it the wrong name does not mean you are right. If your coach told you they were swimming catchup front crawl, better change your coach.

It seems like purely semantics to me, George. What do you consider to be a catch-up stroke? To me a catch-up stroke means there's some kind of pause out front before initiating the catch where the recovering arm is "catching up." The recovering arm doesn't have to catch all the way up.


Why don't the women gallop?

Good question. I don't really know. I have noticed that more women seem to breathe bilaterally and this probably has something to do with it. Why this is the case, though, I have no idea.

This reminds me, did anyone else notice Lezak breathes every stroke even for a 100?

gull
August 11th, 2008, 02:15 PM
These guys with the hands extended let it drop into position and then start the catch phase properly.

Right--while the recovering arm is "catching up".


Improving your EVF should take about 6 to 8 weeks and when that becomes better you should focus on improving a good streamlined position by spending as much time as possible on your side while making sure that your catch begins early.

I thought that the "early" in EVF referred to early in the pull phase, but not necessarily early (ie rushed) in the stroke cycle. In other words, don't rush the catch.

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 02:39 PM
If he told you those guys were swimming a catch up stroke fire him. No matter what his name is.

But then again everyone refers to his explantions as gospel. I read what he said he did not call it the catchup stroke although he did mention your concept. The arm is catching up, to me it is not saying catchup stroke.

Again I read English not latin or do not use my imagination in translation.


I will notify Maglischo of his error as well. Thanks for pointing that out.

scyfreestyler
August 11th, 2008, 02:50 PM
I don't think it's a gallop. More along the lines of a lope.

gull
August 11th, 2008, 03:30 PM
I don't think it's a gallop. More along the lines of a lope.


Faster than a lope. I would call it a canter.

tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Early Vertical certainly doesn't mean a rushed stroke, in fact, the setting up of the vertical forearm position is the slowest part of every stroke. After the forearm gets vertical it should make the transition into the power phase where the greatest drag force is applied to the water. From the power phase and into the transition to the completion of the stroke, the hand sculls in toward the midline of the body and into water that isn't as turbulent. The arm stroke of most swimmers has gone from a full extension of the forearm to shorter exit of the hand. I know everyone will be watching more from great swimming from China and like I said. we'll know a lot more about important propulsive cues.

Again, no swimmer in the Olympics waits for their hand to catch the other hand (catch-up stroke) , in any and all events. The hand for nearly every swimmer enters the water as the other is in an EVF or in the power phase. The EVF of each swimmer varies and it is one important variable separating each swimmer. The effective catch is one of the reasons Lezak won. After watching the video of Lezak, his left arm certainly shows a more pronounced EVF on his last stroke to the wall compared to the Frenchmen.

gull
August 11th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Again, no swimmer in the Olympics waits for their hand to catch the other hand (catch-up stroke)...

No, but it appears that the recovering arm is entering the water while the other arm is still extended (and not yet in EVF position). This is what some of us are referring to as a catch up (style).

chaos
August 11th, 2008, 04:35 PM
everybody sing along.............
you say potato; i say potato etc.

chaos
August 11th, 2008, 04:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ENDX_e7aRg

tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 04:42 PM
No, but it appears that the recovering arm is entering the water while the other arm is still extended (and not yet in EVF position). This is what some of us are referring to as a catch up (style).


That is exactly what it's not doing (unless you are referring to their last stroke to the wall). No swimmer, not one does a pure catch-up or even an abbreviated one. The hand of even the longest most extended swimmer enters the water while the other is in the EVF position or entering the power phase (after the catch). I know it may look that way but when you watch tonights swimmers one of their arms is clearly out of the water while the other is in an EVF position or catch.

chaos
August 11th, 2008, 04:45 PM
That is exactly what it's not doing (unless you are referring to their last stroke to the wall). No swimmer, not one does a pure catch-up or even an abbreviated one. The hand of even the longest most extended swimmer enters the water while the other is in the EVF position or entering the power phase (after the catch). I know it may look that way but when you watch tonights swimmers one of their arms is clearly out of the water while the other is in an EVF position or catch.

i would concur. even at an easy pace as per video above.

ndecker
August 11th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I suppose it's because we have different definitions of a catch up stroke. My definition is that the arms aren't 100% diametrically opposed. In other words, one arm catches up to the other since they are not 100% symmetrical. So the hands don't have to touch one another (as they do in drills) to qualify as a catch up stroke.

Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax77_hHq9Dc&NR=1

Check out the attached picture - Phelps' arms are not at opposite ends of the cycle. His right hand is catching up to his left. That's why I called it a catch up stroke.

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 04:56 PM
That's pretty much my definition of catch-up, too. All the swimmers are using a catch-up stroke by my thinking in the TI video chaos posted.

Jazz Hands
August 11th, 2008, 05:06 PM
The effective catch is one of the reasons Lezak won. After watching the video of Lezak, his left arm certainly shows a more pronounced EVF on his last stroke to the wall compared to the Frenchmen.

Are you intentionally ignoring what I'm posting? Watch the video of Bernard swimming a 50 free. It's very clear that the "dropped elbow" style which you think cost him the race is in fact how he always swims. Lezak didn't beat Bernard because Bernard's stroke fell apart at the end. He beat him because 46.0 is faster than 46.7, although they are both extremely fast. You can't ignore that unless you are selling EVF junk.

tomtopo
August 11th, 2008, 05:11 PM
I suppose it's because we have different definitions of a catch up stroke. My definition is that the arms aren't 100% diametrically opposed. In other words, one arm catches up to the other since they are not 100% symmetrical. So the hands don't have to touch one another (as they do in drills) to qualify as a catch up stroke.

Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax77_hHq9Dc&NR=1

Check out the attached picture - Phelps' arms are not at opposite ends of the cycle. His right hand is catching up to his left. That's why I called it a catch up stroke.


This video counters your point or supports mine. When one arm is pulling the other isn't. Phelps does not use a catch up stroke even in this video. I have seen Phelps perform a catch-up stroke swim in a drill series.

http://www.trinewbies.com/tno_swim/tno_swimarticle_14.asp

A definition I found on About.com
Catch-up: to isolate one arm, to practice a long stroke and a long body position. Swum like regular freestyle, except one arm is stationary, always extended When the working arm moves forward and "catches-up" with the stationary arm, they change places.

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 05:25 PM
This video counters your point or supports mine. When one arm is pulling the other isn't.

If both arms are pulling I believe you'd be doing butterfly (OK, fly with a flutter kick).

I think we really all agree: no one is doing catch-up drill. People are doing catch-up style swimming where the recovering arm enters the water during the catch phase of the pulling arm.

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Tom these guys are blowing smoke because they do not know what a catchup stroke is. They are trying to modify the true explantion of a catchup stroke to suit their explanation. The true explantion is to touch the extended hand then stroke the touched hand through a full cycle and touch the other hand that is still extended.

There were many swimmers dropping elbows. Just think how much better they would have been if they did not drop elbows.

knelson
August 11th, 2008, 05:32 PM
The true explantion is to touch the extended hand then stroke the touched hand through a full cycle and touch the other hand that is still extended.

Question for you George: have you ever seen anyone do that in competition? I certainly haven't, so it isn't real instructive to start a thread noting that no one does this at the Olympics. This would be like starting a thread to tell everyone that, after thorough analysis, no on in Beijing is swimming sidestroke.

ndecker
August 11th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Ok, I'll rephrase it to make everybody happy. You're right - no swimmer swam with a catch up stroke.

On a side note, I was surprised to see how many world class swimmers didn't have a perfectly symmetrical stroke. I used to feel bad since my stroke is not absolutely symmetrical and I tend to 'lope' a bit. Apparently it's not such a big deal, though, as many of the big names do it too.

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 05:45 PM
I hope I never do see a top notch swimmer do the catchup stroke in a race.


Question for you George: have you ever seen anyone do that in competition? I certainly haven't, so it isn't real instructive to start a thread noting that no one does this at the Olympics. This would be like starting a thread to tell everyone that, after thorough analysis, no on in Beijing is swimming sidestroke.

gull
August 11th, 2008, 06:05 PM
"An interesting note is that Eric Vendt swims the 1500 with basically a catch-up stroke."

Rick DeMont
Freestyle Technique
The Swim Coaching Bible

geochuck
August 11th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Looks to me as front quadrant swimming. You are welcome to call it what you want. I don't think it is a catchup stroke and after putting it into my Dartfish swim analysis program he does actually start the catch phase before the opposite hand enters.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LWyWz1GVtQ

gull
August 11th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Looks to me as front quadrant swimming. You are welcome to call it what you want.

I did not invent the term, and as Kirk pointed out CoachT used it in the title of the thread.

chaos
August 11th, 2008, 07:15 PM
On a side note, I was surprised to see how many world class swimmers didn't have a perfectly symmetrical stroke. I used to feel bad since my stroke is not absolutely symmetrical and I tend to 'lope' a bit. Apparently it's not such a big deal, though, as many of the big names do it too.

probably less so when swimming at less than race pace. i try to breathe equally to both sides when training...to keep things even, avoid injury and to improve my weaker side. when racing (50 yds or 10 miles) i tend to rely heavily on my comfort side.

taruky
August 11th, 2008, 10:08 PM
This whole argument is becoming pretty ridiculous. It's an argument over semantics. I personally prefer the term "front quadrant swimming". I think people need to look at the definition of front quadrant and why (at least according to Laughlin) it's valuable. A vertical line drawn at the shoulders and a horizontal line at the water line make the quadrants. The anterior lower quadrant should always have an arm in it at all times to be front quadrant swimming. The theory behind it is that it improves efficiency by lengthening the body, just as you go faster kicking in streamline than kicking with your arms at your side. That definition allows a lot of variability in stroke, ranging from pulling when the recovery arm is in full extension to beginning the catch/pull before the recovery arm enters the water but still being anterior to the shoulder when the recovery arm does enter.

The way I have seen most of these swimmers is that their EVF is anterior to their shoulders, so being in the power pull phase when the recovery arm enters is still front quadrant. There are some swimmers who pull a little later, at least from what I've seen, but I think we all agree that none do it to the extent of the classis catch-up drill. This video of Thorpe shows a classic front quadrant stroke, but clearly a pull before the recovery arm has entered the water.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcCP_SLvNgw

tomtopo
August 12th, 2008, 08:56 AM
There is not front quadrant swimming and should be dispelled as gobbledee-gook speak-ease. Every swimmer from toddler to World class swimmer uses some facsimile of all four quadrants.

Letís sort out some definitions so swimmers understand terminology. Front-quadrant swimming; it is not a style but a term. Each competitive stroke can be separated into various parts. If we use four parts or quadrants we can dissect each stroke into a front quadrant where propulsion occurs, a second quadrant where the finish or completion of the stroke occurs, a third quadrant where the recovery is initiated, and the fourth quadrant where the recovery makes the transition to the entry.
The recovery (when the arms are out of the water) may be looked at as a style where coaches see swimmer with either a straight arm or bent arm recovery and even a variance of both. The position of a swimmers body (hip rotation) while they are swimming may also be looked at as a style when swimmers are either very horizontal / flat or rolling side to side. Pulling patterns are also looked at by coaches who will notice different sculling motions as swimmer will pull faster or more pronounced toward the midline of the body and away from it. The depth of the hand as it pulls back is also another cue coaches look for when dissecting a stroke. Coaches will also look at how a swimmer sets-up their stroke in either an Early Vertical Forearm catch (over-a-barrel position) or a Straight arm catch. And last but not least, a coach will look at a swimmer tempo or timing to see when the arms and legs move and if theyíre working together effectively or not.
Janet Evanís straight arm recovery did not stop her from setting world records because when her arms where in the water she displayed effective propulsive / world class form.

SwimStud
August 12th, 2008, 09:09 AM
This whole argument is becoming pretty ridiculous. It's an argument over semantics.

QFE!

tomtopo
August 12th, 2008, 09:11 AM
The way I have seen most of these swimmers is that their EVF is anterior to their shoulders, so being in the power pull phase when the recovery arm enters is still front quadrant. There are some swimmers who pull a little later, at least from what I've seen, but I think we all agree that none do it to the extent of the classis catch-up drill. This video of Thorpe shows a classic front quadrant stroke, but clearly a pull before the recovery arm has entered the water.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcCP_SLvNgw

Your video like many that support laying on a straight arm forever while the other arm catches up shows a drill. Let's see what Ian Thorpe does in a real race when it counts. You'll notice his right arm in an EVF position as his left arm enters the water. The swimmer next to him does the same thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8egC7PbOME

taruky
August 12th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Your video like many that support laying on a straight arm forever while the other arm catches up shows a drill. Let's see what Ian Thorpe does in a real race when it counts. You'll notice his right arm in an EVF position as his left arm enters the water. The swimmer next to him does the same thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8egC7PbOME

Tom, this thread and the other one you started really should be merged. I really don't understand what your argument is about. People (including myself) have stated repeatedly that the EVF at the time the recovery arm enters is front quadrant swimming. Unless people are in EVF behind the shoulder, which would make no sense and would give little propulsion. Front quadrant swimming is in contrast to rotary swimming, where the pulling arm is behind the shoulder by the time the recovery arm enters the water. While rotary strokes give constant propulsion, it seems to me that the drag factor is increased. Are you proposing a rotary stroke?

chaos
August 13th, 2008, 08:01 AM
The effective catch is one of the reasons Lezak won. After watching the video of Lezak, his left arm certainly shows a more pronounced EVF on his last stroke to the wall compared to the Frenchmen.

some text from an olympic blog:

Lezak has a "patient catch" even at that speed. He rotates his hips noticeably. Bernard rushes the catch to accommodate his high stroke rate and has little hip rotation.
Stroke counts for final 50
Bernard 42
Lezak 34 a -8 differential!!!

http://blog.totalimmersion.net/

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 08:54 AM
Tom, this thread and the other one you started really should be merged. I really don't understand what your argument is about. People (including myself) have stated repeatedly that the EVF at the time the recovery arm enters is front quadrant swimming. Unless people are in EVF behind the shoulder, which would make no sense and would give little propulsion. Front quadrant swimming is in contrast to rotary swimming, where the pulling arm is behind the shoulder by the time the recovery arm enters the water. While rotary strokes give constant propulsion, it seems to me that the drag factor is increased. Are you proposing a rotary stroke?

I don't know who created the name "Front quadrant" swimming. You rotate anytime you swim properly. Second, world class swimmers work hard at keeping their inertia or forward movement constant. Even a great kick like Michael Phelps can only reduce inertia loss (those who kick worse lose more inertia). In order for a kick to increase forward speed the kick would have to create more power than the arms. A style of stroke is only a style if it can be taught. I can teach swimmers how to lay on their arm and wait for the other arm to catch up or the best way to swim and that's to start the other arm when the opposite is in the EVF or propulsive phase. I can teach a swimmer to swim flat (no rotation???) or rotate and that's another style. I can teach a swimmer to catch early or or not and that's another style.

There are enough terms out there screwing swimmers up we don't need to add more mumbo jumbo terms like Front-quadrant swimming to the list. If front quadrant means swimming flat without rotation then say that. Thanks!

swimcat
August 13th, 2008, 09:01 AM
i believe(could be wrong) front quadrant swimming refers to keeping it all in the front , that sounds simplistic. but doc counsilman used to refer to finishing the stoke meaning the umph was at the back(exit), i learned to swim that way, now the "catch" terms are shoulder driven, front quadratant,posture line balance.
i did a masters camp in stanford in 2000 with richard quick and if i remember correctly besides teaching posture, line and balance- they talked about front quadrant keeping -for example- in breast everything in the front. in front of the lungs. power is in the front.
ok i took a shot at explaining it.
do i do it? yeah, now i do.
nobody uses the term "s" in freestyle anymore.

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 09:18 AM
i believe(could be wrong) front quadrant swimming refers to keeping it all in the front , that sounds simplistic. but doc counsilman used to refer to finishing the stoke meaning the umph was at the back(exit), i learned to swim that way, now the "catch" terms are shoulder driven, front quadratant,posture line balance.
i did a masters camp in stanford in 2000 with richard quick and if i remember correctly besides teaching posture, line and balance- they talked about front quadrant keeping -for example- in breast everything in the front. in front of the lungs. power is in the front.
ok i took a shot at explaining it.
do i do it? yeah, now i do.
nobody uses the term "s" in freestyle anymore.

I'm almost sorry I started the post, almost. It's fun to talk about swimming and I think we simply need to stop adding terms to our jargon. If you want to teach someone to breathe on one side or breathe on both you can teach it. You can teach someone to start pulling with an catch or straight arm. To tell someone not to pull when their arms are in front of them (front-quadrant) is silly, everyone who swims has a beginning, a middle, a recovery, and an entry (Four quadrants).

I hope you're enjoying the Olympics!!! Wow!

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 09:22 AM
some text from an olympic blog:

Lezak has a "patient catch" even at that speed. He rotates his hips noticeably. Bernard rushes the catch to accommodate his high stroke rate and has little hip rotation.
Stroke counts for final 50
Bernard 42
Lezak 34 a -8 differential!!!

http://blog.totalimmersion.net/

I can relate to those descriptors and can watch that - thanks. If you were to tell me he was a front-quadrant swimmer, I wouldn't know what the heck you were talking about. Thanks again, a very interesting observation. I believe rushing, how you set-up your stroke is something every swimmer should be conscious of.

geochuck
August 13th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Maybe we all interpret front quadrant swimming in a different way. My interpretation is that the stroking arm can be any where from entry to the arm being vertical to the shoulder as the other arm enters.

I prefer my arm one arm is at the start of the catch phase when the other arm enters. It does change a little when I sprint. The arm underwater is further along into the catch phase as the other arm enters.

No two swimmers that I know or see swim exactly alike.

Then again like Old Doc C would say don't forget your finish.

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 09:28 AM
"An interesting note is that Eric Vendt swims the 1500 with basically a catch-up stroke."

Rick DeMont
Freestyle Technique
The Swim Coaching Bible

In this 400 IM, Vendt, during his freestyle he starts his stroke like Phelps and that's when his other hand is in the power phase. Look at the following clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Npok3wug7E

knelson
August 13th, 2008, 09:32 AM
I think we simply need to stop adding terms to our jargon.

Such as EVF you mean?

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Such as EVF you mean?

Touche' - I like you!

I know I sometimes upset a few people but hey, it's like being at the dinner table with my family (sometimes we get loud but we alway love each other even when we disagree).

geochuck
August 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM
It reminds of I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZAehXzjG0w

I think we all benifit from differing views.

tomtopo
August 13th, 2008, 10:05 AM
After the Olympics, our USA aquatic guru's will get together and give us some interesting information to gnaw on. I can't wait because it can only help us help ourselves get faster. I constantly tell my swimmers to watch videos of world class swimmers because you can learn a lot about proper stroke mechanics. The coverage on Olympic Swimming has been awesome so far and I love talking about swimming technique and enjoy our bantering. Thanks all!

LindsayNB
August 13th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Lezak has a "patient catch" even at that speed. He rotates his hips noticeably. Bernard rushes the catch to accommodate his high stroke rate and has little hip rotation.
Stroke counts for final 50
Bernard 42
Lezak 34 a -8 differential!!!

There seems to be a bit of an implication here that Bernard's stroke is bad and Lezak's is good because they split 46.73 and 46.06 in this race. It seems to me that the primary flaw in Bernard's swim was that he swam on the lane line giving Lezak the draft of his life. Also, finish your race before looking at the scoreboard. How bad can a stroke be that gets you a 46.73 split? It seems to me that if anything this shows how variable individual strokes can be at the very highest level.

ande
August 13th, 2008, 11:04 AM
Lezak used a catch up stroke
his stroke helped him catch up to and pass benard


I know everyone has been watching the Olympics and if anyone sees someone (in any stroke and at any distance) not showing an Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) stroke please point it out to me. In the menís 400 Fr Relay, Lezakís better EVF stroke helped him touch the wall before Bernard who dropped his elbows in the last few strokes. These Olympic Games should put to rest the controversy of the catch-up stroke (never once performed by any freestyler in these Olympics). So what you see someone do in a drill (catch-up) is not done in competitive swims when it counts!! The high elbow at the front quadrant of every stroke is so pronounced that every lay-on-a-straight-arm proponent has to become a convert (I know itís not ever going to happen). Iím anxious to hear the rationalizations and support from the opposition. If youíre watching with your eyes open, thereís no catch-up and no straight-arm catch - PERIOD!!!
If you want to make significant gains in your swimming focus on improving your Early Vertical Forearm technique. Improving your EVF should take about 6 to 8 weeks and when that becomes better you should focus on improving a good streamlined position by spending as much time as possible on your side while making sure that your catch begins early. Of course athleticism goes hand in hand with improvement. But you get my drift. Nuff-said.

geochuck
August 13th, 2008, 11:15 AM
I think we will soon find out who is going to win the 100m.

Lezak finished the relay in the front quadrant his hand was on the wall as Bernard's hand touched the wall, before Lezak took his hand off the wall.

chaos
August 13th, 2008, 11:52 AM
There seems to be a bit of an implication here that Bernard's stroke is bad and Lezak's is good because they split 46.73 and 46.06 in this race. It seems to me that the primary flaw in Bernard's swim was that he swam on the lane line giving Lezak the draft of his life. Also, finish your race before looking at the scoreboard. How bad can a stroke be that gets you a 46.73 split? It seems to me that if anything this shows how variable individual strokes can be at the very highest level.

not a question of good and bad but rather bernard-good and lezak-gooder.

if lezak would have spun his arms at the same rate as bernard, he would have sacrificed critical distance per stroke.

aquageek
August 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I think we will soon find out who is going to win the 100m.

I'm going out on a limb and saying probably in the next day we'll know.

LindsayNB
August 13th, 2008, 12:41 PM
not a question of good and bad but rather bernard-good and lezak-gooder.

if lezak would have spun his arms at the same rate as bernard, he would have sacrificed critical distance per stroke.

My point stands, to take two swimmers in one particular race, particularly one where one swimmer is drafting off the other, and draw universal conclusions about stroke mechanics is totally unwarranted. I'll be looking forward to hearing a total reversal of the conclusion if Bernard beats Lezak in the 100 free.

chaos
August 13th, 2008, 12:49 PM
My point stands, to take two swimmers in one particular race, particularly one where one swimmer is drafting off the other, and draw universal conclusions about stroke mechanics is totally unwarranted. I'll be looking forward to hearing a total reversal of the conclusion if Bernard beats Lezak in the 100 free.


more of a conclusion about that race than universal...i would agree as one will never know if bernard was capable of swimming it any other way.

give me two people swimming the same speed and i am typically more impressed by the one with a more relaxed stroke rate.....but hey, thats just me.

thewookiee
August 13th, 2008, 12:53 PM
more of a conclusion about that race than universal...i would agree as one will never know if bernard was capable of swimming it any other way.

give me two people swimming the same speed and i am typically more impressed by the one with a more relaxed stroke rate.....but hey, thats just me.

What are your thoughts on Sullivan's stroke then?

chaos
August 13th, 2008, 12:57 PM
What are your thoughts on Sullivan's stroke then?

i have to watch it again. can't seem to load the video at the moment.

geochuck
August 13th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Chaos do you think the more relaxed stroke means they are not putting out as much effort??

more of a conclusion about that race than universal...i would agree as one will never know if bernard was capable of swimming it any other way.

give me two people swimming the same speed and i am typically more impressed by the one with a more relaxed stroke rate.....but hey, thats just me.

chaos
August 13th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Chaos do you think the more relaxed stroke means they are not putting out the as much effort??


not at all. you can lift 25lbs 10x or you can lift 10lbs 25x....the same amount of work is being accomplished. in cycling, each must find his own comfortable gear. in a time trial, the rider who can push the largest gear fastest wins.

fatboy
August 13th, 2008, 01:17 PM
:)
Lezak used a catch up stroke
his stroke helped him catch up to and pass benard

Good catch

geochuck
August 13th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Just about the way I thought you would answer, the way that I think too. When I raced everyone used to say why are you taking it so easy and I was trying as hard as I could.

not at all. you can lift 25lbs 10x or you can lift 10lbs 25x....the same amount of work is being accomplished. in cycling, each must find his own comfortable gear. in a time trial, the rider who can push the largest gear fastest wins.

LindsayNB
August 14th, 2008, 12:37 AM
not at all. you can lift 25lbs 10x or you can lift 10lbs 25x....the same amount of work is being accomplished. in cycling, each must find his own comfortable gear. in a time trial, the rider who can push the largest gear fastest wins.

The person who can push the 2nd largest gear even faster never wins?

chaos
August 14th, 2008, 08:09 AM
The person who can push the 2nd largest gear even faster never wins?

you're nit-picking.

my yaris can do 80 mph in 4th gear or 60 in 5th gear. one of those would make my mechanic cringe.

thewookiee
August 14th, 2008, 08:17 AM
dave, have you had a chance to watch sullivan yet? I would be curious to know what terry's thoughts are as well on his stroke.

tomtopo
August 14th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Lezak used a catch up stroke
his stroke helped him catch up to and pass benard


Tom, it seems to me that there is a spectrum of stroke timing, on one end you have rotary or kayak timing where the catch occurs about the time the other arm finishes, at the other end you have something approaching the catch up drill, even though no one competes using the catch up drill timing. When you want to talk to someone about timing what terms do you use to distinguish placement on this spectrum? Most of us say one stroke timing is more catchup or more front quadrant than another, what is your preference?

I believe that their can be no other way to physically swim faster other than by timing your stroke where the opposing hand sets-up to enter the power phase of the stroke while the other is moving out of it. I don't think that's front quadrant swimming it's simply the way it must be. The best kick in the world can only reduce the loss of inertia and until someone's kick creates more power than their pull, than will never change. In the women's 1500 during the last World Games both the Gold and Silver winners showed one hand entering and setting up with an awesome EVF while the other hand was in and leaving the power phase. On the opposite extreme, the French swimmer Bernard overcame a poor but still present EVF by applying more drag force than his competitiors. Bernards example is not unique and merely shows that athleticism can overcome idiosycrcies or imperfect stroke mechanics. When you're tall and strong your appendages can create more drag force but I believe he could be even faster if he set up his stroke with a more efficient EVF.

To answer your question-
Most of us say one stroke timing is more catchup or more front quadrant than another, what is your preference? I believe that --

If catchup is opposite of mirror image than I believe mirror image or the attempt at achieving constant inertia by staying in the power phase as long and as often as possible - I'm a mirror image believer.
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY --- AMEN BROTHERS!!!

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

chaos
August 14th, 2008, 12:09 PM
dave, have you had a chance to watch sullivan yet? I would be curious to know what terry's thoughts are as well on his stroke.

its pathetic that nbc only posted underwater video of the 4x 100 free relay.

its really hard to see all the little stuff in the "live" broadcast archives.

i imagine there will be some youtube stuff coming out in the near future.

terry's blog: http://blog.totalimmersion.net/

ViveBene
August 14th, 2008, 12:18 PM
its pathetic that nbc only posted underwater video of the 4x 100 free relay.

its really hard to see all the little stuff in the "live" broadcast archives.

i imagine there will be some youtube stuff coming out in the near future.

terry's blog: http://blog.totalimmersion.net/

I've seen several postings on YouTube; each lasts only a few hours, as it is removed for copyright violation. I did see an 8-minute video that was somewhat informative; one could see swimmers entering at each point in the relay, and the last 5 meters was shown from different perspectives, in slow motion, and in close-up of two hands reaching for the wall.

I'd suggest keep looking every few hours on YouTube. Here today, gone tomorrow, back the next day.

taruky
August 16th, 2008, 12:20 AM
I believe that their can be no other way to physically swim faster other than by timing your stroke where the opposing hand sets-up to enter the power phase of the stroke while the other is moving out of it. I don't think that's front quadrant swimming it's simply the way it must be. The best kick in the world can only reduce the loss of inertia and until someone's kick creates more power than their pull, than will never change. In the women's 1500 during the last World Games both the Gold and Silver winners showed one hand entering and setting up with an awesome EVF while the other hand was in and leaving the power phase. On the opposite extreme, the French swimmer Bernard overcame a poor but still present EVF by applying more drag force than his competitiors. Bernards example is not unique and merely shows that athleticism can overcome idiosycrcies or imperfect stroke mechanics. When you're tall and strong your appendages can create more drag force but I believe he could be even faster if he set up his stroke with a more efficient EVF.

To answer your question-
Most of us say one stroke timing is more catchup or more front quadrant than another, what is your preference? I believe that --

If catchup is opposite of mirror image than I believe mirror image or the attempt at achieving constant inertia by staying in the power phase as long and as often as possible - I'm a mirror image believer.
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY --- AMEN BROTHERS!!!

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

Your point is valid for a short race. That is why there is a much higher stroke rate in the 50. However, your argument doesn't take into account the energy used to maintain a rotary stroke/higher stroke rate. The front quadrant stroke is much more efficient, and in 100m or longer races pays off.

tomtopo
August 16th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Your point is valid for a short race. That is why there is a much higher stroke rate in the 50. However, your argument doesn't take into account the energy used to maintain a rotary stroke/higher stroke rate. The front quadrant stroke is much more efficient, and in 100m or longer races pays off.


Rebecca Adlington (800 Fr) has one of the best text book EVF's I've seen to date. In any and every event, an Early Vertical Forearm sets your stroke up for speed. It doesn't matter what distance, what stroke, an EVF is critical for swimming speed and at one degree or another, every swimmer in the Olympics shows they have it. Call it a catch if you prefer but technically it means the same thing. Adlington's stroke is mechanically awesome. Timing for critical speed in each stroke has been show over and over again, - when one of the hands is in the power phase the other hand enters the water. The objective of every swimmer sprinter to distance is always the same, the maintenance of peak inertia. The greatest kick in the universe only slows the loss of inertia when one of the arms is not in the peak power phase. The variables of body type, strength, flexibility, endurance and others, will always come into play but maintenance of peak speed is a common one that must be shared by every swimmer. I believe the way Adlington swims is an style that I can teach and everyone else should as well (to sprinters and distance swimmers).

geochuck
August 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM
What an expert you have become since your first post July 4th, 2008, 03:48 PM. Where did all of your expertise come from.

Your point is valid for a short race. That is why there is a much higher stroke rate in the 50. However, your argument doesn't take into account the energy used to maintain a rotary stroke/higher stroke rate. The front quadrant stroke is much more efficient, and in 100m or longer races pays off.

taruky
August 16th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Rebecca Adlington (800 Fr) has one of the best text book EVF's I've seen to date. In any and every event, an Early Vertical Forearm sets your stroke up for speed. It doesn't matter what distance, what stroke, an EVF is critical for swimming speed and at one degree or another, every swimmer in the Olympics shows they have it. Call it a catch if you prefer but technically it means the same thing. Adlington's stroke is mechanically awesome. Timing for critical speed in each stroke has been show over and over again, - when one of the hands is in the power phase the other hand enters the water. The objective of every swimmer sprinter to distance is always the same, the maintenance of peak inertia. The greatest kick in the universe only slows the loss of inertia when one of the arms is not in the peak power phase. The variables of body type, strength, flexibility, endurance and others, will always come into play but maintenance of peak speed is a common one that must be shared by every swimmer. I believe the way Adlington swims is an style that I can teach and everyone else should as well (to sprinters and distance swimmers).
I'm not arguing against the catch position you endorse. What I am saying is that a lot of swimmers have a longer glide, i.e. spend more time in an extended arm/ streamline position before pulling. In this scenario the loss of propulsion, as you describe it, is offset by better endurance in longer races. It's easy as pie to see. Compare Bernard and Lezak's underwater swims in the relay. Lezak had a much lower stroke rate, spent more time gliding, and had a lot left in the tank at the end.

swimcat
August 16th, 2008, 01:39 PM
:dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse: :dedhorse:

geochuck
August 16th, 2008, 04:00 PM
It will be a never ending story.

:dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse::dedhorse: :dedhorse:

LindsayNB
August 16th, 2008, 06:07 PM
It will be a never ending story.

I don't think so, we are rapidly approaching the point where we can get an accurate three dimensional model of a swimmer's stroke, when we get there we can close the loop and test our theories against empirical evidence instead of just arguing. I.e. we can start being scientific. The facilities already exist for this in a few places but the cost will start to come down very rapidly in the near future.

taruky
August 16th, 2008, 06:11 PM
What an expert you have become since your first post July 4th, 2008, 03:48 PM. Where did all of your expertise come from.
I guess there's a hierarchy of opinions here, my apologies for offending the experts.

geochuck
August 16th, 2008, 07:36 PM
Hydrodynamics will change drastically. Will we use gene therapy to change the physical body to make the swimmers body genetically better for speed.
Improve the wingspan, grow bigger feet. The loop will change many times. Growth hormones will be given to super sized babies to make super dooper sized babies.


I don't think so, we are rapidly approaching the point where we can get an accurate three dimensional model of a swimmer's stroke, when we get there we can close the loop and test our theories against empirical evidence instead of just arguing. I.e. we can start being scientific. The facilities already exist for this in a few places but the cost will start to come down very rapidly in the near future.

geochuck
August 16th, 2008, 07:43 PM
I am sorry, I did not mean you are wrong and actually many of the things you say are pretty good. I am truly amazed how fast you have picked up a lot of stuff that has been said.

It is good to question every ones theories. Tom has his thoughts and I do like what he says most of the time.


I guess there's a hierarchy of opinions here, my apologies for offending the experts.

tomtopo
August 16th, 2008, 08:15 PM
I don't think so, we are rapidly approaching the point where we can get an accurate three dimensional model of a swimmer's stroke, when we get there we can close the loop and test our theories against empirical evidence instead of just arguing. I.e. we can start being scientific. The facilities already exist for this in a few places but the cost will start to come down very rapidly in the near future.


That's an exciting prospect. I hope I'm around to try it out.

taruky
August 16th, 2008, 11:47 PM
I am sorry, I did not mean you are wrong and actually many of the things you say are pretty good. I am truly amazed how fast you have picked up a lot of stuff that has been said.

It is good to question every ones theories. Tom has his thoughts and I do like what he says most of the time.
No problem. I also appreciate a lot of what Tom says, heck, I bought the tech paddles and have seen his YouTube videos.

Slid
August 18th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Rebecca Adlington (800 Fr) has one of the best text book EVF's I've seen to date. In any and every event, an Early Vertical Forearm sets your stroke up for speed. It doesn't matter what distance, what stroke, an EVF is critical for swimming speed and at one degree or another, every swimmer in the Olympics shows they have it. Call it a catch if you prefer but technically it means the same thing. Adlington's stroke is mechanically awesome. Timing for critical speed in each stroke has been show over and over again, - when one of the hands is in the power phase the other hand enters the water. The objective of every swimmer sprinter to distance is always the same, the maintenance of peak inertia. The greatest kick in the universe only slows the loss of inertia when one of the arms is not in the peak power phase. The variables of body type, strength, flexibility, endurance and others, will always come into play but maintenance of peak speed is a common one that must be shared by every swimmer. I believe the way Adlington swims is an style that I can teach and everyone else should as well (to sprinters and distance swimmers).

Oddly, until I saw some footage of Becky underwater, I had a great deal of difficulty understanding what EVF really was. Not now! Cheers Tom.

mattson
August 18th, 2008, 02:13 PM
A comparison between two Olympic medalists is not that helpful, as there are a lot of other factors that could be responsible for the tiny time differences (aerobic capacity, foot size, fin-shaped head, etc.). I'm more interested in what all 8 finalists are doing in common (despite their stroke idiosyncrasies), that the 17th+ place swimmers are not doing.

tomtopo
August 18th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Oddly, until I saw some footage of Becky underwater, I had a great deal of difficulty understanding what EVF really was. Not now! Cheers Tom.


Here's some great video's and pictures too. I show my swimmers these.

Phelps and Thorpe
At approximately 30sec, 48 sec, 1min, and more, youíll see the hand enter from both Phelps and Thorpe when the opposite hand is in the EVF position and during the power phase.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6Efz6HREz8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtfpfTUVWw0&feature=related
Slow motion Ė Youíll see the forearm in an EVF position as the other hand enters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub-_LlqR23g&search=ian%20thorpeFirefoxHTML\Shell\Open\Command

Grant Hackett Ė Great EVF and then the hand enters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwvtuHya40g&feature=related

Jason Lezak Ė The most pronounced EVF of all the competitors whoís hand enters the water while the other is in the EVF position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T9PCyVd9J4

Ziegler Holds off Laure Manaudou = Awesome looks at when one are is in the EVF position the other enters the water.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om48QTqzUhE&feature=related


A picture frame by frame comparison of Thorpe and Hackett

http://www.svl.ch/CrawlAnalysis/


A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So the rival florist hired Hugh Mac Taggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.