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View Full Version : Please critique



taruky
June 23rd, 2009, 10:01 PM
Hey guys, last summer I posted some video of my novice son swimming and many of you were kind enough to give feedback and some ideas. Well, now 9 years-old, he has improved a ton (now he gets points for his team) but still has plenty of room for improvement. This fall he will start a DC area program called Curl-Burke (not sure if any of you are familiar with this and can give some insight), which hopefully will help his fitness and stroke. Swimming is really about the only exercise he gets because he doesn't enjoy other sports and is busy with piano. Anyhow, this summer I'm working with him (they don't do any stroke development on the summer neighborhood team), and I would appreciate your input.

A little background; in the 50M freestyle his time is about 46 sec with a very weak start and weak turns. I don't know his butterfly time (he DQ'd in time trials due to non-simultaneous touch). His breast stroke is by far his weakest, doing the 50 in 1:15. Here are some videos. Thanks.

Freestyle (medium pace):
YouTube - 004
YouTube - 005
YouTube - 007
YouTube - 008

Breast:
YouTube - 010
YouTube - 011

Butterfly:
YouTube - 013
YouTube - 015

Thanks.

taruky
June 23rd, 2009, 10:03 PM
Let me also say that I have no idea why the videos showed up in the post. I was trying to just post links, lol.

tjrpatt
June 23rd, 2009, 10:16 PM
Curl Burke is a great program. They trained at my college. I remember trying to train with them one time and just couldn't keep up. And, the kids were like 14 or something. But, they train at alot of different pools with different levels. Tom Dolan and Ed Moses came from that club.

geochuck
June 24th, 2009, 11:34 AM
I hate to critique openly a childs stroke, in the second video I do not like the way the hand enters and seems to push the water in the opposite direction with the palm of the hand. It enters and the palm pushing forward and then forced upward by the water.

A good set of videos.

gobears
June 24th, 2009, 12:48 PM
Forgive me if I'm way off base, but it scares me a little that you've both taken and posted this much video of your 9 year old for stroke correction. I may have no reason to be frightened, but please remember that one of the MAJOR priorities when a swimmer is young (IMHO) is having fun. Speaking as one who has coached for 20 years, I don't know many kids who like their parents to constantly critique their strokes. That's what coaches are for.

Your son has plenty of time to develop and refine all of his strokes--there's no rush to get it all right this summer!

Again, not meaning to offend here. Just want to voice my concerns :)

geochuck
June 24th, 2009, 03:02 PM
The biggest problem with swim coaches and kids the coaches just heap on work and they forget proper technique. Some coaches believe the faults will correct themselves, they don't.

taruky
June 24th, 2009, 03:34 PM
Forgive me if I'm way off base, but it scares me a little that you've both taken and posted this much video of your 9 year old for stroke correction. I may have no reason to be frightened, but please remember that one of the MAJOR priorities when a swimmer is young (IMHO) is having fun. Speaking as one who has coached for 20 years, I don't know many kids who like their parents to constantly critique their strokes. That's what coaches are for.

Your son has plenty of time to develop and refine all of his strokes--there's no rush to get it all right this summer!

Again, not meaning to offend here. Just want to voice my concerns :)

You are forgiven for being way off base. Just like anything in life, learning the proper way to do something will make it that much easier later on. As I mentioned, my children play piano and from the very beginning they were taught how to hold their hands and body posture before even playing a note.

My son thought it was very cool that folks who are accomplished swimmers, some ex-collegiate or even more advanced, could give him pointers. He's already mighty proud of himself for the strides he has made since last season, and I reinforce it. I always tell him the good, and gently propose improvements he can make. I do not have a swimming background, but I have learned a lot in the past year and am improving myself. I teach him simple things like balance, head position, etc. On his rather large neighborhood team there is very little stroke development, and to help me be a better teacher I was hoping some of you could see things that I don't.

It really amuses me that some people make assumptions on this topic. Reminds me of the woman with the black eye whose husband gets dirty glances on the assumption that he did it. So you assume that I am some cut-throat dad working my son to death while other kids play. FYI, we work on his stroke 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes, and he probably does a total of 5 laps in each.

gobears
June 24th, 2009, 03:51 PM
It really amuses me that some people make assumptions on this topic. Reminds me of the woman with the black eye whose husband gets dirty glances on the assumption that he did it. So you assume that I am some cut-throat dad working my son to death while other kids play. FYI, we work on his stroke 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes, and he probably does a total of 5 laps in each.

Hey, I tried to be nice :angel: We just have different parenting philosophies and I'm willing to agree to disagree. My worry wasn't that you were heaping on extra work or being psychotic. My worry is that you might be one of those parents I, personally (and this might be just me) dread to have as a parent on my team. I (again, personally) don't believe in parents coaching their kids--especially when the parent has no background or formal teaching in what he or she is trying to teach his or her kid.

The fact that you are posting videos for random masters swimmers to view and offer correction suggestions, suggests to me that you are not an expert yourself. I, personally, am annoyed when a parent on my team tries to teach something he or she doesn't understand for themselves. They often don't really understand whatt they're teaching and they end up making my job harder.

I've coached swimming for 20 years now and have spent 37 years as a swimmer. I have a hard time coaching my own kids because they would really rather have me be a supportive mom. I wouldn't, in a million years, dream of giving my kids tips on their Tae Kwon Do forms or sparring since I know little about TKD. I wouldn't think of asking others on a site about tips for them either. If I was concerned about their instruction, I'd find a good program with good coaching.

But, that's just my personal philosophy. I do happen to know a lot of coaches who have that same philosophy so get used to hearing about it and try not to have such a thin skin...


***Ahhh, might have been a good tidbit of information to include that your son suffers from Asperger's syndrome and, quite possibly, needs a little extra direction. I amend my above post to say that, as a coach, I'd be MUCH more tolerant of a parent with a child who has special needs giving their child some extra direction. That makes sense to me. If you were like most parents I encounter who do this kind of thing with their swimmers who are learning perfectly well in practice, I'd be irritated. But, it looks like your situation is different. I apologize if I offended!

geochuck
June 24th, 2009, 04:18 PM
I was at the pool yesterday and watched workouts for children and then after that a master swimming group, with the same coach. The workouts were identical used the same workout boards. The coach was there and the instructions given were, don't stop, follow the workout. There was not a single stroke correction except the word go, thats good, and keep it moving. I saw so many blatant stroke faults and not a word said about stroke correction. Just keep moving. Read the workout posted.

gobears
June 24th, 2009, 04:26 PM
I was at the pool yesterday and watched workouts for children and then after a master swimming group, with the same coach. The workouts were identical used the same workout boards. The coach was there and the instructions given were, don't stop, follow the workout. There was not a single stroke correction except the word go, thats good, and keep it moving. I saw so many blatant stroke faults and not a word said about stroke correction. Just keep moving. Read the workout posted.

So, you're saying you would have loved for your inexperienced mom or dad to take you aside and correct your strokes three times a week? You seem to have little regard for coaches. There are actually many of us out here who "coach" and spend entire practices doing nothing but yelling out stroke instructions to our swimmers as they swim.

I would have hated it if my mom or dad hovered around the pool coaching me all the time. One of the best things about swimming was that it was MY thing and not theirs...

geochuck
June 24th, 2009, 04:38 PM
I did not say anything about all coaches. Better a parent that cares then a coach who does not.

I happened to be there and watching a so called coach. I have no respect for that coach. Is it required that I respect a coach that seems to know how take money under false pretences. Any parent could have written the workout and any parent would have been able to do as good a job as that coach.


So, you're saying you would have loved for your inexperienced mom or dad to take you aside and correct your strokes three times a week? You seem to have little regard for coaches. There are actually many of us out here who "coach" and spend entire practices doing nothing but yelling out stroke instructions to our swimmers as they swim.

I would have hated it if my mom or dad hovered around the pool coaching me all the time. One of the best things about swimming was that it was MY thing and not theirs...

Allen Stark
June 24th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Re:BR-The overall timing is good.He brings his hands too far back.This is decreasing the power of his in-sweep and causing his recovery to start too low(too far beneath the surface) which messes up his streamlining.He is kicking out.The kick should be back.The feet start outside the knees and they should not get wider than where they are in the catch.2 good drills for him would be-1)practicing the pull bent over the lane line with it crossing at the arm pits
2)breaststroke with a pull buoy between the knees.

taruky
June 25th, 2009, 03:09 AM
Re:BR-The overall timing is good.He brings his hands too far back.This is decreasing the power of his in-sweep and causing his recovery to start too low(too far beneath the surface) which messes up his streamlining.He is kicking out.The kick should be back.The feet start outside the knees and they should not get wider than where they are in the catch.2 good drills for him would be-1)practicing the pull bent over the lane line with it crossing at the arm pits
2)breaststroke with a pull buoy between the knees.

Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I agree about bringing his arms too far back. I see a lot of extra up and down rather than forward momentum when I watch him from the side on the breast stroke. The kick is definitely a work in progress. We'll try those drills.

taruky
June 25th, 2009, 03:36 AM
Hey, I tried to be nice :angel: We just have different parenting philosophies and I'm willing to agree to disagree. My worry wasn't that you were heaping on extra work or being psychotic. My worry is that you might be one of those parents I, personally (and this might be just me) dread to have as a parent on my team. I (again, personally) don't believe in parents coaching their kids--especially when the parent has no background or formal teaching in what he or she is trying to teach his or her kid.

The fact that you are posting videos for random masters swimmers to view and offer correction suggestions, suggests to me that you are not an expert yourself. I, personally, am annoyed when a parent on my team tries to teach something he or she doesn't understand for themselves. They often don't really understand whatt they're teaching and they end up making my job harder.

I've coached swimming for 20 years now and have spent 37 years as a swimmer. I have a hard time coaching my own kids because they would really rather have me be a supportive mom. I wouldn't, in a million years, dream of giving my kids tips on their Tae Kwon Do forms or sparring since I know little about TKD. I wouldn't think of asking others on a site about tips for them either. If I was concerned about their instruction, I'd find a good program with good coaching.

But, that's just my personal philosophy. I do happen to know a lot of coaches who have that same philosophy so get used to hearing about it and try not to have such a thin skin...


***Ahhh, might have been a good tidbit of information to include that your son suffers from Asperger's syndrome and, quite possibly, needs a little extra direction. I amend my above post to say that, as a coach, I'd be MUCH more tolerant of a parent with a child who has special needs giving their child some extra direction. That makes sense to me. If you were like most parents I encounter who do this kind of thing with their swimmers who are learning perfectly well in practice, I'd be irritated. But, it looks like your situation is different. I apologize if I offended!

I don't know that my son "suffers" from Asperger's syndrome. Like anything in life there are advantages and disadvantages. Straight A student and heckuva pianist, but socially awkward and athletically lacking. And yes, as you alluded to, he needs very specific instruction on things.

I undersand that I am not an expert on swimming, but I have been swimming and reading about swimming alot over the past year. I have learned a lot on this board as well. And I can say with complete honesty that 90% of his improvement has been from working with him on my own. Last summer, his 25M time went from 47 sec to 33 sec with the "extra" help. This past fall, winter, and spring, while not on a team or coached by anyone but myself, his 25Y time dropped to 18.5 sec, and his 50M time is 46 sec. Same goes for his back stroke (37 sec 25M to 58 sec 50M). I teach him things as I said, that are simple, but make a big difference. For example. Geochuck says he is pushing water on his entry (true). You should have seen him before, it was a lot worse, like he was saying "talk to the hand". That is one thing we improved. Balance, 6 beat switch drills to learn to rotate and kick on his side, and fist swimming to help him feel the water are other examples.

As Geochuck said, large swimming teams don't really have the time to work on stroke development. I see them do a drill, a child does it completely incorrectly, and nobody says a thing (for the record, I do not hover over my son, nor do I ever give instructions during a practice). Most accomplished kids are on year-round teams where they get more detailed training, and I did not want to subject my son to that schedule last year until I knew that he really enjoyed it. This fall we will start the Curle-Burke program, and now it makes sense to leave the training to them.

You should see the look on his face when he finds out that he contributes points to the team. It was unthinkable last year.

Buckee
June 25th, 2009, 08:52 AM
I think better technique makes swimming or any sport more fun, regardless of age. I have Twins, 5 year old's learning to swim. The coaches do a fantastic job but I still take my kids swimming and try to help them as best I can. I have no aspirations of flogging them to go the Olympics or whatever, they just love swimming. Katie screams the place down trying to get her out the pool.

Buckee
June 25th, 2009, 09:14 AM
And now thinking about it I show Jarad & Kaitlan youtube videos of swimming (and star wars and pink panther...) and they think its great. Big arms, bubbles, (Katie is a natural butterflyer, just a few strokes) they learn heaps from just watching. They have their own PC's and love youtube. Times are changing. I am not flogging them. When they are "nine" ... well that is another four years away, I don't know what my kids will be "having fun" doing then.