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Galmag
July 18th, 2011, 06:03 AM
Season is nearly over for me and so it's time to start planning next season.
One of my goals is to improve my dives and my starts in general.

I've been doing some reading about this lately, but I would still appreciate tips and explanation on how to dive.

Moreover, I read Wayne's article on Grab start Vs. Track Start (with ref. to the PowerStart website) . I noticed that swimmers still use the track start and experimented with both styles. I found out I enter the water smoother when I track start but I travel longer when I do the Grab Start.
Next week I'll be working with a coach on this but I'd like to learn more before I do, so I can understand the technique better before I meet the coach and focus on the fine points with him, instead of wasting my time on basics.

Here's a link to Wayne's article:
http://breaststroke.info/IstheGrabStartDeadrev2.htm
Here's another YouTube link I found:
‪The Finer Points of a Good Swimming Start‬‏ - YouTube
PowerStart website:
http://www.quickgetaway.com/

So Russel Mark is claiming one should KEEP LOW whereas Wayne and that PowerStart website would like to see swimmers jump UP.

Physicswise, the best way to jump high and far would be to leave the blocks at a 45 degree angle - which is why I tend to adopt the second approach I mentioned.
Here's what I'm talking about:
‪Freestyle Start‬‏ - YouTube
(watch the second swimmer)

And this is Joe Jackson talking about her dives:
‪Gatorade Swimming Masterclass: Dive Starts with Joanne Jackson World Record Swimmer‬‏ - YouTube
Notice that unlike what R.Mark said, she isn't pulling the blocks with her hands. Her hands leave the blocks as her legs start to move.

To cut a long story short, my questions are (what is nowadays considered better and why?):
Hand - grabbing or just touching the blocks?
Do they stay behind the CM or are they being thrown forward?
(behind= ‪Phelps-track-start-arms-late‬‏ - YouTube
(Thrown forward= ‪Freestyle Start‬‏ - YouTube)

Head - looking DOWN or AT THE FLAGS?

Legs - I tend to enter the water straight but then my legs sort of fold and slow me down. Like the third swimmer in this clip:
‪Freestyle Start‬‏ - YouTube
Any tips as for how to correct this?

And last but not least, where else can I find information on dives? (couldn't find anything in the forum surprisingly)

Allen Stark
July 19th, 2011, 05:14 PM
The most important part of the start is the entry.Your must enter your body all through the same "hole".Any dive that you can't do that 100 % is not a good dive.If you have strong legs I definitely think you want to jump a little up(air is not nearly as dense as water.)
I believe you said you are a High School/USA-S swimmer.If so I think you definitely want to do the track start.It is more stable and my observation is that USA-S officials are not as forgiving of twitches on the block as Masters officials are(which is the only area I know where they are more strict.)Also you will probably be the only one using a grab start and the officials will probably be watching you more closely.It doesn't matter how fast your start is if it ends up a DQ.If you test and find your grab start is definitely faster than your track start, talk to the officials before you swim so you and they are on the same page.

Galmag
July 21st, 2011, 03:14 AM
Hi Allen, thanks!

You said the most important thing to do is to enter through the same hole.
I seem to bend my legs when I jump (hands, head and torso do, however, enter through the same hole). Is there any drill or tip you know of to help me fix this?

Thanks again!

fritznh
July 21st, 2011, 11:31 AM
Nearly all of my swimmers (6-12 year olds!) have trouble keeping their legs straight on the start. I've had some luck with going to the diving end of the pool and practicing dives off the side, watching your legs. Keep in mind that this puts your head in too low a position for a "real" start, but it does provide instant feedback to make sure you're keeping your legs straight.

Personally, I use a track start for a "flat" start because it is a lot more stable. During my college years (this will clearly show that I am indeed old) the rules changed so that if you had one false start you were DQ'd. I eventually found that the track start was nearly as good if you use your arms to initially get yourself moving forward. To get more leverage on the block, if you keep your weight slightly on the back foot and bend your elbows, it puts your arms so that if you pull you're not just pulling straight down. Pull hard, but pull forward.

For a relay start I have both feet forward, or step into that position, with toes curled over the block. I think this position provides more power, as you are pushing directly back on the block instead of smearing your foot into the side. But in either case, getting your body through the same hole in the water has more to do with the quality of the start. For this, you might want to have someone film your start and look to see what body position provides the cleanest entry.

Good luck!

Debugger
July 21st, 2011, 02:27 PM
The most important part of the start is the entry.Your must enter your body all through the same "hole".Any dive that you can't do that 100 % is not a good dive.If you have strong legs I definitely think you want to jump a little up(air is not nearly as dense as water.)
I believe you said you are a High School/USA-S swimmer.If so I think you definitely want to do the track start.It is more stable and my observation is that USA-S officials are not as forgiving of twitches on the block as Masters officials are(which is the only area I know where they are more strict.)Also you will probably be the only one using a grab start and the officials will probably be watching you more closely.It doesn't matter how fast your start is if it ends up a DQ.If you test and find your grab start is definitely faster than your track start, talk to the officials before you swim so you and they are on the same page.
Hi Alen, could you please explain in more details, what's the problem with grab start and which are the cases when you can get DQ while doing it?
Personally I prefer doing track start but sometimes when the block is slippery I do grab start because once I was very close to injury when did a track start in such case. My foot standing behind slipped of the block and it hit the block :-(

Allen Stark
July 21st, 2011, 08:30 PM
Hi Alen, could you please explain in more details, what's the problem with grab start and which are the cases when you can get DQ while doing it?
Personally I prefer doing track start but sometimes when the block is slippery I do grab start because once I was very close to injury when did a track start in such case. My foot standing behind slipped of the block and it hit the block :-(

With the grab start it is much easier to lean a little too far over and have to jerk yourself back into balance.At a masters meet they have enough of us old rickety types doing grab starts that this is generally tolerated. At a USA-S meet that is may be considered a false start.

philoswimmer
July 21st, 2011, 09:20 PM
With the grab start it is much easier to lean a little too far over and have to jerk yourself back into balance.At a masters meet they have enough of us old rickety types doing grab starts that this is generally tolerated. At a USA-S meet that is may be considered a false start.

Are you saying that you can be DQ'ed on the start without even having entered the water?

knelson
July 21st, 2011, 11:12 PM
Are you saying that you can be DQ'ed on the start without even having entered the water?

That's a really good question. I would think not. If the starter says "stand up" I don't think you can be DQ'ed unless you go into the water.

hnatkin
July 22nd, 2011, 09:30 AM
Natalie Coughlin was DQed after winning the 100 last month at Santa Clara meet because she twitched on the block. They didn't have the swimmers stand up. So you can be DQed for movement on the block.

Speedo
July 22nd, 2011, 11:01 AM
Natalie Coughlin was DQed after winning the 100 last month at Santa Clara meet because she twitched on the block. They didn't have the swimmers stand up. So you can be DQed for movement on the block.If I recall, she was DQed because she surfaced after the 15m mark.

Regarding galmag's folding legs syndrome, I had this and it's pretty easy to fix. You just stiffen up before you hit the water- the whole body must be rigid, not just your legs. Optimally, you will pass through a very small circle, but it's OK if it's a bit larger due to to the decrease in flex. Practicing this would help, but you should get it relatively quickly after a few tries. Good luck.

Allen Stark
July 22nd, 2011, 05:21 PM
Natalie Coughlin was DQed after winning the 100 last month at Santa Clara meet because she twitched on the block. They didn't have the swimmers stand up. So you can be DQed for movement on the block.

I don't know about that meet,but I have heard of swimmers DQd for twitching on the blocks,or twitching during backstroke starts.If you twitch immediately before or as the gun goes off you will probably be DQd even if you are the last off the blocks.

aztimm
July 22nd, 2011, 05:26 PM
I don't know about that meet,but I have heard of swimmers DQd for twitching on the blocks,or twitching during backstroke starts.If you twitch immediately before or as the gun goes off you will probably be DQd even if you are the last off the blocks.

What's the difference between twitching and just adjusting yourself?
After they say, "take your mark," how much time do they give you to be at the mark?

Speedo
July 22nd, 2011, 09:25 PM
There must be starter in here somewhere, but if there is movement after the field has taken their mark and all are still, the starter should request for them to stand if possible. I was started in Atlanta and heard the multiple beeps after the field was off- they had to drop the rope, so it is not always possible to stand the swimmers.

androvski
July 24th, 2011, 06:00 AM
Yep, you can't move after the "take your mark". I have been DQ'd because of this.

dsyphers
July 25th, 2011, 09:18 AM
You can definitely be DQ'd for movement on the block. In a recent meet, after "take your mark" I twitched, then moved myself back way further than I was initially and was the last one to leave the blocks. I was DQ'ed for movement. You have to remain still until the gun goes off.

poolraat
July 25th, 2011, 04:42 PM
Are you saying that you can be DQ'ed on the start without even having entered the water?

When I was a starter, if there was movement after I gave the command "Take your Mark", I would stand the field and do it again, so generally you would not be dq'd. If I had already committed to start the field and then there was movement, it was a false start and therefore a dq. If you lose your balance and fall into the water BEFORE the starter tells the field to "stand up" it is a false start. If the he says "stand up" and then you lose your balance and fall in, you may or may not be dq'd. This is a judgement call by the referee.



You can definitely be DQ'd for movement on the block. In a recent meet, after "take your mark" I twitched, then moved myself back way further than I was initially and was the last one to leave the blocks. I was DQ'ed for movement. You have to remain still until the gun goes off.

As a starter I would sometimes not rule it a false start if a swimmer had some movement while in the set position, but only if, in my opinion, they were not making a "starting" movement. Again it was a judgement call.
Also, a false start requires a double confirmation. Both the Starter and Referee have to see it and rule it a false start for it to be a dq.

philoswimmer
July 25th, 2011, 04:54 PM
When I was a starter, if there was movement after I gave the command "Take your Mark", I would stand the field and do it again, so generally you would not be dq'd. If I had already committed to start the field and then there was movement, it was a false start and therefore a dq. If you lose your balance and fall into the water BEFORE the starter tells the field to "stand up" it is a false start. If the he says "stand up" and then you lose your balance and fall in, you may or may not be dq'd. This is a judgement call by the referee.


Thanks -- this discussion has been very eye-opening for me. That last case you mention was one that I was particularly curious about. Recently I was at a meet when they asked us to stand up. I don't think I was moving, and I could have stayed in that position for quite a long time. But standing up from the angled blocks was a bit of a challenge for me. :cane: Let's just say there was a bit of gymnastics involved on my part. Sounds like they could have DQ'ed me if they had chosen to.

makesense
July 25th, 2011, 05:14 PM
Re officiating the Start....the false start

Stationary, NOT necesssarily motionless before the beep

a False Start is 'starting before the start signal (i.e. beep)'

mere twitching is not a start; twitching seen as a starting motion however could be called a false start DQ

A false start must be observed by both the Starter and Deck Referee, i.e. dual confirmation

Any recall after the race begins would essentially remove any false start determination

At least one foot must be at front of blocks; acceptable for both feet to be there

Falling into the water before the beep is not a false start; starting before the beep is a false start