View Full Version : Football player turned swimmer

October 19th, 2003, 10:37 PM
Well, i am a student at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY that had the football team cut from the athletic program and instead had a swim team and a few other sports put in the program in its place. One day as i was working out in the gym this past september, the coach of the swim team saw me working out and asked me if i wanted to swim. He needed numbers more than anything since the collegiate competitive requirements are 11 participants a team. Mind you i am 5'7", 185 lbs, broad chest and shoulders with large legs. A running back figure. I have never swam before and i agreed to be on the swim team. The coach wants me to swim the 50 and 100 free and i like that for it is a fast twitch race more than slow twitch, and since i am a senior i don't really have time to increase my endurance and slow twitch. I was wondering if any of you had advice for me in my endeavour to become an excellent swimmer by february 2004, and hopefully win an event at the MAAC nationals. In my first meet on Oct. 11, i swam a 27.88 in the 50 free at Duquesne. If you couldn't tell by my hunting for a discussion ring and post, i am very intense and competitive, and am taking this very seriously. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and hope to have some replies soon!

October 19th, 2003, 10:59 PM
That doesn't leave much time Joey. Plus you have a long way to go. You might want to try and do two a days. If you can get away in the morning I work out at the Flickinger Center and currently am coaching another college swimmer. If you e-mail me I'll talk to you some more. I think your goal of winning at the MACC is a little aggresive. I haven't looked but I would guess your competition is about 5 or 6 seconds ahead of you. Thats a lot of time to lose. I like your spirit though.

October 20th, 2003, 05:26 AM
Yeah, times are around 22.5 to 21.5 with the record at 21.09 i think. I am doing two a days with my team, but if you are offering your services, i currently don't have a job and wouldn't be able to afford to pay you. But i thank you. Or if you would like to just see me swim and maybe give me some advice, that would be great. I have done some research within the usms website and read up on FQS, counting strokes, and keeping your head attached to your spine. I think these things will help tremendously if i can get them employed in my form and technique. thanks for your interest and support!

Rob Copeland
October 20th, 2003, 09:09 AM
There are hundreds of things that will help you improve. Iíll mention just three here.
First, listen to your coach. He sees your stroke and is in the best position to provide you with appropriate advice regarding what you need to achieve your goals.
Second, stretch. As a football player, most of your weight training has probably been focused on power and not flexibility. Stretching to improve shoulder and ankle flexibility will help to lengthen your stroke and improve propulsion. There have been a number of posts regarding stretching and flexibility. And again, work with your coach on how to incorporate stretching into your training program.
Third, streamline. As a running back, your leg strength should be a great asset in starts and turns. It is important to explode off the blocks and walls in a tight streamlined position to ensure that you can get the maximum benefit from your legs.

Good luck.
Sorry to hear about Canisius cutting your football program. But, I hope footballís loss is swimmingís gain.

October 20th, 2003, 10:57 AM
Rob took all the good ones! :)

I'm guessing that the other swimmers are working on strengthening up, but that is probably a lower priority for you (given your background). How well are you "catching/holding" the water? You might want to concentrate on drills, anything that will allow you to apply your strength more efficiently in the water. (Look at any of the threads here, on improving your stroke length.)

October 20th, 2003, 11:19 AM
Thanks a lot guys for all your help. I counted my strokes per length and it was aorund 17-19 strokes per length of the pool. I really focused on gettin on my sides during the strokes, and implementing FQS. Stretching will need to be a key element in my regimen, and catching holding water is another thing that i feel i have a problem with. Is there any way to self check if you are catching water properly? i understand this concept a bit from being a rower. It is just hard to tell cause you can't really watch your own hand. thanks again gentlemen for your help, and if anyone has anything to add, i do take down notes and put key things in my locker to focus on before i hit the pool. Anything is appreciated!

October 20th, 2003, 11:50 AM
17-19 is a bit high for competitive swimming, and definitely high if you want to attack any records.

Someone else has stated that when you are holding water, the water almost feels like pudding (instead of, well, water!). I just remembered a good drill, sculling. With a pull buoy, keep your arms straight in front of you. You have to propel yourself down the pool by sculling your arms, without pulling them back. (Not even a breastroke pull, just sideways motion. You'll have to sneak in a breath when you can.) Or if you know any water polo drills, those are good for getting the feel of the water.

October 20th, 2003, 12:52 PM
I think i read somewhere that i would want to bring it down to like 12 right? i'm gonna do some work tonight on keeping a long glide and work most definitely on catching water.

October 20th, 2003, 02:39 PM
Just thought of something else. Once you feel like you can "grip" the water, you want to feel like you are pulling yourself along (like climbing a rope, or pushing yourself onto the pool deck), rather than pushing water backwards.

You mentioned doing crew, so it's kind of the same idea. You are pulling the boat (you) past the oar (arms), instead of splashing/causing turbulance with the oars.

12 is a decent goal, but keep in mind that everyone is different. Also, as your stroke rate picks up while sprinting, you are going to lose some stroke length. (The skill comes from trying to keep as much stroke length as possible, while sprinting.)

October 20th, 2003, 06:02 PM
You are right to look here for advice Joey. There are a lot of smart people posting here, and some of the country's best coaches also comment from time to time. By the way, I don't get paid for helping people. I do my workouts there in the morning and some people hook up with me for the free advice and motivation. If you are doing 2x a day's now there is really no reason to do more. In fact overtraining would become a consideration. For the "students" we work mainly on drills, and mostly Total Immersion drills and techniques. I do my actual workout prior to meeting with them. Good luck in your endeavor. Hard work and good form will get you there. For sprinting I also believe to race fast you have to practice fast. Push it in your workouts over the next couple of months, and have your coach develop a good taper based on your practices and mileage.

October 20th, 2003, 07:51 PM
I am so glad i found this post. You guys have been great with advice and support and it has only been a day or two..thanks so much. i would like to do as much practicing as i can but there are only so many hours in a day! If anybody thinks of anything else, drop me a line, and i will keep you all posted on my wherabouts in the world of swimming. thanks!

October 20th, 2003, 07:57 PM
Yer doing great!!! You'll be awesome at MAAC's i know it. And to everyone who's helpin Joe out, thanks, yer advice is good and he's improving a lot.

Fellow Griff Swimmer,

October 20th, 2003, 11:51 PM
That's not a bad time. Have you ever tried breaststoke-short and broad leg people sometimes have a natural breaststroke ability.

October 21st, 2003, 12:01 AM
About the best thing you can do is to pay attention and listen to your coach.
Tell him what your goals are, and he can help you.
In swimming, proper and fine tuned technique counts a LOT.
Much more than in many other sports.
You'll notice as you go on that there is only so much you can do by powering through things. The winning edge is in the technique.

So if the coach asks the team to do 'stroke drills' and stuff like that., don't get frustrated that you're not sprinting enough.

October 21st, 2003, 07:59 AM
I applaud you for wanting to improve your time and setting high goals. You have received a lot of good tips and encouragement in this forum. However I am not sure if you are coming to this with naivety or bold audacity.

Since everybody else has provided positive points allow me to come at this from the perspective of reality. Your time (27.88) in the 50 would not even rank in the top 25 fastest time for 10-year-old girls, nor would it make Top Ten in the menís 65-69 Masters bracket. But in one short season you expect drop over 6 seconds and go a high 21 to mid 22? There are many hard working and talented swimmers who have trained years who have never gone that fast.

Let me turn this around. Say I am a swimmer and a senior in college. The swim team has been dropped and the coach wants me to come for the football team, even though I have never played on a team before. After the first game I am asking questions about the technique on how to carry the ball so I donít fumble. How realistic is it I will average over a 100 yards a game?

Enjoy your experience, I hope you do well. Prove me wrong. But I am afraid going in the 21s is too much of a stretch goal from someone who has no previous swimming background and expects to do it in one short season. Consider it a major victory if you break 25.

October 21st, 2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Ian
Since everybody else has provided positive points allow me to come at this from the perspective of reality. Your time (27.88) in the 50 would not even rank in the top 25 fastest time for 10-year-old girls, nor would it make Top Ten in the menís 65-69 Masters bracket. But in one short season you expect drop over 6 seconds and go a high 21 to mid 22? There are many hard working and talented swimmers who have trained years who have never gone that fast.

But swimming a 27 second 50 for someone who has never swum before is pretty darn good. A 21 will be very difficult, but I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility.

Your number one emphasis needs to be on improving your technique. I'm sure you have plenty of strength. If you can direct that strength into propelling you forward and not wasting a lot of energy you could make tremendous strides.

Good luck!!

October 21st, 2003, 02:36 PM
Just thought i'd say that having been swimming for 11 years and also seen Joey swim. It's very possible for him to do this. I had a swimmer on my team that did the 100fly the very first time at a 1:30 and by the end of the season was going 54. I know it's a different event, but same concept. No sweat Joe. you'll kick major ass.

October 21st, 2003, 03:34 PM
Thanks for the pointers connie. Cynthis, i if i had more time to try other strokes i would but i have been working on free for about 3 weeks(working time) so i think that i should stick to it, but i do appreciate the opinion and thought! Ian, thank you for the realistic viewpoint, and i do wish that as well for it does put things in perspective and shows me just how hard i will have to focus, pay attention, practice, and push through A LOT of discomfort in obtaining my goal. Kirk, thanks for the positive reinforcement of the technique. In a few days i am gonna post a concise list of things that i feel i should really focus on, so that anyone can add or tell me what t hey think i should take out of my training. I do have a lot of strength(not to sound conceited), so i would like to put allthat strength to use. But i will post that and get further intothat in a few days. Thanks again to everyone!

October 21st, 2003, 03:41 PM
I don't believe that a swimmer can drop from a 1:30 to a 54 in one season unless there was injury or something involved with the 1:30 swim.

I also do not think that it is possible to drop from a 27 to a 23 in one season, though I would love to see/hear about someone doing it! So do us all a favor and post you progress on this website. Best of luck!

October 21st, 2003, 04:59 PM
Just a few thoughts as a matter of contribution towards your efforts. Becoming a fifty yard specialist requires some very honed skills. This event is all about the start, the turn, and the finish. Training hard will get you one thing, but it takes much more than lap time to get fast. Ask your coach to do some time trials at least once or twice a week. Get up on those blocks as often as possible. The opportunity to get the feel of swimming fast and hard is only done by simulating race conditions. Learn from the experience of going all out and think about the following:

Did you get a clean single hole entry on the dive?

Did you nail the turn? Was your streamline tight off the wall?

And most importantly... did you drive hard into the finish? This is where the tenths of a second can be gained or lost.

Apparently you've got the determination to get fast. Just how much faster remains to be seen. Keep in mind that a 21-22 second freestyler can do 27 from a push-off like a walk in the park. Good luck in your efforts. And maybe you'll have to change your handle to joey-kicks some-butts.

October 21st, 2003, 05:56 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by lefty
[B]I don't believe that a swimmer can drop from a 1:30 to a 54 in one season unless there was injury or something involved with the 1:30 swim.

Honest to god that he went from a 1:30 to a 54. He was a new swimmer and just had to learn how to swim the event. The kid is currently swimming a 50 in the 100 butterfly and a 1:48 in the 200 free. He was on my high school team, and went to college to swim for my now college coach. We can all vouche for him

October 21st, 2003, 07:28 PM
Anyway, the American record I think for a 10 year old girl is 26.something, so a 27 might land you in the top 25 in that age group. This guy was called into swim on a college team. Personality I think the coach should have look for someone with swimming experiance but this young man was called in order to save a swim program. So, 27 isn't that bad for someone swimming for only 3 weeks. I know 30 something lap swimmers that don't do that. And the best I probably could have done in a 50 yard freestyle would as a teenager is 29 something. I knew a friend of mind that did a 25 something only swimming during the school year and in his home pool by his JR year of high schoool. A 21 or 22 year old guy has more upper-body strength and can drop to a 25 or 24 faster.

October 21st, 2003, 08:09 PM
Ian and Lefty, I agree that the task will be very difficult. In my first post I thought I tried to diplomatically aproach the subject. Not setting realistic goals leads to disappointment and sometimes withdrawal from the sport. It should be avoided. I was impressed with Joeys response, to use the comments those of us that doubt the ability of someone to drop that much time, as a motivator. It shows maturity. I live in the area (Western New York) and will follow developments in Joeys progress. His team mate also is very encouraging. In general terms I would tell you that the majority of students at this college (Canisius) are a highly intelligent and motivated group. But 22 seconds in the fifty free is a number that only very elite athletes can achieve after many years of training. If this young man can do it I am going to try to contact his coach to help train me. Heck I swam 25:88 at the last meet and my goal is to break 25 in the next year or two if ever. Good Luck Joey!

October 21st, 2003, 10:01 PM
As the only person besides Joe himself that has ever seen Joey swim I can say that this goal is reasonable. He definitely has the strength and endurance to swim a 50 in 23. He just has to learn to perfect the small things. His start is improving a whole lot. We've been working on turns as well. Joe is a quick learner, i've never seen someone with no swimming experience pick it up this fast. Basically all our coach has to do is shift his athletic talent from football to swimming. And to Art, our coach is definitely one that can get Joe down to 23 no time. He knows how to fix all the little things that people cant do. Joe just need experience, and he'll get it. I bet next week he'll go a 26. ROCK ON JOEY!

October 21st, 2003, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by ArtShark
But 22 seconds in the fifty free is a number that only very elite athletes can achieve after many years of training.

Hogwash. I've seen many high school kids with very little swimming background prior to HS bust out a :22 in the 50 by the time they're seniors. Of course that's with three or four years of swimming under their belts. If Joey can do it in one year it's a remarkable achievement, but I still think it's doable.

October 22nd, 2003, 12:02 AM
Mr. Beza, I'm guessing you've gone from Ion to Ian: But your rhetoric remains the same. I'd say Joey is doing well based on his background...My advice would be stay in the water!; And get the best coaching you can. .. Ian isn't that far ahead of you! (Trust me ;) I'd also offer that my nephew is a professional swim coach in the Buffalo area!

October 22nd, 2003, 07:38 AM
Ion, I am not. The only ion I know has lost electrons.

October 22nd, 2003, 09:06 AM
I'm Joey's coach. He showed me this forum this morning. I could not believe all the responses. thanks for all your interest and support.
So I was hired this past July to be the coach of a start-up team at Canisius College. In August my atheltic director informed me that we needed 11 swimmers at every meet in order to meet NCAA standards. there was NO team prior to this season and NO recruiting done last season. so we were forced to find anyone willing.
We flyered the campus and started with about 20 names.... half of them never showed at the first practice(when they realized they have to train 2x a day). so Joey offered to join the team and his efforts have been fantastic. I am well aware of how lofty Joey's goals are but, there is no way in hell I am going to tell him he can't do it!
go Joey Butts!

October 22nd, 2003, 10:12 AM
This is going to be very interesting. I can't wait to see the progress Mr. Butts makes because I have never seen this kind of enthusiasm and support. Prove me wrong!

October 22nd, 2003, 01:38 PM
Of course we all know that sprinting ability is somthing you're born with, so improving to 22 for the 50 free in this time frame may be feasible. Now if Joey wanted to swim the 500 in 4:45-4:50. . . well, as they say, when the going gets tough, the sprinters get out.

I think he'll do it.

October 22nd, 2003, 02:11 PM
Going get's tough, sprinters get out - to lift weights. Show me a distance swimmer and I'll show you someone who can't bench press 200 lbs.

October 22nd, 2003, 03:13 PM
I knew that would generate a response. Not much controversy anymore without Ion.

Why would I want to bench press 200 pounds?

October 22nd, 2003, 03:36 PM
Am I reading this right? I thought this was a forum for Helping swimmers and support. all this negitivity is bringing me down. Hey Joey, I have not swum an event in 13 years and decided just this month to start back up making a meet in Canadaigua, NY in Feburary to make my first meet. Good luck with your racing.

October 22nd, 2003, 03:48 PM
Lefty didn't mean to bring you down. It's all in good fun (mostly).

October 22nd, 2003, 04:23 PM
Wow, a lot of responses have been posted since my last response. If anything, the interest and support of this discussion forum is very motivating. and don't owrry about negative responses, they only fuel the fire:cool: . and lefty, my coach is telling me to stay off the benching(i need to get flexible:D ) When i first started i couldn't get my arms over my head into a streamlined position. James good luck in canandaigua. Let us know how you do and what you are racing in. gull80, distanc eis definitely NOT going to happen. my endurance running is amazing for a football player(10.5 min 2 mile) but swimming is utilizing so many muscles that i have never really used, or that have never been used in the manner that they are currently being used for swimming. Finally, thanks again to everyone for the support. Now back to a little technique Q&A.
Everyone so far has mentioned upper body technique and different things to look for on the stroke. What about lower body, and kick? is it critical to have a certain form in your lower body? i know you want to keep your legs straight with little knee bend, but i was wondering if there is anything else that is important in the lower body. (i know that i have little flexibility in my ankles and am working on that)
One last question(for now!), how much on my side should i get through the stroke? or should i keep it where it is most comfortable? (But keep in mind i want to go fast and will bare the discomort)
Thanks again everyone and i will check back real soon!
(and welcome my coach if you get the chance!)

October 22nd, 2003, 05:29 PM
I have been watching this exchange and enjoying it. Joey I think it is great you are getting into this sport and hope you succeed in meeting your goals. Even if you don't you will be helping your schools team out because you have drive and that will help your learning curve.

I would take your questions to your coach and teammates. I say this because it is hard for us to tell you what to do without seeing your stroke.

One comment I will make about weights and sprinting. I think keeping the legs strong could be very beneficial for your sprint. My 15 year old son has played soccer all fall and not been in the water since August. He has been doing a lot of lower body weights with the soccer team. Two weeks ago he had to swim in a YMCA meet to "get a meet in". He swam the 50 free in 27.00 and he said did it all with legs. Last summer he was swimming high 24s on relay splits so he has a ways to go to get back in swimming shape, but it was interesting he could go that fast without upper body effort. He is small 5-9 and 135 and his forte is middle to long distance, but the leg strength seems to make a big difference in the sprint.

October 22nd, 2003, 05:41 PM
Morini, could you please post when your first home meet is? I want to come and cheer for Joey! Go Joey Butts!

Matt S
October 22nd, 2003, 06:22 PM

As someone who has swam a lot, coached a little, I'd like to try to sum up what I hear people saying to you:

1) Pay attention to your coach, especially when he is having you work on technique. You have expressed a desire to work HARDER to reach your goals. You will need that. You will also need to work SMARTER to ensure you are effectively applying your athletic ability in a new, foreign medium. This may call for meticulous attention to detail that may not seem quite as important as your coach is telling you it is. LISTEN UP! Remember when your football coaches got on you, or some other player, to get a few inches lower because it would dramatically improve your leverage? That is what streamlining, turns, starts, and all sorts of other drills you may have to do a slow speeds are like. Trust me, this work is as important as a killer fatiguing workout.

2) Mental toughness--Meeting the physical challenge you don't expect. (aka Pay attention to your coach Part II) You will of course need lots of physical conditioning that will push you to your limits; however, it may stress parts of your body in ways you did not expect. Instead of 10 second bursts at full speed, your coach may ask you to do a long aerobic set (lots of yards, short interval, little rest, done at slower speeds), or he make ask you to do low oxygen sets (instead of breathing every other arm stroke, breathing only 2-3 times per length). This is not crap; it is what you need. Go after it just as hard as you can.

3) Flexibility. Forget the weight room; find a yoga class. Others have discussed this, so 'nuff said.

4) Mental preparation. Keep in mind what you have probably already learned playing football: preparing yourself emotionally to perform is critical. Keep using the same techniques you've used to get up for a football game. They should work just fine. (Hey, I played D line on a flag football team when I was also swimming for my college team. The psychology of getting up a pass rush and the 50 free are remarkably similar.) Your new swim team mates might also have a use for any leaderships skills you learned on the football field.

5) Goals and having fun. Several folks have expended their eloquence on how likely or difficult it will be for you to reach 22 seconds. Reaching your goal would be awesome, but pay just a little attention to the wonderful journey you will be traveling while it is happening. You could miss your goal, but still be a magnificent "failure." What you have already done is amazing, and if you get under, say... 24.5 you will have my profound respect. Make sure you feel the joy in the moment, and consider whether you would like to make swimming, and maybe masters swimming, part of your exercise program for life after college.

Lotsa luck. Please keep us up to date with how you are doing.


October 22nd, 2003, 09:04 PM
Not that you'ld need any more information overload,...here's a link to some good pointers on training for sprint races.


Good luck, get plenty of rest, and keep the keg parties to a minimum.

October 22nd, 2003, 09:49 PM
It was the mid fifties, like 1954, 5, or 6 that the soccer coach at Courtland (sp?) State University in New York told one of his players he should (or had to?) report to the swimming coach. The swimming coach was the soccer coach. The Soccer player was Geogre Breen and swam in the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956.
His Coach, Doc Counsilman, went with him and, as I understand it, there met a young swimmer from Indianapolis.

This youngster, Frank McKinney, told the President of Indiana University, Herman B (without a dot) Wells, that if he would hire Doc to fill the coaching vacancy at IU, he would swim for IU after he graduated from high school. It did happen and the rest is history. Like, McKinney and a teammate, Alan Somers swam in the Rome Olympics in 1960. Etc, etc, etc.

Breen set a world record in the preliminaries for the 1500 meter freestyle, but was defeated by a youngster, Murray Rose from Australia, in the finals.

October 22nd, 2003, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by ArtShark
Morini, could you please post when your first home meet is? I want to come and cheer for Joey! Go Joey Butts!

We dont have any home meets but our closest one is at Niagara University on November 8th at 1pm. Support would be much appreciated. And dont forget to cheer for all the other boys that have come out and made the program happen. And I can tell ya after this mornings practice :-p Everyone deserves a little recognition. Its amazing what our coach has done, Joey is one of the more athletic swimmers on the mens team, and some with little or no athletic experience are doing great! SWIM GRIFFS

Member of the female swim griffs team....Kasey

October 24th, 2003, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by Morini
I am well aware of how lofty Joey's goals are but, there is no way in hell I am going to tell him he can't do it!
go Joey Butts!

Exactly my thoughts!
If there is a chance he can do it, why discourage the kid.
He seems to have the right attitude, and dedication. Let's not clobber him.
There's always time to adjust goals later on, if needed.

October 24th, 2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by joeybutts
Wow, a lot of responses have been posted since my last response. If anything, the interest and support of this discussion forum is very motivating. and don't owrry about negative responses, they only fuel the fire:cool: . and lefty, my coach is telling me to stay off the benching(i need to get flexible:D )

Good advice. You have some smaller muscles that are likely gonna have to catch up to the large muscles.

November 10th, 2003, 07:32 AM
Joey, update us on your progress. The Niagara meet was Saturday but no results are on line.

Rob Copeland
November 10th, 2003, 09:56 AM
Men 50 LC Meter Freestyle
1 Yacos, Mike Niagara 23.03
2 Smith, Brandon Niagara 23.05
3 Zilbauer, Jason Canisius 23.28
4 Butler, Joey Canisius 28.32
5 Knott, Liam Canisius 32.03

November 10th, 2003, 10:20 AM
Wow this is frustrating. Well rob got the results for the 50 and i was also in the 200 relay where i swam a 27.5 i think my coach told me. Of course that was a relay and starts give you a little bit of a jump. But, i was so disappointed in my 50 time, which Rob posted as 28.3. I was with the swimmer next to me from niagara the first 25, i then did my flip turn and ended up on the lane line!! So i def know where i need my work. That guy went something like 23, where as i went 28.3 i think. I was furious with myself. The whole way down on the first 25 i could not beleive i stayed with the athlete from niagara. But, my goal is for the others to try and stay up with me. So my coach told me he is gonna focus on starts and flipturns with me. Form wise on my stroke we have cleaned up a lot ofmistakes. I am know turning my head for breathing instead of bending it out of the water. I feel great about grabbing water and hitting the dead spots. I'm keeping my elbow high on the recovery and having a smooth entry into the water(not consistently but have worked on it) One major thing that i have to make a habit is keeping my legs straight when i kick. I bend at the knee way too much.
I did also swim the 100 two weeks ago and went something like 1:07. I was pretty psyched and also pretty sore;-). I never imagined being sore from swimming but it is there. ( i apologize!) but my coach is happy with my progress and feels that after we clean up my ugly flip turn and get me out off the block i should drop a nice chunk of time. Then it is all water time. I thank you all for your continued interest and support and will report back with further developments.

November 10th, 2003, 11:14 AM
The results say "long course meters" but I'm assuming the meet was actually short course yards? Joey mentioned a turn, so it definitely wasn't long course.

November 10th, 2003, 12:33 PM
In my undying support for Joey, he did awesome. A lot of swimmers will swim their whole meet the way they swim their first race. Joey knew where he messed up, and fixed it in the relay, and went 27.5. He's on his way, just gotta keep practicing.
Someday soon he'll beat me ;-) Just kidding, he already did.

Matt S
November 10th, 2003, 02:30 PM

You're doing fine. Remember, the goal is 22 high/23 low at the END of the season; don't sweat your times at the beginning of the season. BTW, 28 low in the first meet of your first season is pretty good.

Keep the feeling of how cool it was to go out with the lead swimmers in the first half, and forget about being angry about the turn. You know what you need to do. Enjoy the journey.


November 10th, 2003, 11:38 PM
Well better than what I did. I stop swimming the 50 yard free around 15 years old but I once did a 30.0, 50 yard fly and my free as a teenager was similar in speed to it. So, probably the fastest I could have went is a 29 point something. 1:07 is not bad on the 100 yard that takes endurance I usually swam a 1:05 and one time did a 1:03.8 in it. Now at 46 you could kick my butt. I probably do it around 1:16 to 1:20,so have swam it in a meet as an adult but only a 200 meter free. The community college team I was on had both men and women that swam since high school or earlier,so you are not doing that bad.

November 12th, 2003, 12:49 PM
When I coached high school swimming, the swim season was winter, so I recruited football player for their strength. Got them in the water and we always had a good 200 free relay. The football coach of course complained that his O-line was losing too much weight, but they were in great shape, had fun, and swam well. I could typicall get them down to 23-28 in a season. So 22 for a college football/swimmer should be reasonable.

Remember in the 50, you really don't need to breath and body roll is over rated (necessary, but not a major contributor in the 50). I've got a masters swimmer right now who goes 22 no breather, 25 with breathing (trying to figure that out so he can do a 100). Best of Luck and listen to your coach he sees what your doing everyday.

November 12th, 2003, 03:10 PM

A 22 no breather and a 25 with breathing? How can someone be that inefficient with their breathing? Check stroke rate. My guess is that they are slowing down their stroke rate significantly. And because their coach (erroneously!) taught them that body roll is not important in sprinting, they are not increasing their distance per stroke when they slow down their rate.

November 13th, 2003, 06:37 PM

Maybe a swim snorkel is the answer?

I think that a quick exhale/inhale going into the turn is a key ingredient to a strong finish in the fifty. And to sneak in a breath now and again definitley involves some body roll. Minimal breathing is the quickest invite to wearing the proverbial piano on your back, especially on the last lap of a 100 free.

I think that the fastest swimmers are best able to remain streamlined during their breathing. Keeping a steady supply of oxygen in their lungs is a positive advantage. Obviously a sprinter doesn't want to breath every stroke, but every four, or even three can do the job. If taking a breath means putting on the brakes, it's time for some stroke correction.

November 14th, 2003, 08:58 AM
Im not so sure about the whole breathing thing. In the 50, you really shouldn't breathe that much, i think 2 breaths a lap is pretty sufficient, if not too much. The 100 is more about breathing, so I usually take one every 4 on my hundred. Im no coach, but Im a sprinter, and it works fairly well for me. Anyway, back to the focus.

KEEP UP THE HARD WORK JB! You're doing awesome. :cool:

<3 Kasey

November 17th, 2003, 04:31 PM
For breathing i do manage to take only one breath on the first 25, and the second 25 i take 3-4. I have been working on my turn and my start and both have improved immensely, yet are still far from perfect. I do think that a strong breath before the turn would help, since my capacity and efficiency aren't very high. Also, my coach and i have focused much on my stroke, and obviuosly it isn't flawless but keeps improving. Thanks for the advice and please keep it coming! (i do have a meet this weekend and will let you all know how i did!)

Matt S
November 17th, 2003, 06:30 PM

This sounds a little touchy-feeley, but try closing your eyes, and seeing in your mind's eye what the perfect 50 free would look like. Can you see what doing the perfect turn would look like? If yes, try to spend a little time seeing yourself doing the perfect turn. Believe it or not, many world-class athletes have found that this mental rehersal can help them do it for real when they do the real race.

Just another tool for your journey. Use it if it works for you. In any event, you're doing great! Enjoy the trip.


November 18th, 2003, 10:12 AM
VISUALIZATION WORKS! It sounds weird but, just try it. I did it a lot before a big regional meet when I was your age. I did all my lifetime best times at that meet! Do deep breathing and relax your body first. Then visualize yourself before,during and after your race. Write your own mental script of the "perfect race" and do it over and over. I believe the mind is about 75% of any performance! You have to believe you can achieve anything before you can actually do it! :D

November 18th, 2003, 11:06 PM
yes it does! here is a link to an article written for age group swimmers, but it will give you an idea about how to do it


here is a link to more articles on the mental game of swimming. Again, written for the age group swimmer, but they are still applicable to us.


November 19th, 2003, 10:45 PM
Thank You for the links Laineybug. I found them to be very informative. I think Joey will find them useful in his search for information. The advice is really also very interchangeable regardless of what sport you participate in. I think it would be useful to start a thread that has all of the regulars here post their favorite links that they have found to be beneficial. I'll bet it would create quite a library for us, and Joey.

November 19th, 2003, 11:34 PM
you're welcome. I like that idea for a thread. You going to start it?

November 23rd, 2003, 10:18 PM
How are you doing Joey? We haven't heard an update from you lately. We're all pulling for you!

November 24th, 2003, 06:22 AM
Hah, I was just checking in to see if Joey had posted yet. I have been at my son's swim meet all weekend and had been away.

Joey, let us know the progress, good or bad. If bad, remember, when trying to improve technique, sometimes you slow down, but the real prize is at the end of the season, not now. If good, let us know the progress!!

November 25th, 2003, 08:37 PM
Hey everyone! sorry i went away right after our meet his weekend to boston, and i just got in about 3 hours ago. Thanks for the anticipation! Welllll.......I did improve my time a bit....my fastest yet at a 27.1 with a relay start and inthe standing start of the 50 free i posted a 27.6, which my coach says is pretty much in the target area right now. I also swam in the 400 free relay and posted a 1:05.something which could have been better but i screwed up a turn and def "hit the wall" on the third length. But i did improve which i am happy about and leaves 5 seconds to cut off in about 90 days to get to a 22. Let me know what you all i think and thanks for pushing me with encouragement!

November 25th, 2003, 10:16 PM
Good Job Joey! I hope you make your goal. If not, it won't be from lack of enthusiasm. We are all rooting for you here on the forum. Not just for you but for your entire team! You and your coach and team are an inspiration. Sort of "Bad News Bears". I am sure your team will grow in size and strength over the next few years and the Bad News Griff's will be a contender in the future. Keep up the good work, and remember that when your college days are over we would love to have you join the Niagara Region Masters Swimmers!

January 6th, 2004, 04:58 PM
Hey Joe, how's it going for you? Update us.

January 7th, 2004, 11:57 PM
I am with Cynthia, you have the perfect breaststroke build. I have coached several high school and college football players. Most were too muscle bound for freestyle, but powerfull enough for breaststroke.

If you lay on you back and try to touch your toes to the floor, how far do you bend your feet? Anything less that parallel to the floor means you got a LONG way to go. Now if you are one of those who can touch the floor with your toes, you may have a 21.0 in you:p I call that ballerina toes:D But all the fast men and women have that.

Now if you can stand up and rotate the feet 90 degrees to each side like a frog, you are a natural breaststroker.

Actually if I were you, I would sneak a few workouts with a masters group. Most have great coaches who concentrate on technique.

Also work on you start, a good start can make over a second difference compared to a poor start. Being a powerfull football player means you should use that strength as an advantage. A strong start and pushoff at the wall is the easiest way to get faster.

January 8th, 2004, 09:10 PM
hey everyone...well it has been an interesting winter break...i was only able to get a few workouts here or there in and am disappointed in that.... BUT i have been surprised with my endurance in this first official week back to practice....I have been completing nearly every set that coach has put before me, maybe not as fast as everyone but am finally able to do a 500 without pausing....i don't know how fast i am currently in my 50 but my team has a sort of "pickup" meet this saturday against SUNY Buffalo...I will post my time this saturday evening or sunday....
I did try lying on my backand touching my toes to the floor....my right foot was at parallel and my left foot was above...:( (i think this is cause of injuries i had during football...) For breaststroke i would need a complete weeks worth of lessons in form and technique and pull, cause i have no idea on how to properly swim breaststroke, (pickleswim can vouch for me;) ) but maybe i should give it a shot....i feel real good in my stroke though, staying long and clean....i am noticing that my turn is a bit sloppy right now and will work on that...and my start is in a good place but can definitely use improvement...One thing that i have a problem with on my start is looking down and not out... I don't bring my head up all the way....But a complete analysis will be had come this weekend....thanks for the continued support and encouragement.........

January 11th, 2004, 10:35 AM
Well everybody, i didn't do all that bad for the time off i had...my first 50free was the only thing that was a bit off when i swam a 28.4. but then in my 100free iswam a 106.6, and my best time before break was a 1.05.1 or something in the 1.05's....so i was pretty happy with that...then in my relay i was the lead man and my 50 time was a 27.4. I was psyched with that cause that was my last race and close to my top time in the 50....Everybody said that i looked very clean and fast through the water, that my turns looked tight, (which i think still need to be tightened) and that i had great starts. now it is just punding out yardage and getting experience in the water. i felt real good in the water too...but my shoulder is starting to bother me but i am fighting through it...i took today off from practice cause i could barely move my arm this morning.....but i'll be back at it on tuesday...oh...i think i am not getting into a streamlined position early and efficient enough off my turns....i think that is really slowing me down....but...practice practice practice.....

January 11th, 2004, 03:49 PM
Sounds like you found the joy of swimming relays! :D I remember a Div III All-American sprinter (at the U of R) who would go a second faster (in the 4x100), he could psych himself up that much.

Your comment about the hurting shoulder sounds scary. You'll notice the volume of threads in this forum that deal with swimmer's shoulder, surgery, injury prevention, etc. I trust that you have checked with the sports trainer / doctor?