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FindingMyInnerFish
May 22nd, 2005, 09:59 PM
Hi again and thanks for the welcoming comments in my other thread.

Of course after lurking a few weeks, I've got to jump in with a splash, posting a bunch of times in a single day! ;)

But thought this should be a separate thread: I'm planning on two meets in the next few weeks.

1. Senior Games 50 yd freestyle. This one's iffy b/c so far I haven't received the entry form, yet it's generally held around mid-June.
2. A master's meet at the Upper Main Line Y on 6/19. (I'm from the Philly area.) I plan to do the 50 free in that one too.

Here are my questions:

1. Two things I know I need to work on: the dive and the flip turn.
Dive: The coach told me he'd help me w/ the dive next session. I know basically how to dive, just wondering if there are any additional tricks to diving off the starting block.
Flip turn: The flip turn's coming along--as in, I can now SOMETIMES manage to get a decent semblance of a flip turn. (Sometimes what I get is ... a flip gone all wrong. I tend to want to do the flip too far from the wall.) In the second of the two meets, the pool is 50 yards, but in the first, I'm pretty sure it's 25 yards. I'm wondering if it's better simply to do an open turn when racing unless I feel very confident in the flip turn.

2. Obviously in a 50 yard freestyle, I'll never be more than 50 yards behind anyone, BUT so far the best time in workouts (without diving, 26 yard pool, open turns) has been 55. That's definitely not going to put me right up there in the running for hardware, but is it going to leave me so far in the back as to have officials looking impatiently at their hour glasses and reading all of War and Peace while they're waiting for me to finish? ;) Is it possible that simply the dive into the pool and the race day adrenaline will shorten this time? (Also, I suppose doing 5x50 is a bit of a different experience than simply concentrating all one's efforts into a single one.)

I'm not afraid to finish last. Someone has to and I have experience (going to masters' track meets and getting clobbered, but competing mainly w/ myself anyway). But it would be nice to at least be in the mix for second-to-last place. ;)

Bottom line...I'm still willing to try it b/c I figure nothing that happens in the pool either time is likely to be fatal. I'm healthy and there are a lot of ppl who wait and don't try things, afraid of looking foolish, then have regrets if they lose their health. Still, any tips that will help me do the best I can (not worried about others) will help!

ande
May 22nd, 2005, 10:22 PM
you might want to read swim faster faster
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4229

there's many tips that might help you

for now you should work on improving your technique and speed

on diving:
Don't lose your googles
transfer your dive speed into swimming momentum

on swimming:
improve your distance per stroke

Ande

Bob McAdams
May 23rd, 2005, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by FindingMyInnerFish
1. Two things I know I need to work on: the dive and the flip turn.
Dive: The coach told me he'd help me w/ the dive next session. I know basically how to dive, just wondering if there are any additional tricks to diving off the starting block.

Yes, but I assume your coach will work with you on those things.


Flip turn: The flip turn's coming along--as in, I can now SOMETIMES manage to get a decent semblance of a flip turn. (Sometimes what I get is ... a flip gone all wrong. I tend to want to do the flip too far from the wall.) In the second of the two meets, the pool is 50 yards, but in the first, I'm pretty sure it's 25 yards. I'm wondering if it's better simply to do an open turn when racing unless I feel very confident in the flip turn.

It depends on how fast your open turns are. Personally, I was trained in flip turns before I was trained in open turns. At this point, my open turns are pretty fast, but there was a time when they were a lot slower than my flip turns.


2. Obviously in a 50 yard freestyle, I'll never be more than 50 yards behind anyone, BUT so far the best time in workouts (without diving, 26 yard pool, open turns) has been 55. That's definitely not going to put me right up there in the running for hardware, but is it going to leave me so far in the back as to have officials looking impatiently at their hour glasses and reading all of War and Peace while they're waiting for me to finish? ;) Is it possible that simply the dive into the pool and the race day adrenaline will shorten this time? (Also, I suppose doing 5x50 is a bit of a different experience than simply concentrating all one's efforts into a single one.)

I'm not afraid to finish last. Someone has to and I have experience (going to masters' track meets and getting clobbered, but competing mainly w/ myself anyway). But it would be nice to at least be in the mix for second-to-last place. ;)

There are advantages and disadvantages to swimming at a meet versus swimming in practice.

The advantages to the meet are:

1) You get a lane to yourself.

2) You get to use the starting blocks.

3) You may be the type who makes more of an effort at meets.

The advantages to practice are:

1) You get to pick the date and time.

2) When you're timing yourself, you don't have to react to a starting tone.

3) If you muff something, you can try again.

4) You can time yourself at every practice if you want, but you'll only have a few meets per year.

5) You're used to the pool where you have your practices, but won't be used to the pools where you do your meets.

If you don't ever time yourself in practice doing a 50 freestyle by itself (e.g., right after warming up), you may do better at your meets than you've ever done in practice. Otherwise, you may do worse at your meets than the best you've done in practice.

How "bad" a time of 55 seconds is depends on your age and gender. But I don't think it's fair to compare yourself to the other people at the meet since it's likely that all of them have been racing for awhile. Also, to be fair, you should compare yourself to all of the people who weren't brave enough to swim in a meet.

In my book, there are three ways you can win when you're swimming at a meet:

1) Finish first.

2) Place higher than you ever placed before in that event.

3) Get a better competition time than you ever got before in that event.

Since you're guaranteed to do both 2 and 3 just by participating, you're also guaranteed to win!

FindingMyInnerFish
May 23rd, 2005, 07:58 AM
Thanks, guys!

Bob, thanks for your detailed response! As for my age/gender, I'm 54, female. I notice though that in the second meet listed, they say that your age should be listed according to what it is on Dec. 31, 2005 at midnight. So that would be 55 (geez, swimming ages a person lol!). I never ran into that rule in running, but if it puts me at the younger end of the 55-59 a.g. I'm cool! ;) Tho. in looking over some results, I saw one meet in which a woman in the 55-59 a.g. did 31 seconds, while a woman in a younger age group did 52 (?). So it would definitely be "age-ist" to assume that there's less competition in older age groups.

Ande, I've been surfing your swim faster thread, and it's great! Thanks for the welcome on my other thread and for all your tips! I learn a lot generally by reading through the posts, but you have tons of tips that are helpful. I'll try not to lose my goggles. Maybe some glue... ;)

conradical
May 23rd, 2005, 02:06 PM
I have two simple rules for swim meets:
1. Don't get injured
2. Don't get DQ'd (disqualified)
After that it is all gravy.

#1 you can pretty well determine your limit for yourself.

#2 is pretty much common sense in freestyle (where pretty much anything goes except an improper start), but if you are doing anything but that it is a good idea to brush up on the rules. The "mini rule book" link (near the bottom of the "On line viewing version" list) is a good place to start.
http://www.usms.org/rules/
I once saw someone DQ'd because their goggles got dislocated on the start and they used one hand to rip them off. "Failure to recover the arms simultaneously" (or something like that) was the cited rule infraction (I believe it was a butterfly event, either that or breaststroke). I've also seen people get nailed for improper backstroke finishes (or turns), especially in transitions on IM's. And I've seen people nailed for not using a two-hand touch on breaststroke turns (or finishes). False starts can get thrown out of a race too. Just be sure you remain motionless after you "take your mark", and be prepared for the starter to say "stand up" instead of sounding the start (which they will do if they detect any motion on the blocks after "take your mark"). My only DQ (so far) has been when I did back and breast out of order in my very first IM. Boy! Talk about embarrassing. After that I "got smart" and started checking the rule book, which is a lot easier now since it is on-line.

USMS has this article on "My First Meet" that you may find useful:
http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?a=130

The web I do for the Southern LMSC includes a similar page as well as some other newcomer friendly pages. At least my plan is to make the site newcomer friendly, I've not really gotten any feedback on it so far, so I don't know for sure yet if the work I've done is actually on target. (I already know I tend to be wordy.) Try starting with:
http://www.southernmastersswimming.org/your-first-meet.html
and go from there.

dorothyrde
May 23rd, 2005, 02:29 PM
Whe I was a newbie at swimming(been doing it for 5 years), I did open turns on races, because I was not certain about flip turns. I have learned to do flip turns, and they are getting better. As far as the start, one little tip Nadine gave me that has helped me a lot is to widen my stance(I do a grab start, both feet at the end of the block), and that has made me feel far more stable.

Don't worry about your time. Don't worry about being far behind, it is about personal achievement and getting in there and doing it. Relax, have fun and just do the best you have in you for the day!

SwiminONandON
May 23rd, 2005, 02:31 PM
I like track starts, I think they are far more stable.

dorothyrde
May 23rd, 2005, 03:11 PM
I was doing the track start, and then a friend was helping me, and found out, for me, the grab start was a much better start. I think it is very individual. My son does grab start, my daughter does track.

But my daughter has a problem with that back foot wiggling and getting DQ's because of it. Her legs are so long, I am not sure she could fold them all under her for a grab start. I liken her to a colt, big feet, long knobby legs and arms. Anyway, she does not like the grab start.

I think you just have to play around with it and see.

michaelmoore
May 23rd, 2005, 08:11 PM
But my daughter has a problem with that back foot wiggling and getting DQ's because of it.

I would go the the referee to ask if she was stationary at the starting blocks. If he says yes - then she is legal.

The old rule said "When all swimmers are motionless in starting position, gives starting signal." .

That is the rule that many of us learned. The current rule is phrased just a little differently "When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal."

There is quite a difference between the two, so that if a swimmer is just wiggling the back foot, the start should be legal.

michael

dorothyrde
May 23rd, 2005, 08:22 PM
What she does is shift her back foot after the starter says take your mark. Since she was not still after the kids take their mark, she got DQ'd. I have seen this happen with other kids too, and most often at meets at Indy. They are tough there. At our little meet, they let the kids wiggle a bit.

Of course, USA rules now say that false starts aren't told to the swimmer until after they swim so that it does not hold up the meet. I watched one of our seniors win a 500 only to get DQ's for a wiggle on the blocks.

And on the whole, I have found that you cannot argue with the meet officials, it gets you no where. And since they are volunteers, I don't want to make their lives hard anyway. My daughter will not break any records, or even win her heats. She can learn to keep her foot still and at 12 she does know better. She is pretty happy go lucky and was matter of fact about getting DQ's and she kept that foot still the rest of the meet!

michaelmoore
May 23rd, 2005, 08:53 PM
Since she was not still after the kids take their mark, she got DQ'd.

That is not what the rule reads She does not have to be motionless only stationary..

And on the whole, I have found that you cannot argue with the meet officials, it gets you no where. And since they are volunteers, I don't want to make their lives hard anyway.

Having been a certified official for 14 years, I am glad that you do not want to make the officials life difficult. It is nice to know that we are appreciated. However, we are in it for the swimmers - USA Swimming has a program called for the kids.

When you question an official, dont go there to argue, go there to find out what the problem is. You should be able to get an answer to

What did the official see?
What was the rule that was broken?
Was the official in position to see it?

If you (or your coach) asks the ref, s/he will go ask the official (starter or deck ref) those questions. If the official says the swimmer was moving the back foot, ask if the swimmer was stationary. Ask to see the rule that was broken. All officials should be able to give an answer to those questions.

I should point out with some embarrassement that I was at the officials meeting at the Summer USA Championships at Stanford when the motionless question came up. There were many officials who would have missed the correct answer (including me). It was a learning experience.

As I said we are in it for the swimmer, and it is important that we get it right.


michael

FindingMyInnerFish
May 23rd, 2005, 10:42 PM
Thanks for the informative replies. Lots to think about!

I talked with the meet director on the phone today, and she told me that, in fact, one doesn't even need to start off the block, that it's okay to start in the water. Not sure how that works, though, in terms of the rules you folks are citing. It's tempting since the director told me that the pool is only 3.5' deep the whole way, and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable diving off a starting block into water that shallow. Not that it's impossible...but my strength has never been my coordination. ;)

michaelmoore
May 23rd, 2005, 11:44 PM
It's tempting since the director told me that the pool is only 3.5' deep the whole way, and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable diving off a starting block into water that shallow.

You are not allowed to dive off the blocks in water that shallow:

107.2.3 A (2) In pools with water depth 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 meters) to less than 4 feet (1.22 meters) at the starting end, the swimmer must start from the deck or from within the water (manditory)

I am surprised that they still have blocks at the shallow end, USA Swimming would not allow diving in water that shallow.

michael

dorothyrde
May 24th, 2005, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
Since she was not still after the kids take their mark, she got DQ'd.

That is not what the rule reads She does not have to be motionless only stationary..

And on the whole, I have found that you cannot argue with the meet officials, it gets you no where. And since they are volunteers, I don't want to make their lives hard anyway.

Having been a certified official for 14 years, I am glad that you do not want to make the officials life difficult. It is nice to know that we are appreciated. However, we are in it for the swimmers - USA Swimming has a program called for the kids.

When you question an official, dont go there to argue, go there to find out what the problem is. You should be able to get an answer to

What did the official see?
What was the rule that was broken?
Was the official in position to see it?

If you (or your coach) asks the ref, s/he will go ask the official (starter or deck ref) those questions. If the official says the swimmer was moving the back foot, ask if the swimmer was stationary. Ask to see the rule that was broken. All officials should be able to give an answer to those questions.

I should point out with some embarrassement that I was at the officials meeting at the Summer USA Championships at Stanford when the motionless question came up. There were many officials who would have missed the correct answer (including me). It was a learning experience.

As I said we are in it for the swimmer, and it is important that we get it right.


michael

I find this very informative because I think most officials think if the swimmer moves at all after the mark, they are disqualified. I have seen this happen time and time again, even at the state meets.

I think it is really the coaches job to talk to the official and question a call. Parents are not allowed on deck. I work in the administrative judge position at our meets. I have done the officials training, but have since let my certification lapse. I work with the deck officials alot and know they are a good bunch, and are there for the swimmer. I know some calls are difficult to interpret, and this seems to be one of the,.

Bob McAdams
May 25th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
But my daughter has a problem with that back foot wiggling and getting DQ's because of it.

I would go the the referee to ask if she was stationary at the starting blocks. If he says yes - then she is legal.

The old rule said "When all swimmers are motionless in starting position, gives starting signal." .

That is the rule that many of us learned. The current rule is phrased just a little differently "When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal."

There is quite a difference between the two, so that if a swimmer is just wiggling the back foot, the start should be legal.

michael

FYI:
The rule for USA Swimming, USMS, and FINA does say "stationary". But the NCAA rule says "motionless". I've found that many kids' swim meets are refereed under NCAA rather than USA Swimming rules.

FindingMyInnerFish
May 25th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by michaelmoore
It's tempting since the director told me that the pool is only 3.5' deep the whole way, and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable diving off a starting block into water that shallow.

You are not allowed to dive off the blocks in water that shallow:

107.2.3 A (2) In pools with water depth 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 meters) to less than 4 feet (1.22 meters) at the starting end, the swimmer must start from the deck or from within the water (manditory)

I am surprised that they still have blocks at the shallow end, USA Swimming would not allow diving in water that shallow.

michael

That's a relief! As for whether they have blocks, I'm not sure--the director said that I could start fr/ the water, but come to think of it, I'm not sure I remember whether she said there were blocks even if I did want to use one. I've never actually been to the pool where the meet is being held, so I don't know if there are blocks.

So glad you told me this, though! Thanks for the info! As a total newbie to the world of meets, I'm learning a lot here!

dorothyrde
May 26th, 2005, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Bob McAdams
FYI:
The rule for USA Swimming, USMS, and FINA does say "stationary". But the NCAA rule says "motionless". I've found that many kids' swim meets are refereed under NCAA rather than USA Swimming rules.

Since our team is combo Y and USA, I can see the confusion, Y is by NCAA rules. The DQ happened at a USA meet.