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islandsox
December 19th, 2006, 07:41 PM
So many swimmers use different styles in getting off those starting blocks. Which are you? The Racing Start start, or the standard, feet together start?

And why do you use what you do? Any pluses? And, any tips for keeping those goggles on?

Donna

poolraat
December 19th, 2006, 07:52 PM
So many swimmers use different styles in getting off those starting blocks. Which are you? The Racing Start start, or the standard, feet together start?

And why do you use what you do? Any pluses? And, any tips for keeping those goggles on?

Donna

I started using the "track start" about 2 years ago. I use it because it is what my coach taught me. Before that in the few meets I did I used the standard start. I don't think I did it very good. I was told it was "thunderous" and splashy. I've never had problems with the goggles (now that I've said that I'll probably lose them next time). I just have the straps a bit tighter than my workout pair and I make sure I have a good seal around the eyes.

Muppet
December 19th, 2006, 07:54 PM
For years, I was strictly racing start mostly b/c thats how i learned in summer league, where we dive off the side of the pool (no blocks). about three years ago, i switched to the two footed fury. I have some pretty powerful thighs, soccer related, probably genetic, and wanted to take advantage of the huge leap I could get off the blocks. Well, it was about that time that I also started winning the award for "slowest off the blocks."

So this year, I switched back to racing starts about a week before SCY Nats. I figured out I needed to get up on the block fast, get positioned and leaning a bit at the ready, and then could explode off the block at the gun. I don't really feel like I have lost any power or speed. I am now not the slowest off anymore, and my times made some major improvements.

I will say doing the racing start is a lot easier if the pool has long blocks like Stanford did for Worlds. Those things worked awesome for my start!

As for the goggles, mine are fairly snug, good nosepiece, and under a cap, though the current state of my mop might hold them in place pretty well too.

swim4me
December 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM
I used the standard start (feet together) when I swam 25 years ago. My current coach has me doing the racing start and I am beginning to like it. Once you are in the air duck your head and the goggles should stay on. My first meet in 25 years was last month. I forgot to 'duck' on the first race and swam breast with my goggles around my mouth. I remembered to 'duck' after that and my other races went much better.

SwimStud
December 19th, 2006, 08:44 PM
So many swimmers use different styles in getting off those starting blocks. Which are you? The Racing Start start, or the standard, feet together start?

And why do you use what you do? Any pluses? And, any tips for keeping those goggles on?

Donna


I will let you know how it goes when I try starts after Christmas...and would you like me to film it? :rofl:

islandsox
December 19th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Rich, We want a movie!!! Absolutely have someone film it and let us see how not only the start goes, but the entire swim. I really want to see this breaststroke of yours cause you have made so much improvement!!! And it won't be long now!!! and will we be able to recognize you by those trunks you used in your long-ago avatar?

You know, I only was trained in the standard feet together start and I perfected it rather well. Then I tried the track start for a couple of years and just could not master it very well. I tried it both with my stronger leg in front and vice-versa but always felt off-balance. I never felt the same momentum and I really wanted to try something new (sigh).

But I sure did figure out the goggle thing really fast. Mine are not tight at all, and not under my cap. Even though I do duck my head on entry, I think the best thing I did was to press on the center of my goggle until I heard a "burp" which meant all air was out of the goggle lens. Once this was done, I never, ever had a goggle so as to give me a moment's grief.
My grief was always because there was someone faster in the next lane:rofl::rofl:.

Donna

Superfly
December 20th, 2006, 12:24 AM
I use the old fashioned "grab start" (=feet together start). I have tried the track start (what you call the "Racing start) but I am heavy (200lbs) and have issues getting enough speed and power out of the block with only "one leg" eventhough I have very strong legs.

Also, is there such a great advantage really with the track start? Quicker of the block maybe - but after 15 meters?????...Look at this very interesting article:
http://www.breaststroke.info/Is%20the%20Grab%20Start%20Dead%20rev2.htm

Best regards
Per

Allen Stark
December 20th, 2006, 01:21 AM
I've tried both starts and the grab is faster for me now,probably because I've been doing it for 35 yr. The track start is more stable on the block,so if you are concerned about false starting it is better. It is also an easier position to get into if you have back problems. To keep the goggles on I tighten them up,push them on tight,put my cap on over the straps and hope. Doing this I haven't had a problem.

waves101
December 20th, 2006, 09:01 AM
I use both starts depending on the blocks. If they are flat, the two-footed start works best but if they are sloped/angled the track start works best for me. I've been trained on both and as a sprinter find they are very close. I do like the feel of the track start better so I use it the majority of the time. I also think it helps to eliminate the possibility of a false start.
As far as the goggles go, the whole key is to tuck the head just before the entry. Really its just a quick little nod at the entry. Experiment with it and you'll find the timing.

tjburk
December 20th, 2006, 09:24 AM
I would agree with Superfly and the article he uses. For breaststroke, the 2 footed one works better. Might appear to be slower off the blocks, but using it correctly is actually faster to the 15 meter mark. Faster to leave the block does not necessarily equate to faster times. For Breaststroke I was taught to use the keyhole type dive using both feet....and 99% of the time I can get further off of the start then any of the youngsters I coach. Makes em kind of mad!!! LOL:frustrated:

Gil
December 20th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Speaking of starts. Is it legal in Masters meets to 1. start from the side of the pool 2. start from in the water. (freestyle)

FlyQueen
December 20th, 2006, 02:19 PM
Speaking of starts. Is it legal in Masters meets to 1. start from the side of the pool 2. start from in the water. (freestyle)

Yes and yes!

USMSarah
December 20th, 2006, 04:39 PM
I currently use the racing start - and have always used it since my sophomore year in high school. It's a mental thing for me - I even stagger my feet on my backstroke start - so I don't slip. I slipped at HS state (soph year) with feet together at the start of my 100 back... and I just have a complex about it I guess... I feel more stable - so I switched to racing starts that year. I have very powerful legs, so I have not lost anything by switching.

scyfreestyler
December 20th, 2006, 04:43 PM
I have only been doing this for two years but the track start works great for me. The grab start (both feet to the front of the block) just feels odd to me and I feel like I can get more distance down the pool with the track start.

mulveling
December 21st, 2006, 09:45 AM
I've done the grab (both feet up front) start for quite a while now. It's always worked better for me - the track start feels awkward. To me, the trick is to bend the knees the right amount when you're in position. I end up bending them only slightly; this makes it easier to get off the block quickly while still providing a lot of power for the energy expended. I also keep my head looking down and slightly forward, then while in the air I pull my arms into a streamline by swinging them horizontally (rather than below my body). Works for me; I typically beat or at least match people much faster than me on the start (especially in breaststroke).

Jeff Commings
December 21st, 2006, 05:21 PM
I wrote this before, and I'll post it here:

The track start gets you a faster reaction, but does not guarantee a better start.

A swimmer using the conventional start has the strength advantage of using the power of both legs equally on the start. But there's the disadvantage of not having the body position to explode off the blocks quickly.

Swimmers using a track start get quick reactions and are off the blocks first. But my observation is that they lose that advantage because they push off from the blocks first with their back foot, then their lead foot. So they're not using the strength of both legs at the same time. It's one, then the other.

In essence, two swimmers of equal strength and ability on the blocks will have different starts. The track start guy will look like he's in the lead, but the normal start guy will use his strength to get into the water at a faster speed and catch the lead swimmer after entry.

Watch the men's 400 free in Athens. Everyone exploded off the blocks ahead of Ian Thorpe, but he was even with them at the 15-meter mark, the typical place for breakouts in elite swimming.

You'll argue that Ian's stronger, but I don't think so.

Bottom line is do the start you're comfortable with.

scyfreestyler
December 21st, 2006, 05:53 PM
I would agree that it is a personal thing, do what works for you. However, it seems to me that the track start is far more common among the elite today. When I attended the Santa Clara Invitational this year it struck me as odd that Dennis Baker was using a grab start. Not that the start was odd or that he needs anybody to tell him how to go fast (especially not from me!), but because nearly all of the other swimmers that day were using track starts.