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View Full Version : Shallow Pool - what do I do?



Lightning
November 4th, 2007, 10:12 PM
I'm new at competing and just went to my second meet where the entire pool was only 4ft deep. I didn't know how to dive properly. I came within inches of the bottom each time, and then when I tried to sdk for power and momentum I kicked the bottom with my feet and lost efficiency trying to get up and out on top. Plus, when trying to do the kick out, on breaststroke, at turns, I didn't have the room to use my strength and power to do it properly, I felt constrained.

What do the rest of you do?

knelson
November 4th, 2007, 11:40 PM
Learn to dive shallower :)

In all honesty, though, 4 feet should be enough. When I was in high school the blocks were always at the shallow end. Four feet was the deepest the diving end of a pool ever was. If you are touching the bottom you are going too deep on both your start and turns.

meldyck
November 5th, 2007, 07:40 AM
I'm a breaststroker and flier and go pretty deep on the starts. I've stopped doing starting block dives for pools that are that shallow.

Kirk is right that, when we were younger, the shallower pools didn't matter so much because we (I at least) were taught to hit the water completely flat on the start. Now that I'm trying to get into the water w/o splashing it takes me pretty deep. I'm pretty happy with my present entry and am disinclined to change it.

Most places where I compete are deep enough that it's not a problem so, for the shallow pools, I just modify my swim events such that starting in the water isn't a big deal (read: these are good pools for the distance free events).

BTW, where I train, the pool is shallow enough at one end that I hit my hand on the bottom many times while swimming freestyle.

bobbyhillny
November 5th, 2007, 01:18 PM
Does the depth of the pool affect bouyancy?

I'm used to swim in a very deep pool (50M, Olympic standard deep, very deep, don't know the exact dimension) but I'm swimming in this new pool that's only about 4 or 5 feet deep. I just don't feel the same kind of bouyancy now. Is it all in my head or the shallow pool does provide less bouyancy? I felt I was floating in the deeper pool and now almost touching the bottom. Anyways, it sucks to swim in a shallow pool.

Lightning
November 5th, 2007, 02:38 PM
I guess modifying for the depth is what is being recommended; though I feel I lose something - I have a long frame and like to take advantage of it off the blocks and at the turns.

I don't know about bouyancy, but after a turn won't your own wake be more of a problem since you cant streamline underneath it?

hofffam
November 5th, 2007, 03:49 PM
The water in a deep pool is no more dense than it is in a shallower pool. So your bouyancy at the surface is unchanged. If you raced at depth instead of at the surface the greater pressure of the water would compress your body slightly, making you less dense (scuba divers are familiar with this principle).

Blackbeard's Peg
November 6th, 2007, 09:59 AM
I tell my kids at clinic that I'd rather them bellyflop then dive deep. At least this way they'll be on the top of the water. It will hurt a lot more now that you're not 10 years old, but its still a lot better than diving deep and scraping. Practice diving OUT more - do 10 dives, and have someone measure where your hands go in, and try to get further out with each dive.

Warren
November 6th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Practice some running starts and see how far out you can land. This will teach you to dive flater. Go off the block and see how far you can glide in a streamline.

Lightning
November 6th, 2007, 10:55 AM
I thought this theory changed a while back, when they started recommending to "go through the hole" because even though you went deeper you had less resistance and could maintain a faster speed and go farther...?

geochuck
November 6th, 2007, 10:56 AM
It is surprising what you can do when it is neccessary.

When we swam in Hamilton the shallow end was 3 feet deep. We swam our continuous 25 yard relays in this pool. We learned how to dive in and swim from the shallow end (many a scrapped nose and arms). The pool was shallow for 15 yards went from 3' to 4' then a step up to a 3 ft shelf all the way across the pool for the whole width, then went to 9' deep for 9 yards. It was a slow pool but we had several Olympians come out of that pool.

The three foot ledge is no longer there it was removed in 1975. I used that ledge to tell me only 10 yards to the finish.

It was great for leverage when playing waterpolo. You could really shoot that ball with a foot on the ledge (not legal, I cheated).

We can still dive through the hole but just don't go too deep in a shallow pool. I was never a flat diver. I entered short and streamlined out of my dives and was always first coming out of dives. Those flat divers sure hit the water hard.

nkfrench
November 6th, 2007, 12:41 PM
You must learn how to dive appropriately and competently under the circumstances.

I have seen a swimmer hit the bottom and fracture vertebra in his neck. He was fortunate and survived with no paralysis, but he had surgery (fused part of his neck) and gave up at least year of swimming when he was ready for a college scholarship instead. Very ruinous for him.

At the time the kid was in 3'6" water and the water was exactly at 3'6" legal limit. Since then, the depth minimum has increased.

If you do not feel comfortable, in Masters you can do a deck start (not off the blocks) or an in-water start. But please, learn how in deeper water...

Warren
November 6th, 2007, 01:21 PM
You must learn how to dive appropriately and competently under the circumstances.

I have seen a swimmer hit the bottom and fracture vertebra in his neck. He was fortunate and survived with no paralysis, but he had surgery (fused part of his neck) and gave up at least year of swimming when he was ready for a college scholarship instead. Very ruinous for him.

At the time the kid was in 3'6" water and the water was exactly at 3'6" legal limit. Since then, the depth minimum has increased.

If you do not feel comfortable, in Masters you can do a deck start (not off the blocks) or an in-water start. But please, learn how in deeper water...


Yeah the minimum now is 4 feet. Also there was a rule put in this year that requires 6 feet of depth when teaching someone how to dive.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 6th, 2007, 02:01 PM
A few years ago, then Towson University had starting blocks at the shallow end of their pool. I believe its ~4 ft at that end; probably 11 or 12 at the deep end. During a masters meet, someone held onto the blocks, but continued to roll forward after the field was asked to stand. They went in head first and hit their head on the bottom, splitting it open. No spinal damage to my knowledge. I'm not sure how long it took to make the change, but at the same meet the next year, starting blocks were in the deep end. Elon University is set up the same way, but blocks are still in the shallow end. UMBC's indoor pool is 4 or 4.5 feet on both ends, dipping 6" down in the middle.

One of our local summer pools has a 4.5-5' depth in their shallow end of the 25M competition course. The other end is 11 feet. They start almost all events in the shallow end, except for the 25s - "this way, the timers don't have to move." I tried to get them to change the year I coached there, but they wouldn't have it. Certainly more than enough depth, but why take a chance?

My whole thing with this is especially if you've got a college program and have a deep end on the other side, why would you not start in the deep end? The wake generated off the dive for older folks is enormous! Why wouldn't you want to try to minimize the effects - and the risk??? 5' and up I can live with, but anything less... I just dont understand.

Warren
November 6th, 2007, 02:18 PM
They can't lower it to more than four feet because there are alot of pools, especial local summer league pools that arn't deeper than 4 feet. If they did lower it, it would be awful becasue swimmers would have to start in the water in alot of pools. The year that they made the change I was still swimming summer league and there was this one pool in the league that was only 3.5 feet deep. We had to start in the water and it was so stupid. If they raised the depth any more it could ruin summer league swimming and In think they realize that. 4 feet is safer but still not 100% safe, but then again, swimming is much safer when it comes to head and neck injuries then some other sports.

knelson
November 6th, 2007, 02:27 PM
My whole thing with this is especially if you've got a college program and have a deep end on the other side, why would you not start in the deep end?

Good question. I do most of my training at the University of Washington. The pool there is very old (1938) and is 4' in the shallow end. Although there are now blocks at both ends of the pool, college dual meets have always started from the shallow end. I have a feeling this has more to do with tradition than anything else. They also have high school districts meets there. I haven't been to one so I'm not sure what end they start from in those.

Anyway, I think the point has been rendered moot since all UW's "home" dual meets will be at the King County Aquatic Center this season.