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tomtopo
November 23rd, 2007, 02:45 PM
I had an article published in the last American Swimmers Magazine. The front cover had a cool picture of the athletes who will represent us at the upcoming Olympics. I hope it doesn't offend anyone. I'd like to thank many of you for your support. I also don't mind hearing from the critics. Coach T.

http://www.swimmingcoach.org/pdf/EVFbyTomTopolskiSMALL.pdf

Allen Stark
November 23rd, 2007, 04:55 PM
I read the article when I got my magazine and I thought"I know this guy from the forums".Great article:cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:.

tomtopo
November 23rd, 2007, 06:41 PM
Allen,
I appreciate the reply. I'm writing another on isometrics and the need to slow down during drills (I mean unGodly slow). Thanks again, it means something when colleagues reply. Tom

Syd
November 23rd, 2007, 07:41 PM
Thanks Coach T. Just finished reading it and am busy going through the links at the end. I think for the first time I am beginning to understand what an EVF is all about. It was clearly presented and informative.

Syd

knelson
November 23rd, 2007, 11:15 PM
A couple comments:

1. Markus Rogan is from Austria.

2. I'm not really sure what you're getting at in the paragraph that starts out "I believe that lift forces should be looked at as a propulsive synergy..." Care to expand on this?

3. Have you tried the Forearm Fulcrum by Finis? I got their catalog a couple weeks ago and it looks like an interesting product to help in EVF training.
http://www.finisinc.com/products-tr-forearmfulcrum.shtml

4. You mention doing head-up freestyle drills. Why do you think this promotes EVF? Is it just because it's easier to see what your forearms are doing, or is there something about this body position that encourages EVF?

Thanks for the link to your article, Tom. I think it should spur some good discussion here.

tomtopo
November 24th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Knelson,
As coaches and swimmers we've taught and have been taught to use the "S" shape pattern in the pull. Sculling in the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and in the breaststroke takes a back-seat in terms of propulsive force in competitive swimming. The scull is vital, not because it's vital nature (unless you're a synchronized swimmer) but because it allows the most effective maintenance of drag forces. Think of the hand as a tire on a track, sculling allows the hand to maintain tackiness, once it begins to slip, the hand must move into still water. Your body type and strength is a variable in the pulling pattern you should have. If you’re rounder (fatter) the hand should stay outside the mid-line longer. Why? Because eddy currents that surround your body constitute "moving water" and the hand should avoid moving into that turbulence. I call it a synergy because one helps the other maintain efficiency. In the breaststroke and EVF is vital and the aggressive sculling motion helps keep the drag-force that you first acquire. The quadrants of the breaststroke are compacted but the principles of an EVF still apply. The breaststroker is a weird and complicated breed (I was one) timing is vital in all competitive strokes but losing the timing in the breaststroke may take an entire length to correct.

I've tried the fulcrum forearm trainer on at a clinic and they felt cool. They're very interesting because on the one hand, by themselves they force an EVF position, on the other hand, when you put on hand-paddles and use them, I think they negate what they're designed to do. I think if you'd close your fist and use the fulcrum forearm trainers, by themselves, they’re EVF trainers but add paddles to that formula and I don't get it.

I like head-up water polo drill because the stroke uses an EVF pattern. Water-polo players are like dragsters (10yard sprinters) where drag force is everything. Don't make too much of it, I just like how it reinforces the concept. I think water polo is ideal as a conditioner too.

I wrote another article that I'll post after I've written this and I think you'll better understand the point I'm trying to make. I hope this is clearer than mud. I appreciate your thoughtful questions and appreciate your reply. Coach T.

swimr4life
November 24th, 2007, 10:21 AM
Tom,
You are awesome! Your explanations make so much sense to me! I wish you could come to Georgia and do a stroke clinic sometime. Keep up the good work. Your swimmers are very blessed to have a coach like you!:notworthy:

knelson
November 24th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Tom, thanks for the clarification. I agree with you on the sculling. I've always thought one of the reason very fast swimmers are so fast is they have an innate ability to know how to pitch their hands to maintain maximum force. I'm really not sure this is a teachable skill, but I do think it's vital to fast swimming. When coaches and swimmers talk about "feel for the water" I think this is really what they mean.

tomtopo
November 26th, 2007, 11:24 AM
Jonathan,
I read the article and saw your picture (you don't look old enough to be a master swimmer):) I like the article. Your body type does play an important role in how you set-up your stroke. I personally like a deeper 18" entry while the opposite arm is recovering. I've heard many world record holders have a varied entry but the point you make about flexibility playing a key role in determining that entry is right on the mark. I will look forward to seeing more of your articles. I'd like to see one on the breathing patterns for backstrokers (not a lot on the subject) and the variences between world-class swimmers. Keep it up! Coach T.

JMiller
November 26th, 2007, 10:54 PM
Tom,

I checked out your web page, it is great! Sort of gave me a tingle in my spine to see someone with your passion, in a way that kind of validates my existence. hehe I'm 30 now, so, 10 more years of physical adaptation if I play my cards right. (pure sprinter, check my profile picture, that was yesterday)

Listen, I've got some really interesting dryland pictures I want to send you, can I use a private e-mail... Your going to love this! Something I've been working on for a few years!!

Jonathan
ps. Thanks for your correspondence!

tomtopo
November 30th, 2007, 11:26 AM
J,
Please feel free to email me at tomtopo@netzero.com, I'd enjoy it! Coach T.