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Thread: The Backstroke Lane

  1. #41
    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    But are you sure that the flat walls will be installed at GA Tech? Many pools have the option to do this, or not.
    No, I'm not sure, hence the disclaimer, "At least, that's way it was set up when I swam there last December." Last December was an SCM meet, so maybe the setup was deliberate? I don't know enough about the pool to know what the options are, or what the intentions of the organizers are. My short-axis friends (and yes I do have some), fuss about turning on flat walls, so if there's a choice I imagine there's some discussion.

    By the way, whose brilliant idea was it to build pools with stainless steel gutters? There is no good place to put your feet for backstroke starts. In some pools the stainless goes down so far there's no good place to put your feet on a flip. How best to handle stainless steel gutters, particularly on the start?

  2. #42
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimosaur View Post
    By the way, whose brilliant idea was it to build pools with stainless steel gutters? There is no good place to put your feet for backstroke starts. In some pools the stainless goes down so far there's no good place to put your feet on a flip. How best to handle stainless steel gutters, particularly on the start?
    You just have to get used to it. I once swam a meet at an outdoor SCM pool where the walls were very smooth and slippery, like glass. If I didn't hit each flip turn 100% straight on, my feet would slide sideways instead of pushing off. Circle swimming during warmups was challenging to say the least. Every pool is a little bit different; this is why you need to get some warmup time in the competition pool, get some practice starts in, and so on. This year at Federal Way, the new track-start devices were installed on the blocks. I don't know what to call them but they're the little ramps that you can put your back foot on, and get some extra launch on your start. It only took me two practice starts to conclude that they are completely awesome.

  3. #43
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Perhaps this belongs in the "Charlotte Ultraswim" thread as well but...

    Did anyone else notice the following?
    It appeared as though Missy Franklin didn't do any SDKs off the final turn in her 200 LCM backstroke victory at the Charlotte Ultraswim. This might be interpreted in at least two ways: 1) It is possible to swim the 200 back very fast without an excellent SDK, (which we already knew since there were some very fast times posted before anyone did SDK) and 2) Miss Franklin is going to be dangerously fast if she develops a good SDK.

  4. #44
    Love SWIMMING! Ahelee Sue Osborn's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    Did anyone else notice the following?
    It appeared as though Missy Franklin didn't do any SDKs off the final turn in her 200 LCM backstroke victory at the Charlotte Ultraswim. This might be interpreted in at least two ways: 1) It is possible to swim the 200 back very fast without an excellent SDK, (which we already knew since there were some very fast times posted before anyone did SDK) and 2) Miss Franklin is going to be dangerously fast if she develops a good SDK.
    It has always been said that some swimmers are not faster SDKing than swimming. But it is a skill that is developed.
    Missy has been around awhile, but who knows what her coach will have her do as she continues to grow and get even stronger.

    15? Sheez - far from finished!

  5. #45
    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Anyone have some good tips for swimming backstroker in outdoor pools to keep from running into the lane lines.

    This weekend, I swam my first 200 back in an outdoor pool in forever. I had a wonderful time playing grab a$$ with the lane lines for the majority of the race. Needless to say, it wasn't a good swim, unless you were one of my friends getting a kick out of my troubles.

    I tried using the lanes lines by sighting with peripharel vision. That didn't work too well.

    Any tips would help for next time.

  6. #46
    Very Active Member DPC's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I play a lot of bumper pool with the lines outside too, so I usually look more down toward my feet as I'm swimming, tuck your chin toward your chest - little more uncomfortable over a 200, but my turns allow a litlle time to work the kinks out. It seems to keep me from crashing into the lines. Indoors I look more straight up and follow the ceiling.

  7. #47
    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by DPC View Post
    I play a lot of bumper pool with the lines outside too, so I usually look more down toward my feet as I'm swimming, tuck your chin toward your chest - little more uncomfortable over a 200, but my turns allow a litlle time to work the kinks out. It seems to keep me from crashing into the lines. Indoors I look more straight up and follow the ceiling.
    That's what I do as well. I debated about tucking my chin but decided against it because I wasn't sure if my kick was strong enough to get my hips up for the distance

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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I like using the Tyr Socket Rocket Eclipse goggles for backstroke. They are super dark, great for the outdoor sun and they have great a peripheral range.

    I would not bring your head forward... this is going to drop your hips and slow you down. In a 200, low hips are going to make you tired really quickly. Keep that water rolling over your face ;-) You can always hug the rope if you want to it keep in view...

    You can also practice steadying your stroke by swimming with and small dixie cup of water balanced on your forehead. This also helps keep your head straight and back.
    Last edited by shahboz; July 26th, 2010 at 12:35 PM.

  9. #49
    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by shahboz View Post
    You can always hug the rope if you want to it keep in view...
    I did more than hug the ropes yesterday. I think I tried to swim over into Blue Muppets lane a few times. I was really frustrated during the swim. In the 50 back, I went right down the pool. I don't know what I did different in the 2 swims either.

    Seems like when I try to use peripheral vision, I either slow my stroke rate down or I end up heading in the direction that I am trying to glance. That gets very annoying.

  10. #50
    Very Active Member swimmieAvsFan's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by thewookiee View Post
    I did more than hug the ropes yesterday. I think I tried to swim over into Blue Muppets lane a few times. I was really frustrated during the swim. In the 50 back, I went right down the pool. I don't know what I did different in the 2 swims either.
    a big difference between the 50 and the 100/200 was the time of day. by the time the 200 and 100 rolled around, the sun was almost directly overhead, so it was wicked tough to see anything the one direction. not so much in the 50, since it was earlier in the meet. after doing the DCPR meet 8 times, i've noticed the same thing every year that it's been sunny.

    Mollie Grover
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  11. #51
    Love SWIMMING! Ahelee Sue Osborn's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    The sun while swimming backstroke outdoors is a wicked "distraction".
    But that isn't what is making you swim crooked.

    Ultimately the line you keep is determined by where you push the water at the end of your pull.

    Finish your pull near your body, throwing (or pushing) the water straight down to your toes.
    Even throwing water an inch or two to the side or away from your body line will cause you to swim crooked to the other direction.

    Keep your head rock steady while looking straight up or a shade forward.
    The chin is slightly tucked in to lengthen your spine, not to look down toward your feet.
    Press your shoulders back into the water. That will help keep your hips and legs up higher in the water.

    And yes, get the darkest goggles and work on your great body position. Those will both help you keep your focus.

  12. #52
    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Great advice Ahelee!

    Something else that helps me is to check where I am as I come off the walls on my turns. If you're coming off the wall at a slight angle you will end up on the lane line too. I do a quick check and make sure I'm straight before I break out. Of course in long course you don't have as many chances to check yourself.

    I swim outside all summer and that helps more than anything.
    I have entered the snapdragon stage of my life (Part of me has snapped and the rest of me is draggin ).

  13. #53
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I miss the good ole "standup" backstroke start from the old days, where all you had to have was one part of your foot in the water, like a heel, and you could hold onto the top of the block with your hands. Worked great on getting great distance off the start. Was also a nice "psych out" routine to the guy next to you when you wouldn't hop in the water prior to the start but just saunter around the block, put your feet on the gutter and assume the position.
    Hey Ho
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  14. #54
    Very Active Member swimmieAvsFan's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahelee Sue Osborn View Post
    The sun while swimming backstroke outdoors is a wicked "distraction".
    But that isn't what is making you swim crooked.

    Ultimately the line you keep is determined by where you push the water at the end of your pull.

    Finish your pull near your body, throwing (or pushing) the water straight down to your toes.
    Even throwing water an inch or two to the side or away from your body line will cause you to swim crooked to the other direction...
    well, how can you explain why, at this meet, almost all backstrokers complain about the same thing every year that it's sunny, but it almost never comes up when it's cloudy??? after 8 years of doing this same meet with the same order of events, i have the same problem wookiee had this year, if it's sunny. but never when it's cloudy.

    Mollie Grover
    Potomac Valley Top Ten Recorder and Sanctions Chair
    USMS Rules committee

  15. #55
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    My guess would be you are repositioning your head to compensate for the sun. The head works like a rudder...

  16. #56
    Very Active Member ourswimmer's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmieAvsFan View Post
    a big difference between the 50 and the 100/200 was the time of day. by the time the 200 and 100 rolled around, the sun was almost directly overhead, so it was wicked tough to see anything the one direction.
    I swim outside nearly all the time but almost always in the early AM, and in dim light I don't have any problem staying on line. I usually pick one lane line and hug it on purpose at outdoor meets when the sun is bright and directly overhead. I may swim 201 meters total, but I figure it's still faster than zig-zagging on every 50 and swimming 205.

  17. #57
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahelee Sue Osborn View Post
    The sun while swimming backstroke outdoors is a wicked "distraction".
    But that isn't what is making you swim crooked.

    Ultimately the line you keep is determined by where you push the water at the end of your pull.

    Finish your pull near your body, throwing (or pushing) the water straight down to your toes.
    Even throwing water an inch or two to the side or away from your body line will cause you to swim crooked to the other direction.

    Keep your head rock steady while looking straight up or a shade forward.
    The chin is slightly tucked in to lengthen your spine, not to look down toward your feet.
    Press your shoulders back into the water. That will help keep your hips and legs up higher in the water.

    And yes, get the darkest goggles and work on your great body position. Those will both help you keep your focus.
    Thanks for the tips Ahelee! I too hugged the lane line in my recent outdoor meet. I attribute it to the fact that my backstroke is mediocre, and when I swim indoors I always line myself up with the ceiling landmarks.

  18. #58
    Very Active Member AnnG's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    The best thing for swimming straight outdoors long course is to practice practice practice. There is no substitute and if you don't have access to a long course pool it will be more difficult. Also once you start making corrections in your direction its hard to straighten back out! You will get a wicked shimmy going on. . . I think its better to glance at the lane line, just roll your head slightly with your stroke and spot the lane line.

  19. #59
    Very Active Member swim53's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Thank you for the good tips. I have blown some pretty good outdoor backstroke races and I know some very good backstrokers who have too! So frustrating. The tips should help.

  20. #60
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Hey backstrokers, I'm reviving this thread as a desperate plea for HELP!

    I'm a breaststroker who begs to differ with Fort on what the "evilstroke" really is. For me, backstroke is the EVILSTROKE, because it's my slowest!

    So, I'm ready to confront the evilstroke and set a goal of actually getting it faster than my breaststroke...

    Watching videos my husband has shot of my backstroke and listening to the critique of my part-time coach, my worst problem is my kick. When I roll to the right, my left lower leg scissor kicks out and when I roll to the left, my right lower leg scissor kicks out. Even when I think I'm keeping my legs straighter, the camera doesn't lie...

    So, what drills can I do to correct this problem?

    Thanks!
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