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Thread: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

  1. #1

    Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    Our coach shared this article and is encouraging swimmers to wear fins at Masters practice, for ankle flexibility, shoulder stability, preventing fatigue and lessening stroke deterioration.

    But I'm against fins at practice unless everyone in the lane has them and we're all using them at the same time. Otherwise, if just one person has them and no-one else does, it's disruptive and I think it's not good for team spirit. One thing I love about Masters is that when you're tired, chances are EVERYONE's tired and you get through it together as a group.

    I'm all for fins to warm up with, if you're working on a specific drill and outside of practice, but if everyone's working hard during the main set, and then someone in your lane sails by with fins on, that's bad for the morale of the people not wearing fins because they are working harder and getting fatigued faster.

    Am I on my own on this? (If yes, I will meekly go back to my coach in a groveling fashion. With an offering of baked goods.)

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Latham, NY

    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I never wear fins because they cause severe foot/toe cramps. Others in our team practice use them often. The only problem I have with it is when we have more than 2 per lane and have to circle swim. Fin wearers are faster and I feel I just get in their way. Two people splitting a lane is OK when one has fins and the other not.

  3. #3
    Participating Member
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    Sep 2016
    Tacoma, WA

    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I like them towards the end of practice and have no issues with others who choose to use or not use them. There are usually 4-5 of us in the lane. Anyone who puts on fins goes to the front of the line. We all use short fins so it's not adding insane amounts of speed really. For me personally, it helps to keep me in the game if my shoulder is getting sore which deteriorates my stroke technique.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    St Louis, MO
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    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I once got practically kicked off of an age group team when I was about 13 because the new coach made us wear fins all practice, every practice and I finally voiced my disagreement.

    For a competitive swimmer, fins to me are for two things: 1) Overspeed work or 2) Expediting kick sets if you're short on time.

    I see no reason why they should be worn for an entire practice, much less every practice all the time. They change your stroke by increasing the period of the kick cycle, so they're counterproductive to the "practice how you compete" philosophy, even if they do help you get closer to race pace more often.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  5. #5
    Very Active Member
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    Jan 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I will occasionally put my fins on when repeating a set. In this case, I am toast, and the only way I can keep up on the interval with the fast guys is with fins. I try to avoid this, because it is a crutch, but mentally, it's good to be on the faster interval.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Sarasota, FL

    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I wear my Zoomer short fins for warm-ups to help my shoulders get loose and for some stroke drills. Don't normally wear them for kick sets, as I think that is kind of defeating the purpose.
    If someone in one of our pace groups is using them, it's usually for a reason, such as one swimmer who is currently recovering from a broken foot. A lot of folks will also wear them during fly sets.
    That being said, most folks will let their lane mates know when they're wearing fins, usually somewhat apologetically.
    We also have some "tweeners" who will wear fins and/or paddles, when they're trying to hang on in a faster group, as an alternative to swimming by themselves, or beating up on a slower group.
    It's not really an issue with our team.
    Just as a side note, the University of Louisville trains at our pool every year for their holiday training trip and I've been surprised at how often they use their gear (snorkels, fins, & paddles) during their workouts. Just reconfirms that gear can be useful as long as you're using it as a tool and not a crutch.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Round Rock, TX
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    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    When participating in group workouts, outside of warm-up/warm-down, I think it makes sense to have everyone in the lane using the same equipment. Whether it is fins or pulling gear, most people are faster when using equipment--enough to disrupt the lane if everyone isn't participating (or if you have a lone swimmer who is).

    Perhaps do a compromise? If there are enough swimmers who aren't using gear, maybe you can arrange to have specified lanes for those without, and others with?
    Check out my blog here
    "You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

  8. #8
    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Woodbury, New Jersey, United States
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    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    I usually warm up without fins and put them on to hang with faster intervals and faster and younger swimmers. Warming up with them on is an interesting idea. When I swim the better part of a workout with fins, I'm definitely less tired at the end of a practice (usually 1.5 hours and 4k). The fins helps with recovery and getting through the day without my head hitting the desk.

    We're usually swimming one per lane scy, but when we change to LCM there are fewer lanes and we are sharing with the AGers and lap swimmers, so we're three or four per lane. Who is and isn't wearing fins matters more, but it's easy to readjust the order, and sometimes if I stick fins on when others aren't wearing them, I get to go first - woohoo.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

  9. #9
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    schaumburg, il - U S A

    Re: Having a Fins Dispute with my Coach!

    Team morale? Let the fin people go 1st. Tell the others to bring & use fins as directed by the COACH.
    If you forget fins do your best but, it's not a team building event.

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