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Thread: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one?

  1. #21
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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by floatything View Post
    I'm curious, why is a long torso comparable to legs preferable?
    Look at a fish, long thick body, short tail with fins.

  2. #22
    Active Member Zwemmer's Avatar
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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by cinc3100 View Post
    Cody Miller is a breaststroke. We have different dimensions than other simmers.
    We do?
    That was my best stroke & events and may be again. I'm 6'4" and more Phelps-like than Miller-like. Doesn't seem to have been an obstacle.

    All kidding aside, I find the OP's question always fascinating. We have Phelps & Miller, both with different forms but both are unquestionably great swimmers. All those physical attributes combine with great coaching, talent, technique, drive, circumstance, and all kinds of factors that make a great swimmer. Sometimes they seem to be easy to spot early, others not as much. I find this makes swimming an ever-interesting sport because so many kinds of people bring so many different things and so much to it.
    Last edited by Zwemmer; September 13th, 2018 at 09:02 PM.

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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by JPEnge View Post

    My checkoffs in the physical advantages column are pretty few - I'm 6'1" but with a 6'7" wingspan, and I have ridiculously flexible ankles. But I have really long legs and size 10 feet which is tiny for someone over 6'...
    I'm doomed here.

    I'm only 5'1", my legs are long compared to my torso, my shoulders aren't exceptionally wide, and my ankles are not flexible at all.

    My arms are long, and my hands and feet are proportionally large for my size, but that's mostly b/c I have long fingers and toes. Core is strong from gymnastics, and I'm an ectomorph with supposedly more fast-twitch muscles than slow.

  4. #24
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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by sillyduck View Post
    almost the same muscle mass and proportions
    Regardless of what they look like from afar, I assure you that they are in much, much better shape than you or I.

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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    I have another "what is great, anyhow?" post.

    I would think of anyone who day, made the olympic trials, or an NCAA champ, even in lower division, to be really great. Like a world beyond anything I can imagine.

    But suppose if you had Michael Phelps, Ryan Lotche, Dana Torres, and Mark Spitz were sitting around and talking?

    I'd guess they might view someone who won one olympic silver and one bronze as an "also ran." Or maybe even, "Sure that swimmer had a world record, like 10 years ago, but it was only one. It lasted two months. And what was it in? Breast stroke? meh."

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    Active Member Zwemmer's Avatar
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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by MickYoung View Post
    ...

    I would think of anyone who day, made the olympic trials, or an NCAA champ, even in lower division, to be really great. Like a world beyond anything I can imagine.
    That's not a bad benchmark I think especially making a time cut like the Olympic trials. Winning a particular event at NCAA is always, like any other race, subject to so many factors. So a time mark seems to me to have a certain reliability a medal may have but might not.

    But suppose if you had Michael Phelps, Ryan Lotche, Dana Torres, and Mark Spitz were sitting around and talking?

    I'd guess they might view someone who won one olympic silver and one bronze as an "also ran." Or maybe even, "Sure that swimmer had a world record, like 10 years ago, but it was only one. It lasted two months. And what was it in? Breast stroke? meh."
    I've heard people like Spitz, Gaines, Betsy Mitchell, Rich Saeger, Steve Lundquist and others of the late 70's/80's generation of Olympic medalists talk about such things and never heard them say that kind of thing. They know how incredibly ephemeral a moment it is on the medal stand and how short record times often last. The fact anyone got near one is an accomplishment they recognized.

    Don't know about those young kids these days, though.

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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwemmer View Post

    I've heard people like Spitz, Gaines, Betsy Mitchell, Rich Saeger, Steve Lundquist and others of the late 70's/80's generation of Olympic medalists talk about such things and never heard them say that kind of thing.
    Yeah, I read over what I've written and I'm embarrassed. It was wrong of me to speculate like that - particularly with real people's names, when I don't know any of those people, and - to my knowledge- they might speak of any contender with total respect. I apologize.

    I was kinda basing my thoughts on how stellar college professors will dis to grad students about respectable tenured profs in good standing with solid, but non-stellar, outputs.

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    Re: What sets apart a average swimmer from a truly great one

    Quote Originally Posted by MickYoung View Post
    Yeah, I read over what I've written and I'm embarrassed. It was wrong of me to speculate like that - particularly with real people's names, when I don't know any of those people, and - to my knowledge- they might speak of any contender with total respect. I apologize.
    I appreciate your perspective. I think it is kind of you to do so but I don't need an apology and I suspect they'd just smile and tell you not to worry about it. Many people who achieve some kind of high rank in human society are, frankly, d*cks about it. And it's easy to speculate what such people think of lesser mortals. But in my experience swimmers are not often like that & most athletes do well to keep it real, as they say.

    I was kinda basing my thoughts on how stellar college professors will dis to grad students about respectable tenured profs in good standing with solid, but non-stellar, outputs.
    That is something I know a little about and I certainly here you. My theory as to why that happens is that the only way to get rid of an assistant professor you can't stand is to promote them to associate & hope another school will recruit them. So by the time you end up with a full professor or even one in a named chair you can find some really interesting people.

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