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Old 04-13-2011
CSLEE CSLEE is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Default freestyle for competitive swimming

I bought two books on TI written by Terry recently. No doubt, these books open my eyes to what swimming is really about. I whole-heartedly agree with Terry that in swimming, basic techniques are utmost important to swim faster and once correct techniques are mastered, strength and endurance will further supplement the speed of swimming.

As I browsed through the books, I found that most of the drills and techniques are for perpectual effortless swimming for long distance or open water. They are extremely useful for me as I am now, at the age of 46, only started to learn and understand about balance, streamline, rotation and body extension. Honestly, after less than a month, I can really feel "smooth sailing" of my body when I swim freestyle, eventhough it is still a long way to go for perpectual effortless swimming like what the TI coaches demonstrated in their videos.

But then I have a 9+ son who has been swimming competitively for 50m and 100m events, for freestyle I need some advice on the following queries:

1. After plunging at the start of the race, is it advisable to dolphin kick as far as possible underwater (not more than 15m) or immediately kick it upwards to resurface and start the stroke?

2. After breathing, the head position should be totally submerge under the water surface and look downwards or just allign it along the spine and keep part of the head above water to enable quicker breathing? I know that for long distance, head should be in the former position to avoid hip sinking and conserve energy, but as I watched the short distant swimmers in the competitions, part of the back of their heads could be seen when they don't breathe.

3. As for kickings, is 6-beat kick the best to have continuous propulsion?

4. As for arms stroke, which one is better - high elbow action or side swing action? I know that high elbow is normally recommended but some coaches said that high elbow action needs longer time to execute as side-swing is swift and immediate, thus shortens the time for water entry.

5. How should the arms enter the water - straight and fully extended or enter with a slight downward angle to enable continous insweep? Fully extended will give better streamlining, but will it provide better better forward thrust of the body?

6. For non-breathing side, does hip rotation vital to achieve better speed or just rotate the shoulder to have proper high elbow action?

7. Lastly, for a 9+ yro boy, what is the optimum breathing frequency? every stroke or every two stroke or even more? As breathing slows down the speed, naturally cut down the breathing frequency will shorten the swimming time, but we definitely want to avoid breathlessness due to taking too few breath.

Hope to get some advice and many thanks.
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