USA Swimming has developed a race analysis profile that you can use to measure your improvements in all phases of swimming. While sometimes difficult to do, next time you race try asking a teammate of a parent to measure the following things. You can then keep a running diary of your splits, stroke count, stroke rate, etc… and then work to get better in practice!
- Start time. How quickly do your feet leave the block once the starting signal has sounded?
- Turn time. From your approach, to your spin, to your push-off and breakout. How quickly do you do this? Where are your strengths? Where do you need to get better?
- Time spent underwater on your streamline. How tight is your streamline and how quickly can you dolphin kick while under?
- Swimming velocity. This is the combination of your stroke length (SL) (DPS) and stroke rate. (See Summer 2011 newsletter)
- Number of strokes taken in 10 seconds (see Summer newsletter)
You can then go on you tube and compare yourself with Olympians. Be sure to then compare within yourself. After all, this is the true measuring stick for all of us! Write down your strengths, and also discuss areas where you can be better. Then, work with your coach, and on your own, to improve all aspects of the racing profile. Once accomplished, even a little each week or month, will make all the difference down the road!