Posted on 17 February 2013.
Eliza is just 10 years old and has written to ask me what she can do for fitness work whilst living on a farm.
She is only able to make it to practice twice a week because she lives so far away from a town with a pool and squad program.
Listen to my response by clicking on the link below.
More training, live on farm – Eliza ( .wma 1.89MB )
Posted in Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 23 January 2013.
My daughter is 10 and my son is 9 and I was wondering how they can improve their swimming times to be able to compete in the NSW Country Swimming Championships . My daughter missed out last year but she is keen to go this year. She is competing in different carnivals over the next few months and would love to see her achieve her goal. She is between 3 sec – 5 seconds off her goal in 3 events of 50, 50 & 100 metres.
Does competing in carnivals improve their times or should they just keep training and show up for the main carnivals? Any advice would be helpful. I sometimes think it’s in the mind.
Many thanks, Ingrid
Yes, competing in Carnivals will assist a young swimmers development as they will learn how to start, turn and finish in a racing environment and also practice their pacing for each lap and swimming fast.
Your coach will work with your children in regards to the balance between the number of carnivals versus having some weekends off to recover from the week’s training.
Training well continues to be important in between each carnival.
And yes, sometimes it is in the mind. Some would argue more often than not for young swimmers, so it is really important that positive encouragement is provided around training and competition so that each child builds their own self-confidence, as well as their physical preparation.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Coaching, Competitions / Swim Meets, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 09 January 2013.
I am 9 yrs old. How long should I warm up for before I race please ?
Thank you Emily
Hi Emily and thanks for your email.
When you warm up is important. If you are able to, it is a good idea to finish your warm up about 30 minuts before you race. This is enough time to keep your body warm and swim well.
If you have to warm up earlier than that for your race, then it is important t move your body around a bit prior to your swim (swing your arms and jump around) to ensure your body is warm and ready to go.
The length of your warm up will vary depending on a number of factors.
If you are practising a number of times each week (eg. 3 or more) then you should be able to do a warm up over a half hour period of 800 to 1200 metres. If you are not practising as often, your coach may give you a little bit less.
If your race is 100 or 200 metres, your coach may give you a slightly longer warm u than if you are only racing 50m events.
Work with your coach in regards to when you warm up and what you do in yor warm up as they will be able to advise you.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Coaching, Competitions / Swim Meets, Masters, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 30 December 2012.
I was just wondering how it is best to pace 400m freestyle and also the 200m’s free, back. breast.
I am asking because I am a sprint swimmer I often find myself struggling with these distances which I think is probably due to my pacing.
Thank You, James
The most common patterns in 200m and 400m races are:
• that each lap gets slower especially when the swimmer has gone out too hard or does not have a high level of fitness;
• the middle laps are the slowest and the swimmer has plenty of energy to speed up and swim fast near the end of the race; or
• the third 50m in a 200 or third 100m in a 400 are the slowest because the swimmer has a mini rest to prepare themselves for the last quarter of the race.
The secret to pacing a 200m or 400m race is to even split the whole way through the race.
The first lap will tend to be a bit faster than the others because of the start and how fresh you feel, however it is important to pace all other laps around the same time.
To get the best time possible, your lap times need to be at the fastest pace possible where you can hold that pace for the distance of the race.
For example in a 200m race, your first 50m may be 35 seconds and then aim to hold 38 seconds for the last three 50’s.
Swimming with even splits will often give the swimmer the best time possible.
Strong swimmers will often negative split a race, meaning that the second half of their race is faster than the first. These swimmers normally have a lot of experience and are very fit.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Freestyle, Questions
Posted on 28 December 2012.
I would like to know a couple of exercises for my butterfly kick and the easiest possible ways out of water and in! Is that possible?
The best way to learn butterfly kick is in the water. Your legs will start together and your toes will be pointed away from the body. As your body undulates through the water, your hips will press down, and your legs will follow downwards. Your knees will then bend slightly. As your hips begin to rise, your knees will straighten as your feet quick downward in a fast action. Your legs and feet will then follow the upward movement of your hips in preparation for another downward kick, and so on.
The best drills are to begin doing some butterfly (dolphin) kick on your back so that your face is out of the water and just focus on the movement of your hips, legs and feet.
Another great drill is to do dolphin kick on your front, with your hands beside your legs and push off underwater doing the dolphin movement. Because you have water above and below you, this drill enables you to feel the water of your hips, legs and feet and fully understand what they are doing. This is my favourite with swimmers who are learning butterfly kick.
One further drill is to do butterfly kick on your side so that your hips, legs and feet are pressing from side to side, with plenty of water to displace.
Practicing dolphin kick both with and without fins (flippers) will assist you to develop the butterfly kick more quickly.
Hope this helps Jade,
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Butterfly, Coaching, Learn to Swim, Masters, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 23 December 2012.
Hi Gary, My name is Canis. Firstly i would like to thank you for the Swimming Expert website you have. I found alot of interesting topics & tips to advance my swimming.
Gary, i have a question & i hope you can give me some tips on this matter.
What will be the best thing to do if you have some hours break between your prelims & final? For example, if your prelims is in the morning & you have around 4 – 5 hours untill warm up for your final.
So, what will be the best thing to do within the break? Will it be good if you sleep? Will it be good if you look up again your prelims video & find out what to change for final or visualitation while looking some other elite swimmer swimming on the utube?
Thank you Gary. Canis
Hi Canis and thanks for your feedback on the Swimming Expert website and also for your ‘Likes’ on www.facebook.com/TheSwimmingExpert
The break between prelims (or heats) and finals is so important for swimmers. It gives you time to recover from the prelim session and regenerate before swimming in the finals session, usually held in the evening. A good meal as soon as possible after heats (see www.NutritionForSwimmers.com for some great hints on what to eat) and either a sleep or good rest can really help you perform at your optimum in finals. Having a good rest is especially important if you are swimming in a multi day meet and have to get up and perform in prelims and finals for more than 2 days.
In regards to having a sleep during the day, this is practised by most elite swimmers and usually an hour to 1 1/2 hours is sufficient to regenerate for finals . If you sleep for too long (more than 1 1/2 to 2 hours) it can be hard to wake your body up properly for finals and it also makes it harder to get to sleep at night, so each individual will need to experiment with the ideal amount of sleep for them.
If you get the chance to have a look at the video of your heat swim then look for areas that you can improve. It may be your start, turn or finish or something to do with your stroke. It is ideal to look at your video with your coach, so that they can provide feedback to you.
Finally, taking the time to watch how the best swimmers in the world race can be both motivational and also can assist your learning and development.
Good luck with your swimming Canis.
Posted in Coaching, Freestyle, Nutrition, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 02 December 2012.
Hi, This is a question about my 10 year old sister.
She excels in swimming, the best in her club for her age in butterfly and freestyle by far, she even has the best 50m Butterfly time for her age and gender in the state.
She regularly comes homes from races with a handful of medals and always gets picked for the representative teams. Earlier the year she was picked to be in the State team travelling to Sydney for the school sport Nationals.
The problem is she doesn’t really care that much, she doesn’t like getting up at 4:30am and all she wants to do is skip sets and socialise, which happens often. I really don’t want her to give up on her humongous ability. Is their things I can do to get her to love and enjoy it more?
Hi C, Thanks for your question and I am very impressed that you have this concern for your younger sister.
Swimming is a hard sport and while most swimmers will go through periods where they will love participating in the necessary training sessions and competitions, they will also go through some tough times.
The requirement for swimmers to train before and after school can mean that the early morning training sessions can be a real challenge and at times may lead to decreased motivation if they are not really enjoying the training.
As a 10 year old, it is important that your sister has other interests apart from swimming. It may be doing another sport once or twice a week or nothing to do with sport, like music, drama or another activity.
Probably the major thing you can do is to encourage her with her swimming and be there for her if ever she wants to talk to you about it. Encourage her to train hard and set goals that motivate her, and there is every chance you will help her through this period.
Unconditional love for your sister is the best thing you can do for her.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Butterfly, Coaching, Freestyle, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 22 November 2012.
I am so excited to announce the first ever online sale of the ‘Swimming for Parents’ paperback edition at a very special price.
For a short time only, the paperback 2nd edition of Swimming for Parents is for sale at only AU$19.99 or USD$19.99 no matter where you live in the world.
Buy now at www.SwimmingForParents.com.
If you have children who swim competitively then this book is a fantastic gift for your husband, wife, partner, children, coach or yourself!
As an extra special offer to all ‘The Swimming Expert’ subscribers, all copies purchased by midnight on Thursday 6 December 2012 can include a message from me and my personal signature. All you have to do when you purchase the book online is include in the comment section ‘who you would like the book addressed to and a one line comment you would like included’.
Swimming for Parents has received rave reviews from parents, swimmers and coaches and is a great gift idea this Christmas for mum, dad, son, daughter or coach. There is something in it for everyone.
You are welcome to forward the kink to this post to members of your swimming club as I am sure there are many parents who would like to take up this great offer.
The Christmas Special Offer will finish at midnight on Thursday 6 December 2012. Postage charges are available at checkout.
Buy now at www.SwimmingForParents.com.
Posted in Coaching, Questions, Squad Swimming