Using Video Analysis to Improve My Turn
By Michael Andrew
After racing Cody Miller in the 100 Breaststroke (yards) and breaking the National Age Group Record in a time of 51.71 at the AESC Elite Pro Am in Oklahoma, Doc Brent Rushall (the originator & creator of USRPT) reviewed the race footage and noticed my extremely slow turns compared to Cody’s and other top breaststrokers in my heat.
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I am grateful for that race and Cody pushing me to swim my best, but also for helping me to identify an area that I can improve on. Doc Rushall, after seeing where I can gain speed and cut time, showed us via stick figure drawings a more efficient and extremely fast way of transitioning on the wall to get ready for the next length of a race. The key point was that I came into the first wall even with Cody and when we were pushing off for the next length, he was an arm’s length ahead of me – just like that!
What we realized was that when my hands make contact with the wall, my body would continue to drift to the wall with the force created and my elbows would bend to at least a 90-degree angle. So in the new turn, the goal is to keep my arms straight allowing for no bend (decreasing the distance needed to swim into the wall), and for the knees to drive into my chest in an extremely tight ball.
The force of driving my knees up gives me the opportunity to then draw both arms at the same time off the wall in ‘as streamline’ position as possible flipping my body completely around in the quickest amount of time, leaving as little room for decrease in speed.
Attached is a link to Doc Rushall's BREASTSTROKE/BUTTERFLY STROKE TURN: THE SHORT-RADIUS TURN illustrated with SwimPro underwater cameras. We have noticed a marked difference & change in time, and will continue to work to perfect this turn until it becomes second nature in practice and in my races. Also this is not just a breaststroke turn; this turn can be done in the butterfly, as well.
It’s amazing what you can learn from detailed analysis of just one small part of your race!
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