What Can We Learn From Olympic Swimmers?

What Can We Learn From Olympic Swimmers?

Courtesy of Gerry Rodrigues, Tower 26, Santa Monica.

Tower 26‘s Be Race Ready 41-minute podcast episode #14 on tips triathletes can learn from the great swimmers competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In the latest podcast, Coach Gerry Rodrigues and Jim Lubinski discuss swimmers in Rio.

They describe how and what triathletes of every level can learn from the Olympic swimmers.

Learn to watch the remaining few days of competition through the lens of a coach by observing and then extracting the appropriate skills required to improve as a triathlete swimmer,” explains Rodrigues. “We discuss the essential ingredients that makes these Olympic swimming athletes so fast; what skills they deploy that triathletes should learn and which ones triathletes do not need. Why are Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte, Sun Yang, Katinka Hosszu and Adam Peaty so special? And very importantly, observe the upcoming men’s 1500m freestyle where Italian swimmer, Gregorio Paltrinieri, seeks gold without the greatest swimming mechanics. It’s not only excellent swim mechanics that creates greatness.”

What are a few of Coach Rodrigues’ comments:

*Structural presence and firmness is a common trait among all these athletes. Their taut body position is a given. Watch the alignment of these athletes, especially when viewed from the cameras above the water. Everything is in total alignment.
*These athletes have high cadence rates (number of arm strokes per minute), but because their finesse is so great, they don’t look like they have a high cadence rate.
*They have no looseness or softness or floppiness or lack of tension in their entire arm stroke. They grip it and rip it.
*There is a lot of incredible leg drive in all of these Olympic swimmers. The leg amplitude is rather narrow. But since these races are mostly less than 2 minutes, they have to have this leg drive. Triathletes have to put this kicking in context.
*In the early or mid-1990s, there was no high vertical forearm among the best swimmers. To the extent that it is promoted in the triathlon media, it is not a priority for triathletes. Let’s not make a mountain next to a mole hill.

Episode #14 of TOWER 26’s Be Race Ready series is posted here and here.

Additional Tower 26 articles here:

* TOWER 26 Be Race Ready Podcast Goes Live
* Be Race Ready – Framing Cycles And Swim Workout Design
* Be Race Ready Podcast On Tautness, Alignment, Propulsion
* Guardians Of The Sea, From Tower 26 And Beyond
* Tower 26 website
* The Open Water Grave By Gerry Rodrigues
* Alignment And Structural Presence In The Open Water
* Tri To Improve In The Pool And Open Water
* Tower 26’s Gerry Rodrigues On Gripping And Ripping
* Kicking In The Open Water For Triathletes
* Breathing For Triathletes In The Open Water
* Fear Can Be Overcome With Frequency To Build Familiarity
* Sultan Of Swim Discusses Open Water Essentials
* What Can We Learn From Olympic Swimmers?
* Triathlete Airplanes, Gliders, Helicopters In The Open Water
* Art Of Tapering, The Final Frontier Before The Big Race
* Gerry Rodrigues Towers Over Open Water Coaching
* Fill 3 Buckets for Better Swimming By Gerry Rodrigues
* 3F: Move From Fear To Familiarity Through Frequency
* What Can We Learn From Olympic Swimmers?

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones