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Swim Tips

 

Team Aquatic Supplies is 100% behind Canadian swimmers and their success. We actively support swimmers in the community and through the supply of high quality swimwear, equipment and accessories. Not only that, our founder, managers, customer service specialists and staff members are mostly all swimmers! Yes, you could say we are swim enthusiasts.

Over time, we have come to respect master swimmers and we are pleased to share their best swim tips here to help our customers improve their aquatic skills.

 

Mark Bottrill

Head Coach
HYACK Swim Club

 

Under Mark’s direction HYACK was won back-to-back Long Course BC Provincial Championships. Mark is the coach of Hyack swimmer Stefan Milosevic, who at the 2012 Canadian National Championships won the 200 Free and broke the 15 to 17 BC record for the 100 Free. Stephan competed in the 2013 FINA Junior World Championships in Dubai.

Freestyle Breathing Tips:

  • For the 50 Free the swimmer must be able to control the number of breaths they take. In practice the rehearsal around sprint speed must include the swimmer’s intended breath strategy: how many you take and at what proximity you take the breath/s.
  • Practice taking fewer breaths on the second half of a set of 50 repeats. i.e., go out on three breaths, come back on two, etc.
  • Breath and head position: the breath cycle must be quick and work seamlessly into the arms. Exhaling with a ‘pulse’ on the breath (accelerating the breath out with a puff) helps induce the inhale reflex so in this manner the breath cycle can be accomplished quickly. This is true of all strokes. The head position must remain neutral, no lifting or turning of the head. Once the breath cycle is complete the nose should be back on the centre line.
  • The exhale cycle should be timed with the push phase of the stroke––some swimmers ‘pull’ their breath in, we want to see ‘push’ the breath out. In this manner you help strengthen the muscular movements on the freestyle arm finish. For instance, you exhale on the push phase (up) of the pushup, not breath in during the ‘up’.

Favorite Free Drills:

  • Pull buoy touch (for length of stroke); back of hand drill (for tactile feel of where the hand is in relation to recovery and also to promote lead of the elbow); head up free (to engage kick and to work on core strength as well as a visual reminder of entry position for hands in front of the shoulders). Younger swimmers can use fins.
 

Dean Boles

 

Dean Boles is the Swim Ontario Provincial Mentor Coach. Dean is a lifelong coach with a great background of success at every level, from the age group club to the international scene. 

Turns and Walls

Every repeat starts with a good push off! Swimming fast is not rocket science but relentless reminders are critical! In my opinion due to the development of the dolphin kick or fish kick, the value of the push-off has been neglected by many swimmers.

Let’s do some simple math first (it’s all about numbers and how well you repeat it). As we know the two fastest moments of the race is the start and the turn. If you measure a turn 5 metres in and 10 metres out that equates to 15 metres and the start can also be measured at 15 metres. Therefore a 200 metre short course race is made up 120 metres of start and turns—that is over 50% of the race (60% to be exact). With a bit of relentless and deliberate focus and practice on your turns during all your practice sets, your swimming time can improve 2.1 seconds (3/10th per wall).

  • Maximize your push off—get out past the flags every time without kicking- a good opportunity to do this during your warm up and warm down- that’s twice in a practice and perhaps 12-16 times per week you have focused on that skill.
  • Create and form good habits such as dropping down under the water on your side before pushing off for each repeat. This helps rehearse the actual position you are in when you turning at the wall.
  • Fast, small dolphin kicks.
  • Hold a long streamline.
  • Do fewer things better (no matter do not compromise on skills).
  • Do everything with purpose—under the toughest conditions-- to the demand of race.
 

Derrick Schoof

Edmonton Keyano Swim Club
Head Coach/Director of Swimming

 

Derrick Schoof is a three-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport Coach of the Year (men’s team in 2006 and 2009 and women’s team in 2008). Derrick has coached on numerous Canadian National Team coaching staffs including FINA World Aquatic Championships, FISU Games, Pan Pacific Games and Commonwealth Games.

In 2013 Coach Schoof and the Keyano Swim Club took the women’s team title SNC Sr. Nationals and placed second overall. Derrick also had two swimmers on the Fina World Championship team, Richard Funk in the 100 breaststroke, and Ashton Bauman swimming the 200 breaststroke.

Breaststroke Tips

One of the most important elements to swimming fast and efficient breaststroke is learning how to find a perfect streamline position on every stroke. Getting into the best streamline possible will minimize resistance and maximize the glide forward on every stroke. Here is my progression on teaching swimmers how to find this position on every stroke:

  • Practice under water breaststroke kick while holding a streamline. This will allow the swimmer to feel their kick and also feel how important it is to streamline well in order to make 25 metres efficiently!
  • Three kick – one pull drill. Same as streamline kick, only adding in one pull for every 3 kicks. On the pull, practice getting the head down into position in time with the hands moving forward to minimize any head resistance.
  • Two kick – one pull drill. Same, now only two kicks. Again, focus on maximizing the streamline and glide phase of the stroke.
  • Swim. Count your strokes. Maximizing glide and minimizing resistance.  

You may want to try going 8x50 @ 1:10 (or suitable interval) as 2 of each above. Make sure you get enough rest to really focus on each 50.

 

Team Aquatic Supplies

 

Goggle Maintenance

To help your goggles last longer, don’t loan them to others and don’t rest them on your forehead because over time this can change the shape of the silicone seal. Don't pull the goggles down around your neck, take them off if you are not wearing them. After swimming, rinse your goggles in water and hang them over a doorknob to dry (straps hanging down). We recommend you rinse your goggles in water with hand soap to keep the inside of the lenses clean and store your goggles in a goggles case to prevent the lenses from getting scratched in your swim bag.

All goggle lenses have an anti-fog coating on the inside. Rubbing the inside of the goggles removes this coating and the goggles may begin to fog. If this has started to happen, take a look at our aftermarket anti-fog coating.  Spitting inside the lenses is also a well-known trick that works and it has to be done before each swim.

Choosing the Right Swimsuit for You:

Swimwear is available in many blends of materials.

Polyester is a material that is most resistant to affects of chlorine A polyester suit is best for those who swim two or more times a week. Training suits are often 100% polyester.

Proper care should still be taken with a polyester suit, rinsing it after each use, hanging it to dry, not putting it in the washer or dryer.

Lycra is a thinner fabric that is more delicate and less resistant to the affects of chlorine than polyester. A Lycra suit may be best for those who don’t swim on a regular basis or for competitive swimmers that are looking for a very basic racing suit. Lycra-based suits are often great for young swimmers starting out in competitive swimming. It is important to keep in mind that a Lycra suit is more stretchy and lighter than a polyester suit, which means that most people fit a size smaller than a polyester suit and it might feel more comfortable to wear.

In some cases swimsuits are a blend of polyester and PBT (a texturized polyester with a natural stretch) that gives the suit excellent resistance to the harmful effects of chlorine and makes them resistant to fading. If you are swimming many hours a week, this is most likely the suit for you.

Note: Swimwear that contains polyester will hold up longest when exposed regularly to chlorinated water.

Taking Care of Your Swimwear:

Every swimsuit has specific washing instructions on the tags or packaging. General recommendations include:

  • Hand wash with swimwear detergent
  • Always avoid using chlorine based detergents or spot removers
  • Never put your swim wear in the washer or dryer
  • Hang to dry (for female suits hang by the bottom to prevent the straps from stretching out)
  • Avoid wringing, wrapping in wet towels or storing wet in a bag

Note: Wearing your swimsuit in hot tubs or pools will expose it to chlorine and other chemicals in the water and in some case may cause fading, wear and loss of elasticity. Light colours may become transparent under these conditions. This is normal wear and tear and not a manufacturer’s defect.

Choosing the Right Racing Suit for you:

Based on our 40 plus years of experiences as a team of swimmers, former swimmers, coaches, Lifeguards and provincial, national and world champions, here are our suggested racing suit guidelines.

If you are an entry-level swimmer, attending your first few swim meets, consider a Lycra suit or a Speedo Aquablade, Speedo Power-plus, Arena ST, TYR Fusion.

If you are a mid level swimmer with some experience racing, are maybe attending provincials, or you are close to national standard, consider a Speedo LZR Pro, Arena XP, TYR Tracer B, Blue 70 – Nero TX.

If you are attending senior or age group nationals or swimming at an international level (this is the highest level for racing suits), consider Speedo LZR Elite, Arena Carbon Pro, TYR AP12, Blue 70 – Nero XII.

Sizing is also extremely important with racing suits! Racing suits are supposed to be worn tight, very tight! Getting into the racing suits should take a good amount of time and for girls having someone else help you is very common. The following video may provide you with additional help.