Rock, Paper, Scissors
Off the Blocks
June 10, 2014
Remember how I promised a nail biter? A heart breaker? Well, we got it.
We could jab fingers all over the place, we could scream about the DQ’s, the Relays, but we won’t because we are the sum of all our numbers. We win as a team, we lose as a team. But I will say, I’ve never seen a ref as fond of Scissor Kicking DQ’s as I have last night. Every ref has their favorite infraction after all … ask me about Abby’s meet last weekend at Dynamo.
But, over all? We. Were. Awesome. The swimming was great, the attitudes even better. One thing though with regard to sportsmanship, and I had this very discussion in my house last night when we got home. All swimmers should remain in the pool until everyone is done. Touch the wall and wait. Say, “Great swim!” “Well done!” “Good job!” or don’t say anything, but stay in the water until everyone finishes. Then, and only then, get out. No one wants to finish last to an empty pool.
But there are things we need to learn. Well, not learn perhaps because our coaches have done a great job … perfect. That’s the word I’m looking for.
From a technical perspective looking at the DQ slips last night as I did, the first 20 (I exaggerate … well, maybe I exaggerate, there were a lot after all!) were for scissor kicking in the breast stroke, both the medley relay and the individual events. Scissor kicking happens when, especially in breast stroke, the hips are not level, even. We talk a lot to you about how both your hands need to touch the wall at the same time, on a level, even plane. One hand cannot be higher than the other. Hips and shoulders are very similar. If one hip has dropped down or forward, your whip kick (picture a frog kick here, knees bent, feet flexed) will not be even. One leg is lower than the other and therefore not on the same level plane. The legs come together on top of one another resulting in a SCISSOR action.
DQ. Automatic, illegal kick.
Ask me anytime what the most difficult stroke is, I will answer … Breaststroke. So many moving parts. Nothing happens concurrent, everything happens in sequence. Sort of like riding a bike, and just like riding a bike, once you get it, you get it, but you have to practice the little things. Head and eyes down. Hips square and level. Reach and glide. Kick into your glide. Fast hands. Good catch. Knees and ankles touching. Its a lot to think about, and that’s what makes it so hard. Buy into the glide concept and life will be much easier, I promise. Keep your head down and still with no bobble head and you’ve conserved your energy considerably. Ask anyone who swims the 200 breast. It’s seriously hard, but these concepts and practices will be your rock.
Fly, although requiring a lot of strength and a strong kick, is relatively simple. One kick, one pull. Kick at the top of the pull, and kick at the bottom. Arms, move together, legs move together. Straightforward and uncomplicated. Is it hard to do? Of course, because it requires strength from the core. Full-out, muscle strength that comes from constant practice.
It takes hard work. Strong discipline. Willingness to do the little, little things over and over. Loyalty to the sport. Loyalty to yourself and the belief that you can push through the pain and the frustration. Remember when I said that a good swimmer is a smart swimmer? A good swimmer is also a swimmer who can put aside everything for the forty-five minutes, the hour, the two hours they have to spend in the water to focus on nothing but themselves and the little things, leaving everything else behind at the gate.
No one ever said swimming was easy, after all.