I have moved to the Sunshine Coast

Earlier this year I moved to Sunrise Beach, near Noosa. I’ve been coming here on family holidays for some 30 years, [as well as for business when I was with Ansett ’88 to ’91,]. It’s a rewarding lifestyle and now I don’t need to go on holidays anymore!!!

Swim Clinics.

I’m therefore running my Swim Easy Clinics regularly in southeast Queensland. So far I’ve been supplying demand and look forward to announcing fixed times and venues in the near future. Meanwhile email me or call/sms me direct on 0407 560 568. Starting off in a new region, I can conduct clinics for less or more than 8 swimmers and do a special deal regarding fees. I may need you to line up the venue. So get your group or team together and contact me!

Springtime = Technique time.

If your technique is not as good as it could be, you are practicing mistakes every time you work out. So your inefficiency will be reinforced. This is the time to establish good technique because it takes time to “rewire’ your style. After all, you’ve been doing what you’re doing for a long time now, and any change can feel awkward at first but the rewards are great! As my old company L’Oreal has been saying since the ’70’s “Youre worth it!

Watch the big swim meets on TV.

Regarding technique, there is absolutely no difference in our objectives and those of the great champions! Why? Because they and their coaches strive for efficiency, i.e. saving wasted energy from inefficient actions, and applying it to speed.

Nicole Stephenson’s technical commentary at the recent Pan Pacs was great. She spoke about ‘white water’ which means creating splash above the surface and bubbles below. The winners had little white water compared to the also ran’s. It’s simple. Creating splash and bubbles requires energy. That’s why submarines go faster than surface ships with the same power. [Think Thorpedo!] I love walking into the water rather than running in at ocean swim starts. I’m the ‘old bull’, if you’ve heard the joke, unlike the excited young bull. I see clouds of bubbles, each containing a bit of wasted energy, and I think “I’m going to pass those swimmers later.” And mostly I do! 

How do you get speed? The two most important things have nothing to do with Thorpie’s feet, he went 8% slower with a pullbuoy! These are;

1. Streamlining: watch those swimmers with such a straight axis from the crown of their head to between their feet. This axis is parallel to the surface in freestyle and backstroke.  NO AQUAPLANING upwards, you’re not a water-skier with a powerful engine up front! I once asked Libby’s coach whether there was aquaplaning when she set the 50m world record, he said ” a little bit but it’s unintended, it’s the shape of her body.” By the way Libby has size 7 feet, as does Natalie Coughlin!

2. Your grip on the water. This is the ‘rubber on the road’. Too much power, like NRL players I have had in my clinics, and you get ‘wheelspin’, too little and you go slower. The best analogy is the ‘underwater ladder’ which is just at your pulling depth. You latch on to it ahead of your head and you propel yourself forward with a ‘feel’ of your grip on the water which is developed from practice. By the way, Thorpie grabs one or two rungs further forward as do the current champions, male or female.

So don’t rush in the springtime, get your basic technical principles installed. Develop awareness about how your skin feels in relationship with the water. Are you feeling water pressure on your chest? This means you’re aquaplaning. Are there lots of bubbles coming off your hands after entering the water in front? You’re not bending your arms in the air [i.e. your arm is crashing down] or you are reaching too far forward in the air before your hand enters after the elbow [i.e. aquaplaning with your forward arm]. Check out your entry by looking forward underwater, then relax your neck, which means looking downwards. Read your body! Feel your affinity with the water!

Happy swimming!   John