Author Topic: Sheila Taormina and swimming  (Read 2356 times)

pdxmike

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Sheila Taormina and swimming
« on: January 19, 2011, 07:31:17 PM »
I attended a swimming clinic and talk last Sunday by Sheila Taormina.  If she's ever offering a clinic in your area, I highly recommend going, even if you're not a swimmer.

She is a four-time Olympian--in three different sports!:  first swimming (800 freestyle relay gold medalist), then twice in the triathlon, and lastly in the pentathlon.  For the last, she had to learn three entirely new disciplines (fencing, shooting and horsemanship) in a short time, and well enough to perform each at a world-class level.

She also didn't qualify for the Olympics until her third try at age 27, in an era when women swimmers typically retired by age 20 or so.  She did it by training with a kids' team because other teams and coaches wouldn't take her.  

She also is 5'-2", the shortest woman to win a swimming gold medal since the 1920s.

Other than some great technique advice, what I got from her is more confirmation that technique is all-important (how else can a 5'-2" woman swim 200 meters in two minutes flat?) and proof that success doesn't require superhuman abilities, just focus and diligence in making constant small improvements in whatever you're pursuing.

She has a new book out, "Call the Suit" that shows the swimming technique advice well.  The most notable thing to me was how the great swimmers have done some things very similarly over the years, but the science of swimming has lagged, so that people have misinterpreted what they were doing, and why it mattered. 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:37:02 PM by pdxmike »

SEA

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Re: Sheila Taormina and swimming
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 01:56:03 PM »
Technique is key  to becoming more efficient and thus becoming better at iyour chosen sport .

It takes years to build powerful muscles and a while to drop weight. However when you change and apply proper  technique , you will see instant results and as in paddling , your speed WILL increase !!


pdxmike

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Re: Sheila Taormina and swimming
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 02:23:07 PM »
SEA--that is really true about technique.  I got instantly faster (slightly) from that clinic.  I'll gain more speed as my muscles adjust to my new, altered stroke.  Most people have quite a bit of room for technique improvement in any sport, and it's a lot easier to improve by a few percentage points through technique than it is by trying to improve conditioning!


ehrawn

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Re: Sheila Taormina and swimming
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 02:31:20 PM »
I never swam competitively and didn’t really spend too much time in a pool before college. I was a lightweight oarsman and would swim to cross train: break up the monotony of winter erg workouts and get extra cardio in. Many of my teammates were former high school swimmers and taught me some technique, but for the most part, I was an “endurance overcomes poor form” swimmer. It wasn’t until many years later that I started working with a former UH coach in a masters swim program that I really learned about proper technique.  We did some videotaping and I was shocked at how poorly I was swimming.  I saw 100 m splits drop by 30 sec in the first few weeks with a few tweaks. Water is so much denser than water. Movement through it is remarkably different than air. Any form problems are dramatically amplified.

 


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