By invitation, I spent 2 hours in the pool last night observing my Turkish swim coach friends 15 swimmers, all around 9-12 yrs old. While all were working just as hard, stroking away madly, the most remarkable difference between the best swimmers in the lane and the worst was how straight and long they kept their spine. A few of the boys, in their eagerness to get a big stroke were contorting their spine like a gecko climbing the wall and going so slow because of it. The girl at the front was stroking with less power but clearly the leader- she had a rotation and reach that was pivoting along this nice, straight spine so that all her modest power was transferred effectively through her body and into the cutting of the water in front of her, like a sea kayak. She seemed more relaxed than any of the others because of it.

This ‘kayak’ alignment and motion was beautiful, and fast, and thankfully it is a learnable skill that any of us ‘common’ swimmers can master.

And you can follow my discussion about it on the TI forum with swimmer who is a ‘sinker’ like me…

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