Swimming World Magazine Presents “Technique Misconceptions: Video”

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Technique Misconceptions: Video

Many people believe that it is worth copying the technique of the fastest swimmers. In reality, even the fastest swimmers have technique limitations, but they offset them with strength and conditioning. The purpose of this series of articles is to address scientifically the technique misconceptions that have become “conventional wisdom,” and to present options that are more effective.

Video has become a pervasive technology in our general culture—and swimming is certainly not an exception. Above-surface video is easy to capture by anyone with a camera or smartphone. Underwater video is not as common, but the technique of many swimmers is analyzed below the surface at some point in their career.

The main problem with a video analysis (whether filmed from above or below the surface) is that it is usually qualitative, and, therefore, any analysis is based on the opinion of the analyst regarding what is effective and ineffective.

Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sports scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His unique strategies provide rapid improvement while avoiding injury. Learn more at the STR website, or contact Rod through info@swimmingtechnology.com.

To read more about the misconceptions on videos, check out the March issue, available now!

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[PHOTO BY MATT RUBEL OF RUBEL PHOTOGRAPHY]

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Take a video tour of the current issue of Swimming World Magazine…

FEATURES
014 AMERICAN SWIMMING TEAM (Part IV): PRESENT—THE CORE AND BASE OF THE TEAM
by Chuck Warner
In this fourth of a six-part series on the American Swimming Team, Swimming World addresses the questions: Where do American world-ranked swimmers come from? Which LSCs are most successful at developing them? And why?

016 TEXAS—NOBODY BETTER
by Dan D’Addona
After dominating the last two NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, the University of Texas is poised for a three-peat…and they have the talent to win big again!

020 STANFORD—THE PROHIBITIVE FAVORITE
by Dan D’Addona
Not even a relay disqualification—which hurt Stanford’s chances of winning last year’s NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships—can prevent the Cardinal from taking the title at this year’s meet.

024 FAMILIAR FAVORITES
by James Sica, Diana Pimer and David Rieder
At the start of every season, there’s always hope for a new team to make its way to the top. But in NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA swimming circles, the top teams just have a way of continuing their winning traditions.

028 OLYMPIC-SIZED DREAMS COME TRUE
by Annie Grevers
Twenty-one-year-old Rio rookie Ryan Murphy navigated the Olympic waters last summer like a seasoned sailor and produced golden results, winning three gold medals and setting a world record in the 100 meter backstroke.

COACHING
009 SPECIAL SETS: TAPER TIPS
by Michael J. Stott
University of Georgia associate head coach Harvey Humphries along with Stanford women’s head coach Greg Meehan and associate head coach Tracy Slusser talk taper

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: MIKE PEPPE
by Michael J. Stott

012 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE MISCONCEPTIONS: VIDEO
by Rod Havriluk
Two common misconceptions are that video is an appropriate technology to evaluate the technique of competitive swimmers…and that the video of a champion provides an appropriate model for effective technique. In reality, video does not provide the quantitative data necessary to evaluate technique accurately and unequivocally.

032 RESISTANCE TRAINING: DRAGSOX, PARACHUTES AND OTHER TOOLS
by Michael J. Stott
This is the third and final article of a multipart series on resistance training and how coaches are using it to make their athletes stronger and faster in the water.

043 Q&A WITH COACH BILL WADLEY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN MATT McHUGH
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING
027 DRYSIDE TRAINING: THE IM DRYLAND WORKOUT
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER
047 UP & COMERS
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS
008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
034 2017 SWIM CAMP DIRECTORY
048 GUTTER TALK
050 PARTING SHOT

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. David Cameron

    That’s a very strange post.
    “The main problem with a video analysis (whether filmed from above or below the surface) is that it is usually qualitative, and, therefore, any analysis is based on the opinion of the analyst regarding what is effective and ineffective.”

    Would you make the same argument about coaching?

    Even if there is a single, perfect, form of technique, or if there are many optimal technical elements, they’re useless unless the one offering analysis can connect a portrayal of how to get those improvements to the athlete, and train them to self- coach for technique improvement. Video offers quick feedback right in the middle of practice, and a connection with the coach that shows athletes that their needs for improvement are being attended to.

    • avatar

      David,

      Thanks for your comment.

      For the past two decades, technology that enhances video with quantitative data has been available. Without the data, there are just too many possibilities for an inaccurate evaluation.

      For example, a certain arm position may look “normal” or even like that of top swimmers. However, a quantitative analysis might show that the swimmer is actually losing force because the elbow is not bending fast enough, the hand speed is decreasing, and/or the “normal” position (consistent with conventional wisdom) is just not optimal.

      The science of swimming – as with many sports today – has progressed beyond where video alone is sufficient technology for an accurate evaluation of competitive athletes. (The popular movie, Moneyball, describes how science changed baseball. There are numerous examples – without the movie – in almost every sport.)

      As for your question about coaching, I hope you will agree that the more precise information a coach has, the more effective his or her coaching will be. I am not saying that video is not valuable; it is just not enough. Science and technology can provide additional tools for coaches to be even more successful.

Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Circulation and Operations Manager at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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