Swimming World November 2021 Presents – Swimming Technique Concepts: Distrust in Swimming Science Is Not a Mystery

Swimming World November 2021 - Swimming Technique Concepts - Distrust in Swimming Science Is Not a Mystery

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Swimming Technique Concepts: Distrust in Swimming Science Is Not a Mystery

By Rod Havriluk

The fact that general scientific information is routinely ignored provides some perspective about the difficulty in applying science to the sport of swimming. While a single technique element cannot guarantee success, American Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic victory suggests that using science can provide a competitive advantage.

Selecting swimming technique elements by relying on conventional wisdom rather than scientific fact is unfortunate, but not a mystery. Many people distrust science on existential issues, much less sport issues. The response of Americans to climate change and COVID vaccination are two contemporary and critical examples of distrust in science. Possibly, a recent Olympic success can help persuade the swimming community to trust science.

BELIEF IN CLIMATE CHANGE
A recent survey found that only 70% of Americans believe that “climate change is happening” (Leiserowitz, et al., 2021). This finding is surprising, given the convincing data on global temperature over the last 140 years (NASA, 2021). The graph in Fig. 1 shows that relative to the average temperature for 1951 to 1980, there has been a steady increase in temperature for the past 50 years.

RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC
Similar to the controversy surrounding climate change, many Americans deny the scientific data supporting vaccines and their near-worldwide success with preventing COVID-19. Currently, 75% of American adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine (Smith-Schoenwalder, 2021). When verified scientific strategies to deal with a virus responsible for so many deaths are not trusted and not used by a substantial proportion of the population, it is hardly a mystery that scientific strategies to help swimmers swim faster are often ignored.

MINIMAL USE OF SCIENCE IN SWIMMING
Unfortunately for swimming, distrust in science limits swimmer performance. There are numerous scientific findings that can help swimmers go faster—although they are seldom used. For example, the measurement of any one of three variables provides information about technique that can improve every swimmer’s performance:
• Intracycle body velocity
• Hand force
• Index of coordination

One of the preceding factors (intracycle body velocity) presents a strong argument for a scientific as opposed to conventional approach to breaststroke breathing. This was illustrated by the recent Olympic success of American Lydia Jacoby using a technique that is less conventional, but more scientifically effective.

To read more about swimming science and how Lydia Jacoby’s technique is supported by research,
Click here to download the full November issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

 

Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sport scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His newest ebooks in the “Approaching Perfect Swimming” series are “Optimal Stroke Technique” and “Swimming Without Pain,” and are available at swimmingtechnology.com. Contact Rod through info@swimmingtechnology.com. All scientific documentation relating to this article, including scientific principles, studies and research papers, can be provided upon demand.

 

Swimming World November 2021 - Ana Marcela Cunha - Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year - COVER [PHOTO BY KAREEM ELGAZZAR / USA TODAY SPORTS]

 

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FEATURES

012 2021 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona and David Rieder
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock both captured Olympic gold in Tokyo and repeated as the world’s elite open water swimmers in both 2019 and 2021.

014 2021 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS
by Dan D’Addona
Although the Tokyo Olympic Games commanded the spotlight in 2021, there were many other open water highlights throughout the year.

018 ISHOF FEATURE: AQUATOTS MURDER CASE—THE KATHY TONGAY STORY (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
This is the second of a three-part story about “The Aquatots Murder Case” that first appeared in the October issue of Swimming World. It is about Kathy Tongay, a little girl whose father, Russell, had been training her almost from birth to be an expert diver and swimmer. When she died at the age of 5, her father was arrested for murdering his daughter.

022 PERHAPS OVERLOOKED…BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
by John Lohn
As we creep closer to signing off on this Olympic year, Swimming World offers a look at six athletes—all members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame—who hold a special place in history, even if they are not always at the forefront of the mind.

025 CONTINUING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
by David Rieder
Anthony Nesty’s accomplishments as a swimmer in the late 1980s and ’90s made him a national icon. But decades after that, he is still making a huge impact on the sport from a different vantage point—as a coach.

028 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH DAVID CURTISS
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

030 NUTRITION: THE IMPORTANCE OF IRON—LOW MEANS SLOW!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Iron is a mineral that directly impacts performance.

COACHING

016 COACHING IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
In the first of two articles, Swimming World explores how coaches and administrators coped with the recent unpleasantness of COVID-19.

036 SPECIAL SETS: AUDREY DERIVAUX—KILLER QUEEN
by Michael J. Stott
Young Audrey Derivaux of Jersey Wahoos has turned in comparable times to the 11-12 age group superstars who have excelled before her.

040 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DISTRUST IN SWIMMING SCIENCE IS NOT A MYSTERY
by Rod Havriluk
The fact that general scientific information is routinely ignored provides some perspective about the difficulty in applying science to the sport of swimming. While a single technique element cannot guarantee success, American Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic victory suggests that using science can provide a competitive advantage.

042 SPECIAL SETS: DANIEL DIEHL—DEFINITELY DRIVEN
by Michael J. Stott
Daniel Diehl, 15, of the Cumberland YMCA Sea Otters is Maryland’s—and the nation’s—top-ranked male swimmer in the Class of 2024. In recent months, he has either broken or knocked on the door of several national age group records. In October, as the youngest male on the U.S. National Junior Team, he notched seven top 10 individual finishes at the FINA World Cup meets in Germany and Hungary.

044 Q&A WITH SWIM IRELAND’S NATIONAL PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR JON RUDD
by Michael J. Stott

045 HOW THEY TRAIN IRISH OLYMPIAN DARRAGH GREENE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

039 DRYSIDE TRAINING: BACK TO BASICS (Part 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 | UP & COMERS: AVA BUHRMAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

007 THE OFFICIAL WORD

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT “DO YOU KNOW THAT….”?

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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