Swimming World Presents “Swimming Technique Concepts: Trust In Science!” By Rod Havriluk

SW September 2020 - Swimming Technique Concepts - Trust In Science
A diver in layout (top) and tuck (bottom) positions.

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Swimming Technique Concepts: Trust In Swimming Science!

By Rod Havriluk

Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

Distrust in science predates competitive swimming by many centuries. More recently, a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center shows that only 35% of respondents have “a great deal” of confidence in scientists (Funk, Johnson, & Hefferon, 2019). Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

In swimming, there are numerous technique examples that show science has not been fully embraced. The most obvious example of distrust in science (or, conversely, trust in conventional wisdom) is the prevalence of catch-up freestyle. With more than 20 years of research that consistently shows that an arm coordination with a positive index of coordination is necessary for fast swimming, catch-up stroke (which has a negative index of coordination) is still the most popular—and decidedly counterproductive—drill.

Biomechanics research warrants trust because it is usually conducted by a credentialed expert. In addition, biomechanics applies established mechanical principles to biological systems. The mechanical principles are laws, not theories, and are irrefutable. Typically, a theory has been supported by research and is accepted as true until proven otherwise. A law is “always true” (Filmer, 2013).

For example, three concepts of Sir Isaac Newton are known as Newton’s Laws. Conservation of angular momentum is derived from Newton’s Second Law and can be applied to an airborne diver. When a diver leaves the diving board, his/her angular momentum is a fixed value—calculated as the product of the angular velocity and the radius of rotation (the distance from the center of mass of the body to the center of mass) of each body segment. Since angular momentum must be conserved, that value is constant until acted on by another force, like the resistance of the surface of the water.

If the diver tucks to somersault, angular velocity increases because the radius of rotation for the body segments decreases. The radius of rotation of the left foot is shown as an example. If the body straightens to a layout position, the angular velocity decreases because the radius of rotation increases. The law applies to every diver on every dive without exception.

Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sport scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His unique data-based strategies provide rapid improvement while avoiding injury. Learn more at the STR website, swimmingtechnology.com, or 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.

To access the complete article on how biomechanics is used in swimming,
Check out the full article in September’s issue, available now!

SW September 2020 Cover - Matt Grevers - Age is Just a Number[PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR NATIONS]

 

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Swimming World Magazine September 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
by Dan D’Addona
Indiana’s Carmel High School has won the girls’ state swimming and diving championships for 34 straight years, a feat unequaled by any other high school—not only in swimming, but in any other sport.

012 BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
In Swimming World’s first mythical national high school championships to determine the best teams of the last decade, Carmel High School of Indiana won both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

013 GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

015 BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

017 PREP POWER
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first began recognizing the top high school teams in the country in 1971, The Bolles School of Jacksonville, Fla., has won 18 national prep school titles—10 boys’, eight girls’. The Bulldogs have also captured 12 combined championships (public and independent schools), with both teams finishing No. 1 six times.

020 THE GOLDEN YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
by David Rieder
Public schools Santa Clara and Mission Viejo built high school swimming dynasties from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Not only did they dominate high school swimming, but unlike today, they also produced many of the swimmers from that era who competed in the Olympics.

026 STILL CHASING EXCELLENCE
by John Lohn
Matt Grevers does not need to achieve anything more to stamp himself as an all-time great. But even at 35, there is a desire to accomplish more, and there is no reason to doubt Grevers can come through.

029 SUMMER OF SPEED
by John Lohn
Politics interfered at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, preventing South Africa’s Jonty Skinner from competing head-to-head against the USA’s Jim Montgomery in the men’s 100 freestyle. But that summer, they became the first two swimmers to break the 50-second barrier in the event, with Montgomery clocking 49.99 at Montreal, followed by Skinner with a 49.44 at the AAU National Championships three weeks later.

032 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 3): GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
The theme of this series of articles has been that sprinters are different from other swimmers—athletes who have historically been considered troublemakers by the establishment, but who have been great for the sport. This month’s featured sprinter is Gary Hall Jr.—one of the greatest in Olympic history…but, perhaps, one of the most maligned and misunderstood.

COACHING

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TRUST IN SCIENCE
by Rod Havriluk
Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

040 SPECIAL SETS: BACK TO BASICS
by Michael J. Stott
While college swimming as we know it faces a roadmap unlike any in recent memory, Coach Eric Skelly of the University of the Cumberlands, Ky. is treating the return to campus and formal practice as business as usual.

043 Q&A WITH COACH SION BRINN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN TAYLA LOVEMORE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

036 DRYSIDE TRAINING: MORE CORE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: GABI BRITO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

023 DID YOU KNOW? JIM CROW

037 THE OFFICIAL WORD

042 MOMS AT MEETS

047 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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