As a sport, swimming provides some fairly unique challenges with regards to improvement for its athletes. From the commute required to get to most pools to train, to the “lack of communication/interaction” while you’re face is in the water swimming, to finally the limited feedback signals (almost exclusively kinesthetic awareness) from your body while performing specific movements, one may wonder what the draw is to swimming?!? However, the commitment, hard work, and patience that goes into training makes the process extremely rewarding, and a worthwhile experience.
As technology has evolved, so have some solutions to training aides and methods. Specifically, underwater video analysis is a great tool that provides swimmers with visual feedback (to go along with kinesthetic feedback and feel), helping to add another dimension when making technical changes and advancements.
Here at Excel Aquatics, we enjoy adding a bit of video work in with our triathletes through our clinics and technical practices. All you really need is a waterproof camera (we use different model GoPros, all have worked well), painting equipment (pole, brush extender), and camera adapter to connect the camera to the pole. From there, find a friend/teammate/coach, and ask them to get some footage of you swimming!
The angles that we find most helpful are side views (right and left), front view, and an above view. Each angle will help provide different insight to your technical strengths and weaknesses. We prefer to use side views to help pinpoint body/head positioning, catch/pull angles, hand entry, as well as the effectiveness of the kick. Front views can once again help a swimmer analyze their head positioning, as well as the width of their hand/arm positioning, and depth of their catch. The above view (aka coach’s view) helps a swimmer see the timing of the different parts that make up their stroke, and how they fit together.
For swimmers of any age, we highly recommend giving this a try, and advancing your swimming knowledge along the way!