On Sunday the 22 January 2012 Sliabh Beagh swimmers travelled to the National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin to compete in the Leinster Graded and Open Gala. Over 1,100 swimmers took part in this event. Sliabh Beagh swimmers excelled in their events.
Times tumbled and performances generally were inspirational. Everybody gave their best and tried to attend to technique points while going fast. This is not easy and takes time and a lot of focused practice. However as the first swimmers in the pool delivered great performances, it raised the standard of the later entrants and crucially gave everyone a great boost of confidence.
Areas that need attention are underwater action in Breaststroke and for some Breaststroke leg action (screw kicking), Butterfly arm recovery, turn and push off speed and the fitness to complete a race at full pace applying great technique. These are all areas that will be addressed in future training sessions.
Of course as swimming is a highly ‘feel’ oriented sport and requires the swimmer to have a high self awareness (proprioception) of their body position you can never relax and think you have it nailed down. Why? Most of you are growing and as you grow your body shape, limb pattern and muscle structure and energy level keep changing. Consequently you need to constantly monitor and adapt what you are doing to meet the needs of the new body that is evolving. For the older swimmer, who has passed through this phase of development, constantly modifying your technical expertise in order to improve performance is challenging, because as we all know, it is hard to change. The muscle memory has developed certain patterns and to achieve change requires a huge consistent cognitive effort to achieve change. This is the challenge for all swimmers and coaches and patience and persistence is critical.
For all, effective application of force throughout each stroke continues to be the ‘holy grail.’
Girls 200m IM