Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swim Clinic @ Augie - Class Sunday and Reflections from Last Session With Torture Device

img_8765_0001Another great swim class at Augustana College this Sunday at 11:00 is slated to help triathletes get better and more efficient in the water. I have attended these clinics for a several months now and I can only give credit to Coach Zapolski and Christensen for helping me chip away minutes and seconds on my swim times. These two ladies do a great job identifying key things to work on. Each session we review old drills and technique issues, work on new drills, and receive immediate feedback on what we are doing well and not so well with.

I greatly appreciate these sessions because I don't know how to identify problems in my swim stroke. The price of $30 a month to learn about what I am doing wrong is cheap and well worth every dollar because it gives me guidance each month. This month I have really focused on my kick and working on kicking from my hips. I also need to roll more and not just barrel through the water.

We do laugh and have a good time at the class!
For example, the last session I kept kicking at my knees. I know I should kick from my hips, but I just was not feeling myself kick at my knees. I know I do this when I am tired and through some of the drills I must have done just that because Coach Christensen was ready to unveil her latest coaching strategy.

I recently graduated from the first torture device - the dreaded foam roller - that you have to hold out in front of you and reach and grab to work on entering the water correctly. Since my bonding moment with the foam roller it has made its introduction to many of the new members of the group. As much as I did not want to use the foam roller I understood how important it was in the application. It is the things like this that make this class beneficial. It really helped me figure my stroke out.

I thought I was free from torture. I will gladly take my foam roller buddy after meeting the newest device.

This device is simply a rope made from duct tape. You put it around your legs at the bottom by your feet and are then forced to kick. Yes, this bundle of joy was a true test. I felt like I was going through a Navy Seal boot camp. I could not kick for the life of me, but what I did not do was kick at my knees. Just when I thought Tara had nothing left in her bag of tricks she brought out this bad boy.

Duct tape - triathlon swim torture device materialI share all this with a sense of humor and sarcasm. Check out the photos from one of our swim sessions(see photos at the bottom). You will see the coaches teaching. We stop and analyze and talk about what they are seeing. We have fun and we are all there for the same reason and that is to get better. I greatly appreciate hearing all I do wrong because without them telling me it would go unnoticed.Being a coach myself it helps to be on the other side.

The group has grown in size. It continues to get bigger and that is a sign that they are doing something right. Jeff Paul, professional triathlete, attends each session and he recently announced that one of his sponsors is going to raffle a wetsuit off for those who attend. Check out his blog to learn more about the raffle and also the amazing training of Jeff.

Lots of individual instruction
In the meantime I encourage anyone who is working towards making themselves better to be proactive and seek coaching advice from time to time. I just started swimming in December and without these coaches and advice from others I would still be struggling miserably in the water. I have come a long ways and much credit goes to the coaches. Even if you don't attend this particular clinic it is important to seek guidance from those who know what they are talking about.

img_8785_0018You will also notice in the pictures that Coach Zapolski is wearing some Live Uncommon Gear. Be sure to check out what is going on with Live Uncommon and the REVOLUTION. Feel free to sign up and be part of the great things going on this year. You can join the race team and compete in 7 events for a very cheap price. The trade off is that you raise $700 to help raise money for the charities and all the good that Live Uncommon does. If you don't wish to join the REVOLUTION and you want to donate feel free to click on my donation tab over in the sidebar. Every dollar helps so even if you can only donate a buck it is better than nothing at all. You can help to Live Uncommon and help me achieve my mantra of GETTING IT DONE! by helping me reach my $700 goal. I have a long way to go.

Hope to see some new faces Sunday!

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