Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From Swimming World: "...ATLANTA, Georgia, September 30. BUCKING the trend by most of swimming's governing bodies to accept the new high-tech swim suits, the board of directors of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) voted to oppose the NCAA's recent decision not to extend the moratorium it had imposed on the use of these suits in collegiate competition. ..." [Link]
Sheesh! If the CSCAA got their way, why should a company like TYR or Speedo make a swim speedsuit if only a finite crowd is allowed to buy one? Why would a manufacturer bother if only masters swimmers and those elite swimmers who are over 12-years-of-age, are not and in college, and are at the elite level in an international competition are the only people allowed to wear one?
Monday, September 29, 2008
"We're in a position where we want to grow participation in our sport," Hogan said. "We don't need to have false barriers to participation. The cost of those high-tech swim suits, for a young swimmer, doesn't really make sense." [Link]
Here is a poster produced by SCAQ minions so as to assist USA Swimming's in educating parents about to perils of "tech-dope."
Click graphic to enlarge.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
From ArchDaily comes a writeup about a trippy pool and "pool-house." Good luck with this sentence description though, I suspect it's a computerized translation: "... The “House Place Jordan “contains structural interferences in an existing garden plant of a single family house in Klagenfurt - Viktring (Kärnten/Austria). ..." Follow the link for more photos and writeup: [Link]
Originally found on NotCot
Oh, and my start dive is better than his!
"We're in a position where we want to grow participation in our sport," Hogan said. "We don't need to have false barriers to participation. The cost of those high-tech swim suits, for a young swimmer, doesn't really make sense."
Added Hogan: "We've helped protect and create a level playing field in 12-and-under competition where truly the type of suit you wear doesn't make a difference. ..." [Link]
In my opinion the first paragraph doesn't wash; the one where he says, "...deter proper stroke development." You wear a speedsuit at a race not in practice because they are fragile. By then you should have a proper technique and know what how to swim.
The next paragraph translates to me as speedsuits don't make sense due to the high cost and negligible result. (Did I read that wrong?) However a sudden reversal takes place in the next paragraph whereas "tech-doping" becomes a very real concern and they have to level the playing field!
TYR, blueseventy, Arena, and I wish I could say Nike but they just threw up their hands and said, "we're so outta here!," are going to suffer as a result of this ban. USA Swimming wanted to ban speedsuits up to age of 18 but realized US Swimmers could lose in international events if not allowed to wear one! Well, is that an endorsement that suits are "tech-dope" or what?!
Consequently the aforementioned manufacturers just got their speedsuit incomes drastically cut; probably by more than 50%. The only manufacturer that can absorb that loss is Speedo, the one company that has exclusive deals; (PLURAL) with USAS! I so can't wait for that TYR lawsuit to go to trial!
Here is a statistic from: The SportsOneSource Group: "... Said Nike was a distant third in the $US200 million ($240.3m) performance swimwear marketplace - which encompasses consumer swim goods for exercise rather than leisure. Speedo holds roughly 60 per cent of the market share, TYR comes in second at 20 per cent and Nike is third at 13 per cent. ..." [Sydney Morning Herald Link]
Where is blueseventy or Arena on this food-chain? Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, once said of Netscape: "We're going to cut off their air supply." I see that happening here.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Jason Lezak relay leg of the 4x100 freestyle, TV interviews, and info regarding the 'Jason Lezak Olympic Celebration Dinner' on Oct. 7th!
This last leg of the 4x100 relay still overwhelms me.
Jim Rome conducts a classy interview for ESPN.
Conan O'Brien interviews Jason with a funny pun aimed at Phelps at the end.
On October at 7th, at Quinn's Old Town Grill in Tustin, CA, an Olympic Celebration for Jason Lezak is planned. (It's located in Orange County, California, or the OC as the TV show calls it.)
Those that attend will receive a personalized Olympic keepsake, they will receive a personalized photo with Jason and his Olympic medals. Also, if that is not enough, you will get to view Olympic highlights as narrated by Jason and most notably that 4x100 relay. Afterwards, a silent auction for an assortment of Olympic items and I am hearing rumors of the SPEEDSUIT that helped him get the gold is going up for auction!
But wait, there is more!
The end of the year is coming up and the $300 fee to attend will be tax deductible and best of all these proceeds will go towards helping Jason Lezak train and get to the London 2012 Olympics!
Like Dara Torres, Jason Lezak has been improving with age. He didn't get an individual medal in 2004 but he stormed it swimming the fastest relay leg in history in the 4x100 relay and then, after that fastest relay leg, Jason was able to garner a bronze medal in the 100 meter free. He has what it takes; be his "sponsor."
The event starts at 7:00 PM and concludes at 10:00 PM but if you can't be there, you can still help Jason raise the funds needed to train. You can make a nominal donation or whatever your budget can afford right here through CLUB ASSISTANT!: [Jason Leezak events and clinics]
(Note: You can choose the amount you want to donate on page two. I made a donation and it worked great; I got a confirmation email and the transaction was secure.)
In a previous post, I mentioned that Nike is leaving the swimwear market. Consequently all NIKE athletes athletes are looking for new sponsors. Jason Lezak was a Nike athlete.
Thanks to SwimStars and JasonLezak.org for posting these to YouTube.
Friday, September 26, 2008
From iReport: About "... 30 mi. SW of Sannibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico lurks an alien species of large jellyfish with crabs who ride shotgun.
Should we be concerned?? Probably not, unless you jump in on top of them. But divers should practice looking up when surfacing so not to be surprised wearing a big jelly bonnet and stinging ears! ..." [Link]
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Above is a painting by Ian Thorpe titled My Pain, My Gain, which will be auctioned off for a charitable cause called: Right to Play China. Here is a snippet from the article: "...My Pain, My Gain is estimated to fetch between $US7,700 ($9,230) and $US10,300 ($12,350) when it is offered to buyers at Sotheby's Sport in Art] auction on October 5. - [Preview catalog]
The acrylic on canvas measures two metres by four metre and shows Thorpe cutting through the water with tiny human figures all over him...." [Link]
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
'NIKE' pulls out of swimwear battle! - This is why the Speedo/USA Swimming monopoly accusations may be credible!
Sources told CNBC that, last week, officials with the world's largest shoe and apparel maker told college swim coaches who they have contracts with, that the company would no longer be developing the latest and greatest for championship swimmers. Those suits, for obvious reasons, are used by swimmers at the majority of top programs whose coaches have a Nike contract. ..." [Link]Nike is done with us and we came so close to having their marketing muscle popularize our sport! As a painful result, Nike swimmers are now unemployed and that includes Olympic hero, Jason Lezak, whose friends are going to hold a fund raiser for him so that he can continue to swim for us and represent the United States in the 2009 FINA World Championships of Swimming in Rome: [Link]
I am setting up a donation button for him soon thanks to Paul Carter and Club Assistant.
Rant: I predicted that the covert product placement by Speedo within the USA Swimming ranks could have some swimsuit manufacturers just quitting and leaving the speedsuit market altogether; I didn't think it would be Nike.
For instance: USA Swimming Olympic Team Coach, Mark Shubert, who is also an employee of Speedo, is categorically quoted in a TYR lawsuit brief on page 8 - Line 6, stating that the Speedo LZR would give a swimmer a "2% advantage" over any other suit. He provided no documentation to verify his claim and the next paragraph contains another gem: "I would strongly advise them to wear the [LZR] at trials or they may end up at home watching it on NBC. ..."
Here is the legal brief that TYR filed with all the quotes therein: [Link]
For USA Swimming to allow this statement to be made despite documented suit malfunctions, and no documentation to verify the "2% faster claim," they essentially told the global market that USA Swimming endorses only the Speedo LZR. (Also note that Speedo is the only suit manufacturer allowed to advertise with USA Swimming properties which include both their magazine and website.)
In my opinion the consequences are as follows: a bunch of NIKE swimmers just lost their jobs as a result of this covert product placement for the LZR and the ramifications may ripple.
So, has Speedo and USA Swimming poisoned the marketing waters for every other speedsuit manufacturer by getting a National Governing Body with the weight of the USA behind it to endorse the LZR? A jury will decide and Speedo better hope I don't get picked as a member of that jury.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Swim Coach Ahelee sent me this tidbit regarding the fundraiser: There will be an auction of various Olympic items, and one of the items is the LZR Racer suit that contributed to the 46.06 split during 4x100 free relay.
Click on the image to see a larger size.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I don't know if "penguin" will ever be doable but it is the struggle that makes you better don't you think?
You can click on the image to see a larger view.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I like Babelfish, the translations are so sketchy it is almost stream of consciousness!
If she needs a coach, and she was willing to work hard and enjoy complete anonymity, she should consider swimming at the University of Southern California in my hometown of Los Angeles!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Their next evolutionary step will be speedsuits. I kid you not; it comes from FOX News so it has to be true. Snippet: "...The ancestors of whales once strode on land on four legs, just as other mammals do. Over time, as they evolved to dwell in water, their front legs became flippers while they lost their back legs and hips.
But in 1958, a group of eight black residents banded together to create the Nile Swim Club. The trailblazing facility is now celebrating its 50th year even as USA Swimming, the sport's national governing body, tries to recruit more minorities and reduce their lopsided drowning rates. ..." [Link]
Only 2% of Americans of African ethnicity can swim. A study released in May found that 58-percent of black children could not swim safely, compared with 31 percent of whites. [Link]
USA Swimming is trying to address it but I think it comes down to which socio-economic group has the most backyard pools or access to a pool. Show me a house with a pool behind it and I will show you a house where in most cases the occupants can swim.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Eric Heiden: Five-time Olympic gold medalist in skating thinks it is easier for swimmers to win consecutive medals in the Olympics!
He has thoughts about Michael Phelps as well saying it's "apples to oranges" to compare his accomplishments to Phelps for Heiden's particular accomplishments embodied both sprints and distance. He pretty much surmises that it is easier for a swimmer to score more medals if they stay with in their genetic spectrum.
For instance there may someday be a sprinter who wins the 50 free, 50 fly, 50 breast and 50 back whereas a skater to win an equal amount of medals has to be both a sprinter and a distance athlete.
For instance my left hand enters the water thumb-side, downward, in front of my head. I then point my hand outward so as to scull it over to a line in front of shoulder so I won't tweak my shoulder joint. The sculling ultimately slows down my turnover an wastes time. Why not just land the hand directly in front of the shoulder and start my catch immediately? (Duh!) I was given a good drill to fix that. (Water polo swimming, with the head looking straight ahead only.)
Another problem I have is that I don't hold my streamline position long enough during my dive or off the walls and I am too relaxed. I should be more of a "toned" unit compressing as much space as I can. I also lift my head to soon like "Superman" so as to float to the top quicker. (My dive needs work too.)
Here is something Glenn Mills would like to know, Kara Lynn Joyce's DVD was referenced in regards to rotation, catch and turns. Though my flips are real good, I could lose "mad time" off the walls if I tone it up a bit and compress more. As to what these errors were "solving," the problem my "floppiness" quasi-solved was that I was using my walls as a rest period instead of a power opportunity to do some real work.
I feel if I can implement all these tweaks into my stroke by Spring, My times should madly improved. Perhaps even a silver-painted tin medal at SPMA Regionals.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Parodies on YouTube of Phelps being a "bad sport", or a kid recreating the Phelps Speedo commercial are so much better than what we're seeing as I write this. I am astonished at the how poor the writing has gotten on SNL! It's like watching a kids' comdey show on Nickelodeon!
Today I got my order from Swim2000 whereas I am still waiting for my order from Swim Outlet. Swim2000 uses the US Postal Service and Fed Ex whereas Swim Outlet uses UPS.
I am so happy with the speed of Swim2000 that I placed another order with them tonight. If this order goes just as smoothly as the last order, this is the store I am going to endorse. Though I like the process, product selection, and site layout of Swim Outlet better than Swim2000, speed of product delivery is most important since generally swim equipment prices are relatively the same and Swim2000 really delivered quickly.
UPDATE: Here is a link to a high rez version of the ad. She has a nice stroke: [Link]
Here is a commercial work of art that is very globalized in nature. The tag line is "Here I am" and it is promoting a website for woman athletes called nikewomen.com. The featured athlete is Swiss triathlete, Nicola Spirig: [Link]
The site has a great tag line too with the phrase: "Training is the opposite of hoping" taped to the wall in block-letters using electrical tape while an athlete submerges her body into an ice bath.
Nike commissioned the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam who commissioned a production company in the US called Paranoid US to create this spot. It pays homage to the triathlete as she defies the elements and/or Gods such as Neptune during the swim portion and wind monsters during the run as they try to blow her off course.
I like the typeface-treatment at the end and of course I like that the swimming portion was given equal time with the cycling and running segments.
I first found this at NotCot.org who referenced Flyylf; (Where you can see a cleaner version of the spot), but to get a video that was usable to embed I loccated a YouTube link at Culture-Buzz.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wendy from "Of(f) the Deep End" blog sent us this extraordinary article about a LZR failure at the ParaOlympics
From the Ottawa Citizen: "... She [Valérie Grand'Maison] had to make a frantic "I don't care if they see me naked" suit change in the warmup area 15 minutes before her race when her space-age-material Speedo LZR suit ripped at the back zipper.
She had already given her second suit to teammate Kirby Cote, whose own LZR had ripped moments earlier.
"I had another suit, but it wasn't with me," said Grand'Maison, nearly hyperventilating from the exertion of the race and the stress of the suit change.
She got the third suit from her coach.
"I was freaking out. I just ran screaming at everybody, 'Help me get the suit on.' I had 15 minutes before the race and this suit takes 10 minutes to put on! I was nervous like crazy. The adrenalin was pumping. I was (stripping) off the broken suit as fast as I can. Who cares if everybody sees me naked.
"And the thing with that suit is, if you don't put it on correctly, there is water coming in and it won't come out and you get bloated. Wow!..." [Link]
Valérie Grand'Maison is blind! :-[ Here is an article how she went blind six years ago: [Link]
Here is a link to Wendy's blog: [Link]
From the Gulf News: "... We want people to come and use these new facilities at the clubs so that we can increase the number of swimmers in the country. We want these swimming pools to make a difference to Dubai, to the UAE and even to the surrounding countries in the region," Al Falasi said.
Swimming pools are being built in all five clubs in Dubai, which athletes from nearly 200 countries will use for their training. The main competition will be held at Dubai Sports City, due for completion in the first quarter of next year. ..." [Link]
Featured to the right is our adopted Tunisian, Oui Melloui who trains at USC!
The book landed on my neighbors lawn while his sprinklers were going off but the artwork therein is still good. I guess these are signs we are in tough economic times!
I spent $148 at SwimOutlet.com last night replacing all of the above.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Geothermal "plumbing" in this iclandic lake would make for a dramatic setting for an open water race!
That would be an epic unto itself for both the spectators and the athletes. Of course it would be on TV and underwater cameras would be positioned all throughout the lake. Of course the men would have to wear briefs and the woman would have to wear a two-piece.
Who knows, open water swimming could become the next beach volleyball and Iceland a hub of open water racing! Hey, it could happen!
First spotted on NotCot.org, this Icelandic lake was captured by photographer Tim Gasperak.
From his site: "... Tim will be speaking about his work at the Apple store in San Francisco at 7 pm on November 5th (2008) as part of the ASMP/Apple Pro Sessions. More information can be found on Apple's web site. ..."
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Dara may be stronger but Britta beat her by way of a superior freestyle technique and the fact that she was seemingly immune to pressure. I spoke with someone close to the German team who said that she was expected to deliver for Germany despite how amazing Trickett and Torres can swim. The fans expected it, the team expected and she came through in a big way! What is best about her win is that we will see a probable rematch between the three in Rome!
Monday, September 08, 2008
Also, look how strong she is; very impressive! Note the vacuum of air above her left shoulder as her arm rips through the water! That's real power! I understand that she is 6'0" tall and
The photo comes from an ESPN article titled: "What the Future Holds" which has this interesting snippet: "...It was just such a competitive instinct that has kept Torres swimming throughout the years, unable to retire at the first news conferences after her races in 2008, when she said she was unable to absolutely rule out a return in 2012 in London (now known as New Atlantis). ..." [Link]
I believe she could return but it would be in her best interest to redesign her stroke with the help of a "Rada Owen" or a "Glenn Mills."
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Check out this article abut 2008 South African Olympian and ParaOlympain, Natalie Du Toit: "...The South African, who won five golds and a silver in the Athens Paralympics, finished in 1 minute, 6.74 seconds — a world record for her disability class.
A swimmer with Olympic promise, Du Toit lost her left leg above the knee in a 2001 motorcycle crash. She qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the 10-kilometer swim, a race in which her cap came off as she brushed the buoy on the first turn. Du Toit struggled the rest of the way with hair in her eyes, stopping at times to fix the cap...." [Link]
Sheesh! My personal best in the 100LCM free barely beats her 100LCM butterfly time and she is missing a leg! Some amazingly inspired performances here. Please watch or read up on ParaOlympics. By doing so acknowledges such sublime accomplishments and may perhaps create more venues for the disabled.
Swimmers like Coughlin, Kara Lynn Joyce, Cullen Jones, Brendan Hansen and many others are featured here in richseow's photoset on flickr.com
If you go and look, leave comments for the guy, we need more candid and less staged photography like this.
Roland Schoeman set a record in the 50SCM during the S.A. Champioships and here are some photos of that meet!
Found on swimpicsza photostream at Flickr.com Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]
Here is a link to a photo set of the meet: [Link]
Friday, September 05, 2008
The one featured above is a virtual reality swim machine. What happens if he does a flipturn? From the website Oobject: [Link]
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Let's say that you are a globally ranked swimmer and you found out that your swim coach was selling your workouts to a Chinese competitor and even the invited the competitor down for a swim with you. Let's say that you and this Chinese swimmer meet up at the Olympics and she hands you your bum and you place third. Would you be mad?
Jessicah Schipper says in this Age.com article: "...I was aware of that. He had told me about it, so it has nothing to do with that," Schipper said, adding that their parting was amicable.
"It's just I'd been doing exactly the same thing for 10 years. It was pretty much just the same old, same old, and I just feel it's time for a change.
"I need a new outlook on swimming, probably a younger coach's perspective, I suppose."
She is considering joining Stephan Widmer, who has coached her Queensland teammates Libby Trickett and Leisel Jones, with whom (along with backstroker Emily Seebohm) she won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 medley relay in Beijing. ..." [Link]
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I own several swim instructional videos from such coaches as Eddie Reese, David Marsh, Richard Quick et al. All distinguished coaches and all of whom have coached dozens of champions and/or Olympians.
I collect numerous swim instructional videos because I believe that swimming is both an art and science and the more viewpoints I hear about the subject the better. Best of all is that all these different styles, different approaches, and different points of view can all be tested in a pool with a good clock.
So, recently I bought the Go Swim Freestyle with Kara Lynn Joyce; (Glenn Mills most recent video), and I was electrified how exuberant it was. I was impressed with the first person narrative by the swimmer herself and how graphically illustrated the finer points of the freestyle stroke were illustrated. Soon thereafter I went out and bought the Go Swim: Sprint Freestyle with Roland Schoeman DVD because I wanted more.
I am very pleased with both investments; (cheaper than a clinic, more powerful than a locomotive), and though the production value of the ...Roland Schoeman DVD is not as grand as the Go Swim Freestyle with Kara Lynn Joyce DDV, and the narrative is more along the lines of the usual swim instructional video, I never got lost so to speak and I understood each concept because it was illustrated so well by the swimmer and the videographer.
The Roland Schoeman video has interviews with Schoeman, His approach to the Freestyle stroke, particulars on catching water, the importance of his thundering kick, drills he does, and sequence on how he does his turns. (I hate to say this but his turns are sloppy. Sorry; don't shoot the messenger.)
Coaches like David Marsh, Richard Quick, and Eddie Reese are masters at their craft: David Marsh is detail oriented, Eddie Reese is accessible in explaining technical nuance, and Richard Quick is always engaging and willing to experiment. Having said that, what makes the Go Swim videos so much better than the Championship Sports Videos, which the aforementioned coaches distribute their videos through, is that Glenn Mills understands the importance of production value.
For instance seeing Roland Schoeman or Kara Lynn Joyce catch water from a 3/4 view, or filming them catching water from underneath or from behind and from above really illustrates the concept. The Championship Sports video collections have the sublime talent and the brilliant coaches but the visual delivery and the narratives therein are very dry.
I am going to definitively say that as of now, the Go Swim with Kara Lynn Joyce and the Go Swim: Go Sprint Freestyle with Roland Schoeman are the very best freestyle videos in my collection. They are the best because I can truly see what is being explained by way of multiple viewpoints rather than trying to assess from just a front and/or side view only as in the Championship sports videos.
So, if you haven't mastered the freestyle stroke or are looking for ways to improve you stroke, first talk to your coach or coaches, but if you need a visual reference and an explanation you can refer to, I would say that a safe purchase would be the Go Swim DVDs starting with either the ...Kara Lynn Joyce or the ...Roland Schoeman which in my opinion are the best.
Go Swim Sprint Freestyle with Roland Schoeman: [Link]
Go Swim with Kara Lyn Joyce DVD: [Link]
* I paid for the videos out of my own pocket and I will receive no commissions or fees on any videos sold as a result of linking to them.
Monday, September 01, 2008
I predict the next flurry of news will be speculation as to who will swim and who won't: Will we see Laure Manaudou, Dara Torres, or Amanda Beard swim or are they finished? Will Michael Phelps start swimming more niche events or will he try for another 8 medals? Will we see a Phelps/Cavic rematch in the 100 'fly? Will swim suit rules change due to pressure within the swimsuit industry?
I am confident that we will see explosive growth in our sport in the next couple of years due to the "Phelps/Torres effect" and more media representation by way of Universal Sports and websites like Go Swim, Floswimming, and our reliable standby, Swimming World.
I know I will be swimming faster so my advice to you is to swim throughout the Fall and Winter and enjoy every second of it. Remember, if it is raining, you can't get any wetter. If it is snowing, who can resist an 80-degree-pool? Thus, when Short course yards season coincides with World Championships you will be fast, inspired, and ready to turn-and-burn and go hydrodynamic!