Prof. Haljand


While constructing the swimming technique requirements it was proceeded that the swimmer should represent the scientifically proved individual variant of movements.

Requirements for movements should be easily used in a training process, both by the coaches and the swimmers. Proceeding from this the technique of competitive swimming, starts and turns have been created in the following way:

technique of starts, turns and strokes is described and studied as a system of movements consisting of phases:
if a phase changes - the aim of movements will change as well;
one phase includes the movements of the whole body;
each phase is determined by the clear moment of the beginning and the end;
all the determined phases appear to be useful on the different variants or individual style;
all moments from one phase into another are considered as the positions of the swimmer, describe the coordination.

Methods of construction of the technique consist of the determination of movement parameters variations, received from good swimmers. More informative parameters are found , the correlation of movements and differentiation of the mistakes is determined, taking into consideration the aim of phases.
The technique is determined by presenting assignments for every phase and movement. The general assignments of the swimming technique should be:

avoid unnecessary movements,
achieve the optimum combination of contraction and relaxation of muscles,
guarantee the harmony of breathing action and movements,
produce propulsive forces,
reduce the action of resistance forces,
guarantee the transfer of force from one part of the body to another, with right timing through locked joints,
maintain the dynamic balance of movement.

The optimizing of technique is determined in accordance with the mathematical regression analysis, the prognosis of the possible variants of movements for the much better results in the future.

Videorecording system was adjusted for the under and above water videorecording of the swimmer, allowing to register the movements of the swimmer's at the start, turn or swimming . Videocamera is moving with the adjustable speed parallel to the swimmer. Hardware and software for computer was constructed for measuring of parameters and their analysis.
As a result of the extensive work with national teams of many countries and world best swimmers during the last years has gathered experiences for all variants of swimming styles, as well as for the starts and turns. So, that the probability of the requirements is corresponding with the swimming results. All the 15 technical parts used in competitive swimming have been constructed as models: 4 styles, 4 starts, 4 turns + 3 turns for the individual medley. Special testing system for improvment and control of technical preparation of swimmers was created for practical work

Integrated method of technical preparation of swimmers using testing system

The usage of wrong technique results from lack or incomplete movement image. According to the very simple approach the IMAGE of MOVEMENTS consists of several parts:


For teaching it is necessary to create for the swimmer , as complete as possible, the image of movements. It means, that the information for the right swimming technique must be saved into the memory of movements by using all possible ways. The lack of self-control results from incomplete and not integrated image of movements.
Usually the coaches and the swimmers have big problems with the correcting of swimming movements. The repeating of wrong movements have no desired effect, and technique does not change. The only way is to first correct the IMAGE. Our scientific experiments with different sport activities show that by correcting the VISUAL image you can reach up to 80 % of skills for the simple movements, but then you still need 20 % and the others must assist. Swimming movements are very complicated and for success we need ALL listed parts of the IMAGE to be integrated. It means that usually , when coach tries to work with technique: showing videos (visual), explaining (verbal), shouting the rhythm during swimming (acoustical), doing exercises on dry land and special technique exercises in water (kinesthetic) - then success is not good enough because separate exercises do not create the complete image for movements.

How to integrate ?
The main integration unit is VERBAL image. If you are working with the visual part and showing the videoclip, then at the same time you must explain and also the swimmer must think when following your orders. If you are working with the kinesthetic part and making exercises you must control your proprioreceptive feeling by verbal description (was it strong or relaxed, early or late and e.g. ). The same with the acoustical work, you must think about the verbal or digital descriptions of durations of different rhythms, listening to the sounds during your swimming. Special attention must be paid to the verbal image. All verbal descriptions have to be short, understandable and integrated with some other parts of image. It is necessary that verbal advice for movement is accompanied by some digital number helping to make difference by quality or quantity. Good and bad is not enough, that's why you need seconds for durations, meter per seconds for speeds, centimeters for stroke lengths, and angles for joint flexions or amplitudes. The swimmers must be introduced to the aims and requirements for each part of the movement. Special attention should be paid to the verbal descriptions of important positions of movements. For correct using of VERBAL descriptions in practical work, we put it in totally different, untraditional mode:

descriptions of parts - phases
names and main aims of each phase
requirements to movement elements during phase
descriptions of positions between he phases
main digital parameters of movements, phases and positions

Verbal descriptions are more useful and practically effective if we print out the details which need correction. Digital parameters must followed by evaluation marks as % values.

Now the practical advises for the exercises creating kinesthetic image, integrated with visual and verbal ones.

Imitation exercises on dryland.

The purpose of imitation exercises is to create a correct kinesthetic perception, to acquire the self-control methods. The program of exercises on dry land include imitation of positions on dry land. The question arises why positions should be imitated. The answer is that changing from one phase into another have the decisive importance. If the initial position of the phase is correct, it means that the arms, legs, the head and the body are in the best position, then throughout the whole phase it is possible to perform the correct movements. If the initial position is wrong already, nothing comes out of the further action either. On the other hand when all the movements have been performed correctly during the previous phase one would naturally reach the correct final position of the phase which is the initial position of the next phase, etc.

Imitating exercises may be performed individually, in pairs or three together. The positions will be taken on the exercise-bench, with the help of three or two swimmers- one holds the arms, the other legs. In order to increase kinesthetic sensitivity and to form a better image about the movement in memory it is necessary while imitating the positions to perform static efforts in positions in the right direction and for many muscle-groups at the same time. The static effort must be performed in the direction of the right movement but , using the isometric contraction. To verify the integration of the visual image , the imitation exercises of the positions should be performed also with closed eyes. If the correct position is taken with the eyes closed, it means that kinesthetic perception has been firmly achieved which is the precondition for mastering the further skills.
An important and effective influence in mastering the movements is the description of the positions verbally. When the swimmers listen to the descriptions given by the coach and act accordingly to them they are not able to memorize them as effectively as the descriptions of their own. The given information "goes in one ear and comes out the other", but what you have explained and described yourself verbally, is memorized better.
The best form of performing such dryland-type exercises where imitation includes verbal descriptions of orientation, is where one swimmer assists the other to imitate the position, puts it into words, and describes where the hands and legs are. Then the parts will be changed. This way both can imitate and also describe the right instructions verbally. In the training of the top-level swimmers the imitation of positions is used together with verbal descriptions in the state of light hypnosis which has given good results in improving their deeply rooted mistakes of technique. To sum it up, after imitation of positions on dryland give effect in the following exercises in water. On the basis of teaching observations we may conclude that the transfer of exercises from dryland into the water is noticeable especially in the coordination of swimming movements.


Performance of technical exercises in the water...