Technique testing of high level swimmers and national teams

Introduction

In the following we will explain our view of scientific support cooperation for swimming technique analysis for national teams.

The testing and feedback is conducted by Rein Haljand, professor of Kinesiology, Faculty of Physical Education in Tallinn University, Estonia. The experiences have been gathered from the technique testing of starts, turns and swimming of high level swimmers all over the world for more than 20 years, in countries including Russia, Australia, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Canada, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Belgium and many more.

Testing procedure

For testing a portable HD videorecording system for under and above water recordings of the swimmers is used, allowing to register the movements at the start, in turns and during swimming. Videocameras are moving parallel to the swimmer. The swimmer will be recorded from the side, front and diagonally at 45 degrees. High Definition (HD 1920 x 1080 pixels) video format is used for best possible quality.

Analysis

For analysis a portable analysis system is used. Because of the amount of experiences, the advises are corresponding positively to the swimming results of tested swimmers. All the 15 technical parts used in competitive swimming may be analyzed: 4 styles, 4 starts, 4 turns + 3 turns of the Individual Medley. In the course of testing the parameters and quality of technique are analyzed. The measuring of parameters will be done in HD quality by software based on Mac comuters, specially created for this purpose. Measured parameters help to evaluate technique skills of a given swimmer. Videoclip of the test will be shared in iTunes format and still frame picures as JPG files.

Requirements for pool and swimmers when testing outside of Estonia

For testing there must be a 25m or 50m swimming pool with at least 3 lanes and clear water. The side of the pool must be free of any obstacles for free movement of videocameras from one end to the other. Swimmer will swim on the second or third lane (depending on the pool). For videorecordings these lanes must be reserved for ca. 2-3 hours (it takes ca. 60min to set up equipment and ca. 5min for each swimmer to swim 100 m + some more 25m laps). All swimmers should be ready according to a list, order of appearance. The optimum number of swimmers to be tested during one visit is between 10 and 20. One swimmer will be tested for 3 elements - start, turn and style. Medley swimmers will be tested for all 4 styles, 3 turns and a butterfly start.

Feedback

If the videorecording of all swimmers takes place in the morning then the pre-analysis will be done during the afternoon and night. The personal feedback sessions, with each swimmer individually, is ready to begin the next morning. Duration of a session with each swimmer is 45 min (15min for each element - start, turn, swimming). The optimum number of swimmers analyzed in a day is 10. The other 10 swimmers the next day.

The swimmers must have a schedule and an order to be ready from 9am till 2pm (5 swimmers) and from 4pm till 8pm (5 swimmers). The session of one IM swimmer will take 2x45min. Swimmers should come with their coaches. A special room is needed, where it is possible to have a good feedback session. All equipment will be brought by me and set up in that room.

During the feedback session each individual swimmer will recieve a CD of the analysis, with the original videoclips of his technique and a videorecording of the feedback session including graphics and values of measured parameters with advises and comments.


* example image of analysis

Testing in Estonia

It is possible also to come to Tallinn for the testing procedure. Then the requirements for the pool and feedback location will be taken care of by us. Miminum program for testing in Estonia will be for 2 swimmers over a period of 2 days:
1st day - arrival in Tallinn Friday evening;
2nd day - Saturday morning 0800 filming; feedback same day 1400-1800;

Conclusion

This kind of testing for technical preparation of swimmers is very professional. It is based on theory and best practice and it helps to find new technique elements according to a swimmers individual style, to control the technical preparation and correct mistakes.
For planning technical work further ahead it is good to test swimmers 4 times a year:

at the beginning of the season two times with an interval of 1 month;
during pre-competition period for making final corrections of starts turns and styles;
immediately before or after main competitions (in best shape).

Please contact us for financial and schedule details.

Prof. Rein Haljand

Phone: +372 50 10204
E-mail: rein@swim.ee