If you’ve ever tried making technique corrections to an already efficient swimmer then you know how quickly advice can get subjective! We start saying things like “deeper catch” and “higher recovery”, but does anybody really know how much deeper or exactly how much higher?
Even if a coach were to somehow know the exact depth for the perfect freestyle catch, they have to communicate that to swimmer who has to then perfectly translate the words into actions. Even then questions remain: What should it look like? What should it feel like?
We are essentially aiming in the general direction of a target with nothing to indicate to us that we have hit a bullseye.
Recently I came across a patent application that you might be interested in. It’s called Apparatus and method for improving swimmer performance, but all I could think as I read through it was that this is an attempt to not only say where the bullseye is, but also how far we are from it. Here’s the abstract:
The present disclosure describes some embodiments of an apparatus including a measurement panel to enable generation of a measurement related to one or more data points associated with a swimmer's stroke. The disclosure also describes an embodiment of a method including processing one or more images associated with a plurality of model swimmers to obtain information related to at least two structural data points related to a swimming stroke having a catch phase, processing one or more images associated with a target swimmer to obtain information related to the at least two structural data points associated with a target swimmer's catch phase, and generating one or more recommendations to change the catch phase of the target swimmer to bring the catch phase of the target swimmer closer to the model swimmer's catch phase.
Definitely an interesting concept. For photos and more visit: Apparatus and method for improving swimmer performance