Swim Speed Secrets: Propulsive Swimming with Sheila Taormina
Take the opportunity to see up close and learn from the smallest swimmer to win Olympic Gold since the 1920 Olympics.
The Swim Speed Secrets clinic with Sheila Taormina is an in-depth explanation and practice of the underwater pull path, core connection, and stroke timing that is critical for generating speed in the freestyle stroke. Although the focus is on elite technique, beginner and intermediate swimmers are welcome alongside experienced swimmers. The session is technique based. Participation is limited to ensure ample individual feedback from Coach Taormina.
NOTE: (this is not a learn-to-swim clinic; attendees should be able to complete at least 100 meters of freestyle swimming without stopping)
Swim Speed Secrets clinics begin with a 2-hour seminar during which the mechanics and science of swimming are explained in an easy to understand manner. Attendees will learn the “why” behind swim technique. The information provided answers many common questions swimmers have, and takes away confusion for those who may have heard conflicting advice. The seminar also explains the purpose & benefits of the drills athletes will do during the water session. There is plenty of time for questions and discussion as we review underwater videos and photographs of Olympic swimmers.
Topics covered during the seminar and water sessions include:
1. Intricacies of the pull path, overwater recovery, and entry/extension phase of the stroke: Athletes will learn how to engage the arm properly throughout the entire stroke cycle. This unique movement is key to elite-level propulsion. We will go over many drills that train this during the water session.
2. Core movement/“rotation”: In swimming we hear the word “rotate” on a regular basis. What does it really mean? It can be interpreted in various ways. At Sheila’s clinic, athletes build core strength and learn proper balance and hip movement.
3. Stroke Timing: Every swimmer – world record holders included – decelerates during moments in the stroke cycle. One of the keys to fast & efficient swimming is learning how to minimize these moments. This is accomplished via stroke timing. Clinic attendees learn how the asynchronous arms in the freestyle stroke coordinate to minimize deceleration and help a swimmer carry momentum.
4. Connection: Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” Learn how to connect your arms, legs, and core for a power-packed punch in your stroke!
5. Kick technique and kick timing: On average, kicking adds 10-12% to a swimmers propulsion, but only if mechanically correct and well-timed. If technique or timing is off, then kicking can decrease propulsion. Clinic attendees learn how to add the 10-12% to their stroke, and it doesn’t consume the energy many people think it does. You’ll discover a new love for kicking!
6. Halo tubing training: Tubing is a dry-land exercise that trains the details of the pull path and builds muscle endurance. Many age group swimmers can do elite stroking technique for 25 or 50 yards, but what happens as the body fatigues? Technique falls apart. Tubing builds muscle endurance to maintain technique throughout a workout and a race. For adult athletes who can’t always make it to the pool, tubing is the perfect workout that can be done at home in 15 minutes so as not to lose fitness or strength. The key is to do the tubing technique correctly. Clinic attendees are watched one at a time to ensure they get the full benefit of tubing training.
The ultimate goal of the clinic is to provide athletes a variety of training focus points so they can practice with confidence and purpose rather than just swimming laps.