Amazing insights from coaching clinic

NZL1NZL1 AucklandNew Member
edited October 2023 in General Discussion

After several months of swimming 10-15km per week I started to develop a niggle in my right shoulder. I found a swim physio who referred me to a coaching clinic.

Last weekend we did a video session in my normal environment of open water (I don’t do pools) and I was amazed by what it showed. I knew my technique wasn’t perfect but I didn’t realise how flawed it was.

Things I thought would be dodgy are (apparently) ok whereas the things I was more confident about are the problem!

I now have lots to work on - which is kind of exciting to see where it takes me - but at the same time I really wish I had done this years ago.

Anyone else had a video clinic and experienced a revelation?

Here’s some footage from the analysis:



  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    Good move having your stroke checked out after noticing an injury. My thought is that swimming injuries typically are from doing something wrong. Swimming is not like hockey, where if you wake up the next day feeling sore, it usually has something to do with smashing into other people or crashing into the boards. So you did a smart thing there.

    I tried a video analysis a few years ago. It was done in one of those endless pools, sort of a treadmill for swimmers. It was a short pool with a current. For me, it wasn't really a great experience for a number of reasons. First of all, it took me quite a while to figure out how to swim and hold position in the current. I think I was compromising the whole time.

    The other issue was that I think the instructor might have still been pretty new to the whole thing. He was a college swimmer and I'm sure he was pretty good. However swimming and coaching are two different things. He wasn't really able to break things down and communicate what he wanted me to do and I think he was going after effects rather than causes.

    Coaching is hard enough to do in a normal pool, but it is probably more difficult when you have to control the current flow in the endless pool. So he's trying to run the current at the correct rate for my swimming, while also trying to analyze my stroke, film the process and signal me when to start or stop. When we reviewed the video after each swim, the current flow and bubbles, not to mention the difficulty of having the camera frame me properly made for really poor viewing.

    So overall, my experience was pretty disappointing. My guess would be that if this coach had have walked beside me in an actual pool, he would have been far more effective. I still believe that video is a helpful tool, but it was a failure for me in the situation that I tried. I've seen effective poolside video, so I know that it can be done and maybe sometime I will find a place that does it. A picture is worth a thousand words...

  • NZL1NZL1 AucklandNew Member

    Yes I can understand how an artificial environment like a tank would not be constructive. You definitely want to be assessed / videod in your normal habitat be it pool, river, lake or ocean.

    My swim coach usually does assessments in a pool and as you say she normally walks alongside her student with the camera above or below water.

    So swimming with me in the open ocean was a first for her and a bit of an experiment for both of us. The verdict is that it’s good enough for her to see what she needs and give me the feedback I need.

    I now have a list of feedback points to focus on for the next month and then we will repeat the exercise to measure any improvements.

    Meanwhile, I’m still swimming each day and seeing my swimming physio and my shoulder pain seems to have stabilised or reduced to 1-2 / 10.

    So whilst I’m still in the remediation and recovery process, my experience so far suggests that if you start up feel problems the best thing is early intervention. Definitely a physio who specialises in shoulders / backs / swimming and ideally a swim coach to help spot & fix your bad habits contributing to your problems.

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