Stroke Mechanics by Glenn Mills (2011)


Introduction: Good afternoon everyone. My name is Guy Edson and I always start my workout on time so congratulations to you for being here. I don’t usually have the opportunity to introduce speakers but we ran short of introducers so John asked me if I wouldn’t mind introducing Glenn and I said, “Absolutely.” I love this guy’s work. I asked Glenn what I should say about him. He said, “First of all I’m a cool guy.” That’s true. He really is. The man has been very helpful for us at ASCA indirectly and sometimes very directly such as when I do our stroke school and whenever I asked Glenn for some video clips that I can incorporate in here and I get them the next day, sometimes the same day and we really appreciate that. Glenn was a 1980 Olympian and that’s a wonderful honor and sadness as well. He cofounded GoSwim. He’s given me some numbers this morning. He’s produced 34 DVDs. These are the best, you know, I mean the clarity, the quality of photography, content… very, very good. He has over 350 drills online and there’ve been 1800 views of those and that’s you guys, right? How many of you have been to his website and downloaded some?
Glenn Mills: That’s 1800 a day.
Guy Edson: A day? Wow. A day and also you can download his app which is free and then right down there I have downloaded video clips when we’re at practice. 100,000 downloads, is that right?
Glenn Mills: Yes.
Guy Edson: 100,000 downloads. Now this is all free, is that right?
Glenn Mills: Until today.
Guy Edson: His new website is up and perhaps he can tell you a little bit more about that. I’ve done a number of clinics with him and he is one of the most sharing and open and helpful presenters you can imagine, so Glenn take it away and have fun.
Glenn Mills: Thanks Guy, I appreciate it. So yeah, we’ve always thought that part of our responsibility is a business and swimming is to give back so there is obviously some, you know, some ploy to it that the more people watch our stuff the more people will want to buy something. So we’ve produced a lot of content but in producing a lot of the content, we’ve discovered so many different ways to approach solutions to the sport. You know, because of the physiology especially…
I know we’re here to talk about masters swimming but I see masters swimming as the circle of life where we teach the young kids certain techniques and skills. Sometimes the oldest swimmers need to go back to those absolute basic skills so some of the drills that we use with some of the Steve Hoffer products that we produce actually turned out to be some of the best skills and drills to show to masters swimmers. It’s almost like how they come to the sport, they may have different limitations, range of motion limitations, their bodies might not be perfectly suited to swimming, age has taken its toll on certain people, you know, obviously not me, but there are so many different things that need to be known in order to have the solution that’s going to work for a particular situation. And so, through that has come the evolution over the last ten years of all of this content that we’ve created because it really has been kind of, a seeking out from… and I’m just playing random stuff here now.
But it’s been more of a seeking out from these great athletes that we’ve had an opportunity to work with to see what it is that they feel. How we came to this is I was fortunate enough that when I was young and fast, I was on a video that Ernie Maglischo produced and it was really cool to be on it. But when Ernie gave it back and when I saw it, there were all these charts and graphs and hand speed and foot speed and, you know, he’s an incredible mind. But as an athlete I didn’t understand it that way. From internally, I understood it more from an artistic standpoint and so the evolution of our products has really come from discussing with these athletes, what it is that makes them go fast, what it is specific to them, what do they feel internally Through that, we’ve learned so much about how to teach swimmers how to create and manipulate different situations in order to allow someone to swim in maybe a non-conventional sort of way but still accomplish a goal or a task.
So, you know, no two people are built alike and you’re going to have models that you want to follow in order to build strokes, but in a way, I see coaching as very artistic, that you need to invent things sometimes for each person.
And sometimes what is the rule doesn’t hold true for everybody but the real, big realization of this was when we filmed Jeff Rouse for a video and Jeff was just… he is the picture perfect backstroke swimmer. He is everything that we’ve taught for years. The head is absolutely perfectly still. The rotation is stunning. The body line is beautiful. It’s actually one of the most beautiful videos I think I’ve shot because I mean it is exact. And when we had the opportunity to film Aaron Peirsol, it was the first time I was filming two different world record holders in the same event. Two Olympic champions in the same event and I figured, “What is Aaron going to tell us?” you know, because what does he feel… he might feel he is doing the same thing that Jeff did because Jeff was one of his precursors, one of his heroes, one of the guys he watched, so did Aaron model himself after that and why are we going to produce the exact same video with a different guy? And what was really cool was Aaron came back and during the interview process and during the building process of the product, six totally different things, completely different. If Jeff has a deep catch, Aaron has a shallow catch. If Jeff holds his head absolutely still, you know, you just watch Aaron. Aaron is all over the place. But it was really interesting to see how these two great, great swimmers approached the sport from completely different sides.
As a breaststroker, I was asked to write an article for Swimming World soon after the Aaron Peirsol video came out and my coach, Don Gambril and Alabama had written too many. He said, “You know, I can’t believe you’re writing an article about backstroke” and I said, “Aaron’s stroke is the non-backstroker’s backstroke and had you taught me these things 20 years ago, I would have only negative split my 400 backstroke by six seconds.” I mean my backstroke would still have been horrible but it wouldn’t have been as bad as what it actually was.
But it’s the discovery process of seeing these people and seeing them in such a way and talking to them and seeing what they feel. They have all these different tools that you can take pieces out and use in specific situations. So my goal here today is and my goal whenever I have the opportunity to talk to coaches, is not to stand in front of you and try to tell you how much I know, but it’s to use some of these tools we’ve created to answer questions that you may have. And obviously to me the stroke that’s changed the most is breaststroke so there are some interesting things that we’ve got in here in breaststroke. But I usually bribe people and I usually have stuff with me but we’ve been so busy on this new website that I don’t have anything to bribe you with. So maybe afterwards if you ask a question, come back to the booth and I’ll see what I can give you because we don’t want to ship all of the stuff home anyway.
So I want to open it up to questions, somebody’s got to be brave. I could just pick on Jim but he just got out of the endless pool for an hour and so he might be tired but does anybody have any specific questions that they have either for masters swimming or swimming in general, and if not, we can just watch videos.
New Speaker: About breaststroke, there’s a lot of controversy about having the head up or down. So, it makes sense or seems logical when you’re in that streamline position to have the head down but as you’re coming to the out-sweep when you’re going to take the breath, there is an argument about whether you’re working harder when you have the head up, you’re not putting as much strain on the muscles as if you are when your head is down.
Glenn Mills: The first video I ever did was with Dave Denniston. Great, great breaststroker and in the video we taught head down under, head down above, eyes always looking down and when I had the opportunity to work with Brendan Hansen, you know, we tried to talk to the coaches as well so it’s not just talking to the swimmers but we talk to the coaches as well about what is it that you teach your athletes and Eddie said Denniston was wrong, you know, and Eddie and I went back and forth between at what level do you start introducing head movement in breaststroke because if you’re talking age group developmental swimmers, they have this thing about the kids head going up and down and slamming back and forth and I think it is very valid. And for masters swimmers that may be new to breaststroke depending on the age, depending on the experience, there could be tension on the neck and they’re not going to be able to move it as much as they should. But Eddie’s philosophy on this… I’m mostly going to be using clips from Robert Margalis’s video and what we did with Robert was we created about 100 clips of video of hands, head, hips, feet above him, below, full speeds, slow motion, all in every stroke. So I should be able to pull up something fairly quickly. So if you watch Robert when he is underwater, there is his head down under, okay. So he gets in that nice line that the eyes… I like to have the eyes…
oh, it’s a little tough to see, I’m sorry about that. Can we get the front ones off? That I don’t know. I know if I move too far, I’m going to rip this thing out. Can somebody run and get some of these Jim. It’s dark myth by the way. Do you guys coach anybody that needs a good education? They can’t fix lights.
So the idea here is that the head stays down through the out-sweep. So you want the eyes below the arms, the eye is just below the biceps and it’s basically…
now can everybody see that? I think it worked as long as… yeah, yeah, that’s cool. Is everybody okay with that? Alright. So you’re going to have to yell if you have a question.
So the head is down. Let’s go back just a little bit here. So as Robert reaches out for extension the head is down just as they would be in a streamline position, okay. So the head is between the arms but on breaststroke a lot of people try to get everybody back into the streamline position after each stroke and I think that really locks people up. So making sure the hands are a little bit relaxed while they’re out there and not so rigid because that still allows for some body movement. Robert has the out-sweep occurring before the head moves. So the hands go out before the eyes come up. So at this point he starts to lift the head and lifts the head a little bit more vertically as we see it from above water. I can go back to that.
Now Eddie Reese told me and what we discussed is that it’s a process. It is using the body as it’s meant to act. The head draws the spine which draws the hips, which draw the knees, which draw the feet so by lifting the head you’re actually bringing the hips forward and setting up for the recovery for the legs in order to initiate the kick. So if the head is held down too much, the hips won’t come forward as much. Robert does pull back pretty far and again with the pressure there’s that pull back really far. I always have seen breaststroke as a mathematical equation. You’re going to set up a lot of resistance so you have to make sure that the propulsion that you get is greater than the resistance you create in trying to get to that point.
A lot of these guys, like, especially Roque Santos, are a great master breaststrokers. I have never seen hands go forward faster on anybody than Roque Santos. So we did an online video with Roque that’s on the side but let’s watch his head above and again watch where his eyes are looking and for most of us we, you know, again it’s tough with it being dark in here but you can respond just by grunting, how many of you make sure that you do not allow your athletes to look forward when they come up. Nobody or at least everybody is too embarrassed to grunt. So most of us teach eyes down above but a lot of what we’re seeing now is to lift the head to draw the spine, to draw the hips, to draw the legs into the recovery. I mean there’s a combination of everything but keeping the head down keeps the spine too straight as it comes up and so it’s that flow that occurs as you lift the head to draw things forward. You’re leveraging on the arms to kind of finish the process to get everything coming forward.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:16:18]
Glenn Mills: Well this is… again the question was so you want the kids to look forward. The answer to probably every question I’ll get is yes and no. It’s that situation of what is going to be right for that particular athlete. Not sure everything that I loaded on here… well here is… this guy is pretty good. So let’s see if we can…
so let’s look at Brendan from the side and look where his eyes are. Okay so he is looking directly forward as he comes up. If we take young kids or adults that, you know, everybody in swimming thinks that they’re doing one thing when they’re doing something else which is the importance of video taping and feedback and all that. But if you take someone that doesn’t understand the concept, I think and you try to get them to lift the head too soon, then what’s happening is you’re going to get way too much up and down motion and not enough just of the draw of the hips.
So it’s not necessarily that you want to have the young kids looking forward or the adults looking forward. It’s whether or not they can understand the concept that’s occurring. The simple lifting of the head and looking forward is not the whole picture. The whole picture is the connection of the head to the spine, to the hips and how it times with the arms. You know, one of the easiest things… one of the toughest things to feel but the easiest thing to tell people is that the out-sweep occurs before the head comes up. So the hands have started to go out before the head comes up. That simple switch in timing and if you watch most breaststrokers especially developmental stage breaststrokers, the timing of the head goes up before the hands separate and if you can get them to do this before they do this, then you’ve won the initial battle.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:18:38].
Glenn Mills: Yeah, I mean seriously, you know, two kicks down, one stroke; two down, one up is the universal drill for breaststroke as far as working on timing as far as working on head position, extension. It just gives you a little bit extra time under there to really kind of, feel these things out. You know, to be sitting underwater in that second kick and that glide and allowing the hands to go out before the head comes up as your body is kind of, going up to the surface for the air, it’s one of the best feelings because I mean as a breaststroker myself, when you’re just reaching the surface and your hands are out and you bring the head up and feel the draw. I mean especially for those of you that coach masters, say 45 and over, that were never allowed to put their heads underwater to begin with. I mean all this stuff is so new to us.
You know, I was telling somebody the other day… they asked about swimming in the endless pool and how everybody was getting wet and I said, “You know, my hair didn’t even get wet because I was never allowed to put my head underwater.” But right here you can really see a little bit more of the activity of the head and how it kind of draws the hips and brings the whole process together. So just getting the thing with drills is that everybody is… you got to be so patient with them and some people try to just kind of, hammer them out there.
New Speaker: Well is it the point more that it’s less what you do but whether you do it in the flow of the stroke? So it’s not jerking you out of that rhythm and roll of the stroke?
Glenn Mills: So the question was isn’t it really more about the flow of the stroke than the process or jerking something back and forth. Absolutely, breaststroke is all about flow and so the timing of waiting until the hands have really connected with the water to draw that forward. It is absolutely flowing and you can feel it and if you’re doing the drills correctly just the two down, and one up… if you just continue that flow that you have then absolutely. Questions?
New Speaker: Does physiology or body type play an influence on whether someone is a good or very good breaststroker?
Glenn Mills: The question was does physiology or body type determines whether someone is a good or very good breaststroker. I always like to answer that question by saying the great breaststrokers are all good looking and really smart. But in reality, yeah I mean, you know, everybody knows breaststrokers are first weird, okay, and second of all their feet, they walk funny… duck feet. So in order to grab the water correctly to allow some of the stuff to happen, yeah physiology absolutely plays a big part in it.
You’ll have people that will never be able to swim breaststroke no matter what and so the big thing lately has been to reduce… and which really plays to the people that weren’t meant to be breaststrokers is to reduce the size of the kick. Get the kick out of the way and I don’t know if I have Shanteau on here. Did anybody get to see Eric today? Okay, because he is here. Let’s just take a look at Robert. I have to be honest with you guys. I love that this is turning into a breaststroke talk, okay.
Let’s go full body underwater with Robert. Now again, you know, some people say, “Well Robert’s not a breaststroker.” Anybody that can go 3:43 in a 400 IM, he is a breaststroker. So the timing of the stroke is a lot different than the way it used to be and that’s where the Shanteau video… I absolutely love it. Watch how far Robert is through his pull before his legs do anything, right there. So the bend in the legs is occurring as the hands start to move forward. By teaching your swimmers to put the kick later in, those swimmers that are not great breaststrokers because their kick is horrible, can become a better breaststroker because the later you put the kick in, out of panic to finish the stroke, the kick becomes smaller. If the kick becomes smaller, you create less resistance because that’s our mathematical equation again. That if they try to set up for this huge kick, if they pause under here to bring the legs up to set up for a huge kick to create all that resistance, they’re seeking a pay off from the kick. They may not be able to get the pay off because their feet don’t turn right. So all they’ve got to do is just pitch the feet out a little bit to make sure that it’s not a dolphin kick.
You know one of the greatest breaststroke coaches in history, Joseph Nagy said the next evolution of breaststroke is breaststroke with a dolphin kick and he said that the second that happens the world record will be about 55 for the 100 breast stroke. But a different type of swimmer will be swimming it. I was lucky enough that we had dinner with Eric Shanteau last night and we’re talking about that and he was like, “Oh, my gosh, I hope that never happens. Breaststrokers are in big trouble when that happens.” You know, because our advantage is that we are messed up in our physiology. So, you know, I just love these pictures because people with knee problems and people that are not great breaststrokers, it’s just really changed things. How late the kick actually starts to occur.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:24:49]
Glenn Mills: No, a lot of things have become much, much, much more narrow as well. I didn’t. I love Nort. Nort is one of the greatest innovators. I like to spend time with Nort. He and I talk breaststroke a lot. I was, you know, I’m working in the booth but did he talk about getting in front of the wave? Yeah, I mean and did he talk about the short underwater pull for sprint? I mean it’s great stuff, isn’t it? And it’s stuff that… once you see it it’s obvious but it takes someone like him to come up with that stuff. Getting in front of the wave is a little tough for masters swimmers and age group swimmers. You’ve got to be a beast but he’s fortunate. He gets to work with beasts. So there is another question?
New Speaker: For the smaller kick, it’s going to be interesting to see what percentage of producing the kick is going to [Inaudible] [00:25:44]?
Glenn Mills: With a smaller kick, it’s going to be interesting to see the percentage of contribution the kick will make. Now just as a general question and anybody shout out, would the rate… if the kick is smaller, would the rate of the stroke be higher or lower? It would be higher. So the thing is that as you limit the movements in the stroke, you can actually increase the rate. But when you increase the rate with masters swimmers or age group swimmers, instinctively they put the same amount of power into every stroke, okay. So by increasing rate sometimes people get tired much more quickly. Rate can be efficiency. It’s not always about the length. It’s how much power you put in to each stroke.
I know for myself in the 200 breast back a long time ago and, you know, I used to swim masters a lot as well but in the 200 breast, the first 50 is generally the same rate as the last 50. That’s the goal for me. What I try to do is not apply power or pressure to my hands and my feet on the first 50. When I have the energy I’m trying to allow things to flow. I don’t want to work at all. I want the adrenaline to take me through the excitement of being in a race and the flow of the stroke to just happen. But the last 50 to maintain that rate is a lot of work, alright but I try to use the same cadence so that increasing strokes with no power associated with the strokes is actually a pretty easy way to swim.
For masters swimmers I do [Indiscernible] [00:27:33] and open water swims; just letting things happen. Allowing the hand to get in and fall and letting your body do the work. I did a 10 mile swim last summer and it was beautiful. It was just fun. It was boring, okay I’ll be honest but yeah, it wasn’t painful. My wife was my chiacchiere [Phonetic] [00:27:58] and at one point she said, “Somebody is coming.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Somebody is coming up the passes.” I said, “Can you let him go? I can’t change right here.” I change right, I don’t finish.
But there is so much to experiment with these things and I think sometimes, you know, masters swimmers especially masters swimmers, the people that I swim with and the people that I’ve worked with they’re like, man when you want your age group swimmers to have as much enthusiasm about learning new techniques and new skills as masters swimmers, you can grunt. Yeah, I mean it’s just, you know, by the time the physiology is unfortunately we might not be able to reach our absolute peak anymore, you know, that’s when our mind desires, “Help me.” Kids view this way too much as a burden. People are making them go. I try to tell kids, “You have free membership to a health club with a personal trainer that your parents are paying for. Soon this is going to cost you hundreds of dollars a month. So take advantage of it.” Yes.
New Speaker: How many [Inaudible] [00:29:08] So is it okay to allow them to do that all the way through to the extension and then wait till the out-sweep or is breathing way too long with that [Indiscernible] [00:29:35]
Glenn Mills: So you’re talking about as they come around in here, their hands are coming out like that.
New Speaker: Well or they just cut their hands. It’s like, [Inaudible] [00:29:44].
Glenn Mills: There is… I mean this is the beautiful thing. If you come by the booth before 3 o’clock, Barbara will have the DVD and we can put it in and watch Eric Venot swim breaststroke, totally unconventional. His hands extend out here like this; wide… he’s like a precursor to Rebecca Soni. Rebecca does it a lot better. But Eric was still… I mean he was 400 IM silver medalist two Olympics in a row behind Michael but still think 2:14, 2:15, 200 breaststroke long course. His hands are out like that. They’re relaxed and they’re wide and they’re coming in at a very weird angle. I myself recovered my hands crossed, upside down under water and I still do it. It’s like one of those habits. I can’t break because of so many years. I think that if the focus and the goal of the stroke… let’s so you don’t get too bored… let’s look for hands above. If the focus and the goal of any recovery in breaststroke is about extending the hands forward quickly and Robert doesn’t do it as fast as I like him to. Roque, if you see the Roque Santos video, his hands hammer forward. If you get him to focus on the acceleration I call it the attack. It’s a violent move in getting the hands forward. You know, it’s the move in swimming where it’s one of the most resistive moves other than the breaststroke kick. It has to be completed quickly and if it’s completed quickly… personally I try not to worry too much about how they’re getting to that point. I focus more on getting it done as fast as possible and if their hands are cupped a little bit or they’re at a weird angle, it won’t matter or it won’t matter nearly as much. We can focus sometimes on changing things and changing people into the mold that we think should be correct or we can just say, “Get this done as fast as possible.” And in order to recover quickly sometimes people will pull back less. Hearing Roque talk and he was in the endless pool the other morning… his elbows really don’t go past his shoulders whereas you see Robert’s come much farther back. Whereas Roque’s come in front, they get out front so fast because he has less distance to go.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:32:19]
Glenn Mills: Yeah, he was a… there you go. So what’s next, yes?
New Speaker: Can you talk a little bit about hip angle and [Inaudible] [00:32:30] because I was noticing that hand [Inaudible] [00:32:33].
Glenn Mills: I think the question was about discussing the hip angle in breast stroke kick. The hip angle and the thigh angle, the action of, you know how high do you get the kick. You know if I had Amanda Beard’s video on here, her body is pretty much perpendicular in a way she looks like we used to look where the legs come up so far. But she gets such huge pay back from it. If you have a great breaststroke kick, you will create more resistance in setting up the kick because you get the payback from it. Brandon’s got size 84 feet okay so when he brings his legs up they come up pretty high, okay, he grabs the water and then sends it back. Some people we used to do the drills and I’m sure you’ve done the drills where your hands are back and you’re touching your heels on every kick. That’s good for some people and it does teach you to recover your feet behind you but for some people that don’t have the ankle flexibility are not getting the payback from the kick, it might not be the best thing for them. But again this is for you… there are drills, there’re techniques, there’re things that work for certain people and don’t work for other people. Did that answer your question at all or did I just spout out something?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:34:02]
Glenn Mills: It’s called the Classic Vintage sort of… I mean the Ernie Maglischo video, the aqua forms video, I actually have it. It’s actually… it’s on the go sites streaming under classic drills and it’s pretty funny but we’ll try to move it over into the new website just so… I’ve talked to my coach, Coach Kembrew who produced a lot of great video back in the day and most of you masters coaches will recognize a lot of the people in there. And the reason… there are two reasons I want to put this content online. One reason is to keep the history of the sport alive and the second reason is the way we swam 30 years ago in every stroke is so much different than the way we swim now. And if we can imagine what we’re going to be showing 30 years from now, how are we going to look. Who are going to be the guys like, Nort? Who is going to be the person… which one of you in here is going to push something forward that changes how we approach the water and how we approach the sport so that 30 years from now we’re going to look back at videos of Michael Phelps… okay, leave him out of it. Yeah, we’re going to look back at videos of so many of the rest of the swimmers and say, “You know, I can’t believe we didn’t do this back then.” So in a way a lot of the old videos are really to inspire us to see where we’re going to go next and who is the person that’s going to push it forward. But I think… anybody here have a swimming faster, Ernie Maglischo’s, “Swimming faster, Swimming fastest”, if you look in the index there, I’m in I think the first two books and I think there are some clips that you might be able to see the hands turned over.
New Speaker: Do you have any video of Yuliya Efimova’s breaststroke where she uses the up-kick?
Glenn Mills: Yeah, no I don’t. I mean most of the stuff… we’d love to travel a little more. There might be some possibilities based on something that actually happened here where we’ll get out and have a little bit more opportunity to see people in other countries. We’re fortunate to be able to film Roland Schoeman at Arizona but we definitely want to see if we can continue to build a library with athletes from other nations. But, you know, my biggest nightmare is all the stuff that’s available on YouTube and then we play 1800 videos a day so, you know, we’re kind of, our biggest… our own biggest nightmare sometimes. But I’m sure there are some great clips on YouTube that you can find because there are so many innovators out there. Question in the back?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:37:03]?
Glenn Mills: Well if you recognize the voice… now I’m nervous. I had no idea you were in here. That was Nort and Nort was talking about the history of breaststroke and how it’s gone through so many narrations from… I mean the great thing is that this is suppose to be a masters talk and what is legal in butterfly for masters swimmers, breaststroke kick. Okay, so it’s the only way I would ever attempt a 200 fly anymore? So I mean, you know, it was that conjunction, you know, that kind of, combination sort of, stroke that kind of, merged into what it is now. But in masters swimming you’re still allowed to do what used to be, is that correct Nort? Okay and again like I said, you know, where are we going from here and so the… as Nort said looking at the past shows us the future sometimes of what we’ve done in the past and all the masters swimmers in here have some people in their group that were great swimmers before and to see what they do now and how able they are to convert into, you know, what could be the next.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:38:54]
Glenn Mills: So the idea… and I’m going to repeat as much as I can so that Guy can… he wants to record this and might not have picked that up. So the idea is to throw as many breaststroke drills as possible at swimmers for about 45 minutes so that they get a snapshot of all kinds of different aspects of their stroke so that at the end of the practice they’re going to pull out of those, each one of those drills little bits and pieces that help combine to a much better stroke. But the important thing is to do it consistently. Does that sum it up? Thank you. Excellent.
So I mean, you know, this is the beauty of things is that I may personally almost go to the opposite of that. I may say that I’m going to do this one thing for 45 minutes. But I’ve always said that, you know you have to pick and choose what works for you and your athletes and the most important thing I think in coaching is consistency so that you do that every week. They not only expect it, they learn what’s coming and they learn how to take advantage of it the most and I think that that’s… I mean I may try that. I probably will. So I mean these are the things that… that’s the beauty of it. There’s no one answer. So anybody?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:41:20]
Glenn Mills: I don’t know if I have anything specific to what you’re explaining. I’m just going to look at that really quick. How many of you have athletes that have problems with butterfly or teaching a very short release in the back, yeah, early exit… yeah. What’s that now?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:42:44]
Glenn Mills: It would seem to me that, you know, if you view the butterfly or really any stroke as a stroke in and of itself, if you shift some of the focus of it forward by making sure that things aren’t going so far back, you may shorten the stroke a little bit but obviously make it much easier for them to get their hands around in the front. But if you’re already doing that and they are still having problems going forward, I mean unfortunately I do not have anything specific that shows that. Who in here have some other alternatives or ideas about how her athletes can get their arms back into the recovery a little bit better and way in the back… I wonder who that is.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:43:36]
Glenn Mills: So did you say a bounce of the body or a balance of the body?
New Speaker: Balance.
Glenn Mills: Okay, because balance is actually a good word too. One of the things I love to use for illustration for people that swim butterfly, sometimes the farther you press down, the harder you have to work. So if you take a volleyball and you push it all the way down into the bottom and let it go, it takes forever to get back up. If you take it and you just press it a little bit under the water so that the top of it is still showing and you push down a little, it pops way out of the water. So bounce and balance I think are really good ideas to use and sometimes… this is where increasing the rate without increasing the power and this is where… if you increase rate and maintain the same power on each stroke, then you’re going to get tired quicker. You might go faster but you’ll also get tired quicker. If you increase rate and allow the arms just to kind of, flow through following the body, following the rhythm that’s set up, then you may be able to maintain efficiency or better strokes for a longer period of time. And that again would be by kind of, bouncing your body down the pool. Nort?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:44:51]
Glenn Mills: So more of a sweeping recovery rather than a lifting recovery. Is that correct? Okay. Cool. I don’t know if that helped at all. You know, that’s a tough one. So who’s next?
New Speaker: Can you show some underwater stuff of flying to see the [Indiscernible] [00:45:22]?
Glenn Mills: So the question is let’s look at Robert underwater. Let’s see what we’ve got with Misty. It’s going to be recovery… well, here are some illustrations of who we were trying not to show the errors and let’s see if there are… I’ll go back to Robert in a second but again the rhythm of Misty’s stroke and the focus of this particular chapter in her video is actually what we just talked about as far as an early release or letting go. Try not to pressure so much. So Jane right here what we’re saying is that the diamond shape is evidently a little bit more on Misty.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:46:07]
Glenn Mills: I don’t think I’ve got… well here you go. Was that good enough?
New Speaker: Sure.
Glenn Mills: Man, did we get lucky or what. Okay let’s look at Robert then. A little bit more contemporary, great butterflyer and…
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:46:29]?
Glenn Mills: Yeah I think its deep under. This is just breath holding right here. Oh, wow. You know, I wonder if we got too hot. It looks great on a computer though. Yeah, I’m not sure what happened. It must be the… we can try to turn the lights on again, Jim. Yeah, it must be just trying to catch its breath because all the lights are on. So we will do this… I can’t unplug the hard drive and I can’t walk around much. Barbara and I actually talked about bringing our TV up here just in case. We should have. Yeah, we’ll see… you guys let me know if you see light. I’m going to plug this back in now. Hang in just a second Jim, making sure I got the plug right. I’m putting it in upside down.
New Speaker: You want reading glasses?
Glenn Mills: There you go. That’s what I need and yeah it just found it before so give it just a second. It looks like it has found it. Yeah, okay let me rewind this a little bit since nobody saw it. So even Robert Margolis… I’m not sure if I have anybody that has the wider, straighter pull. So Robert obviously is coming fairly close together, not as close as Misty is. Do any coaches in here teach a wider straight through pull for butterfly especially for your master swimmers?
New Speaker: I do with my masters typically because when they get in here they… I feel like they intend to get round up. When they’re already here they can keep that stroke a little bit more rhythmic and that the lady was talking about before, to finish that stroke but they’re here right away, it’s easier for them to get their hands out when recovered.
Glenn Mills: Very good point. So he does teach a lot of his masters swimmers that if you get caught underneath and have problems getting their hands back out in front, a wider straighter pull so that the hands are… they are more able and ready to get right in to the recovery and head back forward. Does that sound right?
New Speaker: Yeah, absolutely.
Glenn Mills: Excellent. That’s a great idea. So I mean there are always manipulations on the stroke that can help in certain situations that maybe we don’t… hey, okay. Jim what you need to do is just stand up here and just blow on it okay, just to keep it cool. I know. You diluted that out. Well for lack of video until this thing comes back on, what are some other ideas as far as getting the hands back out front and butterfly. Does anybody have anything? I mean it’s just one of those things that you have to play with to see what actually works.
New Speaker: To actually add on to that, most of the masters I have can’t kick through their stroke anymore. I mean usually the 60s on up, they can’t kick through the strokes so that’s why I went to that wider thing because then they get mount up and they can’t kick through the stroke to get their hands out of the water. Being out here makes it a little simpler for them.
Glenn Mills: So what you’re saying is most of the masters swimmers… the older athletes, 60 and up are having a hard time kicking through their stroke. Do you work on a single kick with them or double kick?
New Speaker: I work with only a single kick. Double kick, it complicates and throws their body out of rhythm.
Glenn Mills: How many people in here are using just single kicks only for your masters swimmers? So just a few. There have been some great single kick flyers in history and yeah, so if you do have people that are having problems it’s an option to try. So what should we talk about next since we don’t have video.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:50:31]
Glenn Mills: Well I’m going to go out on a limb here because I’m going to answer my theory first and then I’m going to let Nort talk. So I’m setting myself up to look like an idiot but I’m willing to do that. Initially, you know, the breaststroke, dolphin kick was changed because it was the natural motion of the athletes as they pulled down. Okay, whatever, we used to not do it and we’re fine. But as the hands went back, the hands and the feet kind of, finish at the same time and then like what happened was it started earlier which meant the athletes could absolutely control where they put the kick. So I actually tried it. We did a bunch of testing on it. I think it’s much faster to put the kick in early and I think in a way… again this is a non-scientific theory. You will create almost less speed in one burst by separating the two movements so that you maintain a greater average speed through it. By hammering both of them at the same time I think you kind of, you’re just running into the water and so by separating I think that it just helps maintain a little bit longer. What I can tell you for someone that did no dolphin kick for a long time then added the dolphin where it was naturally supposed to be and then changing to the dolphin kick in the front, it took me six weeks for it to feel natural, six weeks. So with your athletes if they say, “I hate it. I don’t like it” and depending on how you want to coach it, understand it is an unnatural timing and will feel really weird. We’ll go to Nort first and then that way you can save yourself from in case.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:52:38]
Glenn Mills: So wait a second, you’re saying what I said was right? See, you know, no problem. Okay, Nort said that you leave the walls as fast as you’re going to be going so you want to add the kick early on to maintain that speed. If you wait too long to add it in, you’ve lost the speed and you’re not going to be able to get it back. Is that correct? Okay. Wait a second, Richard. I like everything.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:53:30]
Glenn Mills: You’re right I didn’t like it. No, I mean it’s… I’m a real stickler for, you know, especially teaching kids, you know, and being in the production sort of, business and playing thousands of videos, I really have to make sure that the stuff we put out… I’ll write to the rules committee and make sure… I’ll get them to look at something, “Is this legal?” you know, because yeah, I just can’t put stuff like that out there but yeah, we all watch YouTube. People just want it freestyle in breaststroke and they’re getting away with it. What’s the guy that did the entire second 50, the World Championships or something with a dolphin kick? So Ridge you had something?
New Speaker: I was going to say [Inaudible] [00:54:18]
Glenn Mills: Just in the natural motion. So, yes.
New Speaker: What about the shorter form of [Inaudible] [00:54:30]
Glenn Mills: Well the short pull is a no pull, okay and what Nort has been having certain athletes do especially… would you say you’re using it much more for 50s and 100s?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:54:45]
Glenn Mills: Okay. Right. That’s absolutely it. People will skip it until what it is, is you push off the wall, okay, and you start your first stroke and you just recover and kick right into it. There is no underwater… you never get stuck in this position. This… I’ve filmed thousands of kids at camps and all, you know, all over the place and I have seen kids from this position, go to here and when you slow it down they move backwards and my description to them is pretty much at all levels of competitive swimming that is not advised.
New Speaker: So I wasn’t seeing a guy played this about a thousands when I watched the world champions. So Rebecca Soni did not throw a full pull down.
New Speaker: She didn’t do it in the 50s. She didn’t do it in the last [Inaudible] [00:56:02].
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:56:03]
Glenn Mills: And what Nort is saying is that if it’s faster you should use it. So now you got to train your athletes harder but I mean when Nort first was talking about… I was talking to Roque Santos about it and Roque just kind of, laughed. He says, “I’ve been doing that for years. Once I run out of breath, I just come up.” So, Nort you got something else?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:56:23]
Glenn Mills: So again for Guy in [Indiscernible] [00:56:38] you don’t get into oxygen debt because you’re getting up to the air quicker. You’re setting up your stroke quicker and, you know, could be much, much more advantageous. I still like to rest. I’m old, that’s it. You got something?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:56:55]
Glenn Mills: Yeah, you’ve got to be ready to go because you’re not going to go as far, yeah. Yes.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:57:08]
Glenn Mills: Sure.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:57:11] Now I understand what he was saying about when you’re coming up in the water [Inaudible] [00:57:18] but it’s your fastest points so whether there are dolphin kicks there or not it’s your fastest point. So [Inaudible] [00:57:26] why does it really matter whether it’s in the front because you’re going faster any way or in some limit that somewhere in the middle to create another speed that’s fast [Indiscernible] [00:57:38]. So I’m just curious as an athlete wondering whether [Indiscernible] [00:57:47]
Glenn Mills: The question is back to the placement of the dolphin kick. The front or the middle and maintaining a higher average speed. It really is about maintaining the momentum that you’ve had off the wall for a longer period of time. After working on this for a while I did a drill for YouTube and for the website. If we look at what every swimmer does first when they leave the wall, what is it? Streamline, okay. What every swimmer does, I can’t… the dolphin kick, you know, on all the other strokes we’re pushing off and we’re doing dolphin kicks so you’re already teaching them to do that. You know, breast stroke has always been that abandoned step child that does everything else really weird. So here is a way that you can teach the same thing to everybody and then just incorporate that pull down. I absolutely think it’s faster. What I can tell you from a personal experience, I was getting probably a half a yard to a yard farther on every wall and it felt horrible initially. Six weeks it took me. I’m sorry? Yeah, with the kick in front. Jane?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [00:59:02]
Glenn Mills: So chances are Jane I won’t be able to repeat it. You come up and say it in the mike? Bio-mechanics… I don’t even know what the word means.
New Speaker: I don’t mean to interrupt Glenn here. This is an overall concept with maintaining momentum. Remember we’re talking about two types of inertia- static and dynamic inertia. It takes a lot of work to go from static to dynamic inertia and then you do less work to maintain that. The best analogy I give is trying to push a stalled car. You put a lot of work in but once the car is moving you do a lot less work. So maintaining off the wall, you try to keep the pressure, keeping that inertia as high as possible rights off the wall and then that’s a lot more economical.
Glenn Mills: So just going faster pretty much, right? See, I knew I got it. Yes, sir.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [01:00:01]
Glenn Mills: So you’re extending your fastest [Indiscernible] [01:00:06] longer which is the goal but then again, you know, just right now hearing that Nort would want all of the athletes to be trained to skip it so that you miss this but if you’re not going to be able to put the kick in front, it’s going to be the next best solution. Is that correct or both? How do you do both?
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [01:00:34]
Glenn Mills: Yeah, there you go, okay. So just when you’re taking that first pull you do a dolphin kick and then you come up and you recover the dolphin kick into a breaststroke kick and start swimming.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [01:00:52]
Glenn Mills: So because of the rules the stroke has to start. Nort we did the same thing. We’ve got a camera that does 300 frames a second and what we tried to do was really lock those hands, lock to a point where the second that you let go, they did that and that’s when everything started. The problem with that is that it’s got to start because with the high speed camera underwater, what we saw was… that’s two pulls. So they’ve got to go right into it when they let go.
New Speaker: [Inaudible] [01:01:40]
Glenn Mills: Some people start before they let go. Yes sir.
New Speaker: Just a question on streamlines and where the arms should be placed throughout… well not necessarily through the different strokes. Have you noticed, you do a lot of filming of what is actually the best position, you know, are the arms locked behind the ears, over the ears, in front of the ears, what is the best position and do you have an opinion on it?
Glenn Mills: Well as far as where the hands should be locked on a streamline, over the ears, behind the ears or wherever. First of all, depending on the person, how big the person’s head is, is going to make a difference. How flexible their arms are is going to make a difference and then, you know what they’re most comfortable with. The most important thing is that they streamline. So, you know, you have to watch from a cross section of how much of their head is exposed, you know, when they go too far back. Is that creating resistance? Have they pushed their chin forward in order to accomplish that? The simplest way for me to teach a kid or a masters swimmer is just to put the biceps on the ears. Now whether or not they’re able to do that is going to determine kind of, where we go from there. So again just… they’re all just opinions. Yes.
New Speaker: Let me just back you up just one second. So as soon as their [Indiscernible] [01:02:54] start to go, they can do the dolphin even though it’s not really…
Glenn Mills: Correct. As soon as the hands separate, if the pull has begun from here to here the pull has begun. This is where unfortunately some of the rules are very difficult to monitor. You know, we need I mean we need high speed cameras on some of the stuff and the officials have a lot of stuff to look at which is where sometimes it’s knockout or each side you might all get two kicks in. Okay, alright but depending on how many officials… it’s easier to get two kicks in at masters meet because they feel so bad for you, you know. But I think that’s about it for me.

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