The following is a terrific article on the type of culture that we want at GCAT. Please take a few minutes to read the article below.
Maria Breen, a former GCAT swimmer, now works at the University of Georgia. Her major focus it to make sure UGA Student Athletes eat well so they perform well academically as well as athletically.
THE BUTTERFLY KICKOUT
Also called “underwaters” has become one of the most important skills a young swimmer can master in our sport. Every time the swimmer pushes off from the wall they are allowed to streamline and kick to the 15 meter mark. Using a dolphin motion (with the legs, hips, chest and arms) the swimmer pulses through under the water in a rhythm while holding a streamline position. At or before the 15 meter mark each swimmer in a race must emerge with a breakout stroke. Once the swimmers’ head breaks the surface of the water he or she can begin swimming with the prescribed stroke.
Younger swimmers are taught the rhythm through various drills and repeating the kickout from a dive or from a push. Repetition of the kickout will strengthen the appropriate muscle groups and begins a habit of doing the same thing every time the swimmer does a start or pushes off the wall. As the swimmer gets older he or she develops power and strength by adding kicks through a progression.
The swimmer gains a distinct advantage using a butterfly kickout by first carrying momentum off the wall each time. Typically a good kickout will allow the swimmer to breakout ahead of the other swimmers in a race. Second, the swimmer is able to maintain that momentum with a powerful and fast kickout. The third advantage is the swimmer will save energy by holding the streamline and not using his or her arms.
Our coaches at Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team work each day to help our swimmers develop this skill. Each group works as a progression to build each season from the basic movements to the full mastery of a 15 meter kickout.
This skill has become so important that is has been unofficially called the “fifth stroke” in competitive swimming.
Coach Bill will be adding all kinds of swimming and health related material here. Please visit the blog frequently for the latest and greatest swimming information!