Aqua Notes

The Three Styles of Freestyle

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OK. I know you are not supposed to fall in love with your own product, but after watching this newly released Race Club DVD for the third time, I can’t help it. I love this DVD. Let me tell you why.

First, you get to see first hand what one of the world’s leading sprint coaches, Mike Bottom means when he defines the three different ways one needs to use the body to motor down the pool. It was Mike who first coined the term ‘three styles of freestyle’ in a lecture at the ASCA convention last year. If you missed that talk, here is your chance to not only hear it, but also see what he is talking about with some of the fastest swimmers on the planet. And, of course, you will learn when to apply each style of freestyle to your own race. Read more


Busting 10 Myths About The Race Club

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Myth # 1: The Race Club is interested in only world-class swimmers.

The Race Club takes pride in training some of the fastest swimmers of the world (the World Team), but we offer three types of programs. The first is The Race Club Camp. This is a one-day, two-day, three-day or six day program designed for any level or age of swimmer and customized to fit his or her needs. The second is our Level II program. This program is integrated into our World Team program, yet is designed for the high level swimmer, whether high school, college, post-graduate or master, who wants to take his or her game to another level. The length of this program is flexible and can be arranged for weeks, months or years. The third is the World Team program designed for elite athletes aspiring to be among the best in the world. Read more


Swimming With Your Body

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When Tiger Woods drives a golf ball well over 300 yards, he does so not simply by using or swinging his arms. He uses the power, weight and force of his entire body. It would be easier for him just to use his arms, but by unleashing the transferred power of his hips, core and shoulders moving through swing, the ball travels much further.

It is also easier for us to swim just with our arms and legs, as if they were attached to a surfboard. But our bodies are not surfboards. They behave more like bricks and require a tremendous amount of force to move rapidly through the water. We can generate some force purely from our arms and legs. In fact, one can usually generate enough force this way to get through 10 x 400 meters with short rest and still live to swim another day. This type of flat, paddling, mostly arm-and-leg-driven stroke is what we call the ‘survival stroke’. It enables one to survive the long, punishing workouts, but not to swim fast…or at least as fast as one is capable. Read more


Swimming On the Freeway

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In the first fundamental rule of fast swimming, we learned that though we are shaped more like bricks than fish, the little things we can do to make us behave more like fish (keep our heads down and body aligned, streamline off walls and starts, wearing new technology suits) make a big difference in our speed, even with the same or less amount of energy expended. Now let’s focus on the second fundamental rule of fast swimming: swimming on the freeway. Read more


Thick as a Brick

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There are three fundamental principals I like to teach to all of The Race Club campers that pertain to both freestyle and backstroke. These principals seem so obvious to me now and yet, when I look back at old videos of me swimming in the 68 Olympics or even after, I cringe. How could I have done so many things wrong? Why didn’t we get it back then?

I guess we were just dumb… but the truth is that these 3 fundamentals aren’t so obvious. If they were, we wouldn’t find that 99% of The Race Club campers haven’t figured them out either. It really isn’t their fault. Like with me, they have not been told what to do and, instead of doing what is most beneficial to swim fast, they have adapted in order to survive long, arduous workouts. The habits we develop by swimming 10 x 400 meters on 5 minute 30 second intervals allow us to (hopefully) walk away from the pool to live another day. They don’t necessarily teach us the best way to get up and down the pool the fastest and most efficient way. Read more


Joe B Miller

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It was my freshman year in college in a state that I continue to hate. I as usual had a slanted grin on my face, but it was a little bit off. My nose was curled up a bit.

“Joe, what the #@&% is that smell?”

I admit that my regenerated form of vocabulary was not fully developed at that particular time and place.

“Dude!” and a muffled laugh discharged from a similarly contorted nose was all that he replied. Read more


The Straight-Arm Freestyle Recovery

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Recently, I was watching a video telecast on the Web of the World Cup meet in Berlin, hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the Race Club swimmers competing in the 100 m Freestyle. Mostly, I was captivated by the swim of Stefan Nystrand of Sweden, who dominated an impressive field of sprinters, and did so with a straight-arm recovery.

The straight-arm recovery in Freestyle is not new. I am not sure who was the first to use it, but in my memory bank, which has a rather small deposit, Janet Evans comes to mind. Others have succeeded using it as well… Kristen Otto (plus steroids), Inge de Bruijn, Michael Klim, just to name a few. Read more


Diabetes Cruise and a Lesson in Debate Class

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Diabetes Cruise

It’s exciting to announce that on December 1, 2008 we will set sail from the port of Miami on the first Gary Hall Jr. Foundation Diabetes Cruise.

We are chartering the Carnival ship M/S Destiny and will provide an atmosphere where those with diabetes can come into contact with others living with this disease and a comprehensive team of specialists, doctors, presenters and educators that will provide the latest and greatest in diabetes management tools and techniques, nutrition, exercise, and medication information. Read more


Champions Until Judgment Day

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RACE CLUB MERCHANDISE IS HOT!

The Race Club SOLD OUT! …of merchandise that is. We had to replenish the inventories, revisiting the well of creativity to drink from the good cup and come up with more cool designs. I think that you’ll be dazzled by the new looks. Read more


Sporting Stuff

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Hey there sport!

How about me introducing a new sport today? It starts in the countryside, early in the morning. Mist rises from the wooded area and spreads out into the open fields. The breath from the horses gathered around resembles the smoky exhale of Keith Richards. The horses are awake, more alert than their riders, more in tune with the anticipation that the hounds emit. The hounds are restless. The riders voices are rough, an octave lower than usual. They wear tweed.

The shrill sound of the horn pierces a few slight hangovers and they are off, foxhunting.Sort of.

Fox hunting is an old sport. But here the riders instead of carrying guns, carry cans of red paint. Instead of killing the fox, they throw a can of red paint on it. It’s fun saving the animals. Nobody is going to kill the fox covered in red paint. We’re saving the foxes. Going on the fox hunt with the horses and dogs and tweed. AND we get to do the most fun thing in the whole world, throw cans of red paint on fur. Why should those PETA activists have all the fun? This sport rocks! Read more