I know you’ve all seen the Monofin-Breaststroke drill, and you’re probably wondering WHY we’re putting another Monofin drill on the site. Well, I’ll give you a couple reasons. First, because it’s a great tool to teach the undulation movement of the body. Second, the great speed it generates helps to teach WHY you direct your energy forward rather than up and down. And, finally, because we had a site member throw a goal out, and we wanted to support him.
On the discussion board last week, one of our members threw out a comment about representing his country in Fin Swimming Championships, even laughingly tossing out the Olympics (it’s not an Olympic sport yet, but they’re trying). There IS World Championships, so there is really no limit to how far someone can go with this at the competitive level.
Whether the goal was serious or not (only ‘the member’ knows for sure), we want to take it seriously, simply because it’s our job, as teachers and coaches, to inspire, motivate, and get swimmers to believe there are no limitations on what they can achieve, if only they put their mind to it. All right, maybe it takes a bit more than the mind (I’m not about to race Dave D. anytime soon, especially if he’s wearing a Monofin), but you know what I’m getting at.
With that said, I thought we’d post a video clip and still shots of Dave playing around with his Monofin.
Why Do It:
This may seem like it’s written to ONE person, but at this point, only ONE person has stepped up to the plate to talk about competing at the highest level, so there. So, why do it? Heck, if you’re going to be the best at something, you had BETTER learn to do it at least as well as Dave. These pictures and clip, are a mere TASTE of what you’re going to be up against. We wanted you to have images in your head of what you want to feel like when you’re practicing, and sprinting. While Dave doesn’t compete in fin swimming, he’s pretty good at ANYTHING he does in the water, especially these moves.
How To Do It:
I’m not going to go through the usual, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 process because in just a few WEEKS you’re going to know more about the legalities and rules of Fin Swimming than I do right now. So just be patient.
What I will say is that this is an entire-body exercise, or sport. It involves MASSIVE amounts of power, generated from using EVERY part of the body, from the head (to begin the undulation process), to the chest, to the hips, to the thighs, and then carried through to the press — or whip — of the legs.
The faster you go, the more attention you must pay to the amplitude of the kick. Notice that as Dave increases his velocity, his the kick DECREASES in size a bit, but INCREASES in frequency. In other words, it becomes smaller and quicker. For maximum speed, I’m guessing the goal would be to maintain a higher amplitude AND maintain the highest RATE possible. In other words, get the maximum out of each kick, and take as many of them as possible.
Of course, all that will vary depending on the race. It also depends on whether you’re allowed, or required, to breathe DURING the race.
Many of you will be surprised to learn that Fin Swimming requires that athletes surface (at least their snorkel) before the 15-meter mark. Sound familiar?
There are many rules, and far more dangers, in this sport than in swimming. One being the ability to stay aware of exactly where you are. You’ll be going SO FAST that when it’s time to turn, if you’re not ready, you’ll be a PART of the wall! I’m sure broken hands are common for those not prepared for the fast approach of the end.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Shoot, like I know?!?!?! You tell me in a year! All I know is that if your goal is serious, you’ll need to live, eat, breathe, and sleep like an elite athlete. To reach the goal you’ve set, BECOME that person already. Live life like it’s a week prior to the competition, and you’ll be an elite athlete. The goal starts, and is maintained, in the mind. In many ways, the body’s just along for the ride!
Enjoy the quest!