Breakthrough Swimming - Cecil Colwin
by Cecil Colwin
NEW, 262 pages
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About Breakthrough Swimming
Never before has one book taken such a comprehensive look at the evolution, science, and coaching application of competitive swimming. In Breakthrough Swimming, legendary swimming coach and researcher Cecil Colwin provides a rich perspective on the development of the sport and explains major advances in stroke mechanics, training methods, and racing techniques.
Accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, this engaging text is one of the most insightful written works on the sport. It makes clear sense out of the scientific principles and puts into context the historical changes in the sport. Not only will you gain a greater understanding of competitive swimming through its origins and evolution, but you’ll also gain these valuable skills:
• Improve your stroke technique, starts, and turns.
• Improve your feel of the water by learning to anticipate and effectively manipulate the reacting flow of the water.
• Understand the hydrodynamics of swimming and learn how water reacts to the forces you apply with each swimming stroke.
• Improve your conditioning and develop a better training program by understanding the principles of training.
• Learn how to design different types of workouts to produce specific physiological effects.
• Learn how to plan a seasonal program and how to relate your training to the pace of the race you intend to swim.
The book includes a chapter contributed by Dr. David Pyne, sport physiologist to the 2000 Australian Olympic swimming team. Pyne covers the physiology of modern swimming training and the preparation of swimming teams for top-flight international competition.
Breakthrough Swimming covers every aspect of competitive swimming from its spawning ground in early 19th-century England to the present day, including the profound changes that occurred in the last decade of the 20th century. The book also explains the societal changes of recent years, such as the advent of professional swimming and the specter of performance-enhancing drugs.
Combining history with the latest innovations, Breakthrough Swimming is the definitive work on the past, present, and future of competitive swimming.
About Cecil Colwin
Cecil M. Colwin is a legend among swimming coaches. He has had a distinguished international coaching career in which he developed Olympic medalists, world-record holders, and national champions. Colwin is also acknowledged as one of the swimming world's most influential coach educators and historians. His indelible mark on the sport spans from pioneering swim training and coaching national and international-level swimmers in South Africa to researching vortex flow circulation in human swimming propulsion. Colwin is acknowledged as a dynamic lecture-room and pool-deck clinician with a gift for vivid imagery and the ability to analyze and simplify complex techniques.
A former national technical director of Canadian swimming, Colwin was instrumental in researching, designing, and implementing Canadian Swimming's National Plan for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as well as the Canadian National Apprenticeship Program for training coaches in all sports. Colwin has also designed and conducted coaching certification courses for Level III coaches in the United States and Australia. In 1985 and 1986, he received the American Swimming Coaches Association's (ASCA) certificate of excellence for outstanding coaching achievement in the United States. In 1993 he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Colwin has authored hundreds of articles, papers, and books on competitive swimming, and he continues to serve as a consultant to administrators, coaches, and swimmers worldwide. He is a regular contributor to several swimming magazines, including Swimnews, Swimming World, Swimming Technique, and American Swimming. Known as one of the swimming world's most inspirational lecturers, he has addressed the World Swimming Coaches' Conference on several occasions and has given hundreds of lectures and clinic presentations worldwide. Since 1995 Colwin has served as a member of the World Swimming Coaches' Association's Anti-Doping Committee. He is also the founder of Cecil Colwin's International Swim Camps, a leading stroke clinic and training experience for swimmers and coaches from many countries.
Colwin and his wife, Margaret, live in Ottawa, Ontario, where he pursues a variety of interests including portrait painting, videography, cartooning, reading, weight training, and listening to music.
Some occupations require the workers to swim. For example, abalone- or pearl-divers swim and dive to obtain an economic benefit, as do spear fishermen.
Swimming is used to rescue other swimmers in distress. In the USA, most cities and states have trained lifeguards, such as the Los Angeles City Lifeguards, deployed at pools and beaches. There are a number of specialized swimming styles especially for rescue purposes (see List of swimming styles). Such techniques are studied by lifeguards or members of the Coast Guard.
Swimming is also used in marine biology to observe plants and animals in their natural habitat. Other sciences use swimming, for example Konrad Lorenz swam with geese as part of his studies of animal behavior.
Swimming also has military purposes. Military swimming is usually done by special forces, such as Navy SEALs. Swimming is used to approach a location, gather intelligence, sabotage or combat, and to depart a location. This may also include airborne insertion into water or exiting a submarine while it is submerged. Due to regular exposure to large bodies of water, all recruits in the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are required to complete basic swimming or water survival training.
Swimming is also a professional sport. Companies sponsor swimmers who are at the international level. Cash awards are also given at many of the major competitions for breaking records.
Professional swimmers may also earn a living as entertainers, performing in water ballets.
The most common purposes for swimming are recreation, exercise, and athletic training. Recreational swimming is a good way to relax, while enjoying a full-body workout.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. Because the density of the human body is very similar to that of water, the water supports the body and less stress is therefore placed on joints and bones. Swimming is frequently used as an exercise in rehabilitation after injuries or for those with disabilities.
Resistance swimming is one form of swimming exercise. It is done either for training purposes, to hold the swimmer in place for stroke analysis, or to enable swimming in a confined space for athletic or therapeutic reasons. Resistance swimming can be done either against a stream of moving water in a swimming machine or by holding the swimmer stationary with elastic attachments.
Swimming is primarily an aerobic exercise due to the long exercise time, requiring a constant oxygen supply to the muscles, except for short sprints where the muscles work anaerobically. As with most aerobic exercise, swimming is believed to reduce the harmful effects of stress. Swimming can improve posture and develop a strong lean physique, often called a "swimmer's build."
In recent years there has been a growth in the popularity of open water swimming, also known as "wild swimming" partly due to the publication of best-selling books by Kate Rew and Daniel Start.
The aquatic sport of swimming involves competition amongst participants to be the fastest over a given distance under self propulsion. Different distances are swum in different levels of competition. For example, the current Olympic Swimming program contains freestyle events of 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m; 100m and 200m events in each of backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly; 200m Individual Medley (that is, 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, and 50m freestyle); 400m Individual Medley (100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, and 100m freestyle); and the Marathon 10km. Most high schools swim the following distances: 50m Free; 100m Free, 200m Free, and 500m Free, 100m Backstroke, 100m Breaststroke, 100m Butterfly, and 200m IM. There are also medley relays, which combine strokes swum by four relay partners leading off with Backstroke, then Breaststroke, Butterfly, and Freestyle. In this, swimmers only swim one stroke, such as 100 yards (American) or meters of butterfly, while other swimmers take the other strokes. Medley relays are swum up to 400 meters, freestyle relays up to 800 meters, with each participant swimming an equal "leg" from the racing blocks. Regulation swimming pools are either 25 or 50 meters or yards across. Racing or training from one side to the other is known as a lap (one way), so a coach may say four laps in place of 100 yards/ or 200 meters. Typical public pools, school pools, and regulation private pools tend to be 25 meters/yards long and Olympic competition is always in fifty meter pools.
Swimming has been part of the modern Olympic Games since inception in 1896. Along with the other aquatic disciplines of diving, synchronised swimming and water polo, the sport is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), and each country has its own National Governing Body(NGB) such as USA Swimming.