HOW CHAMPIONS DO IT
Researched, produced, and prepared by Brent S. Rushall,
DIANA MOCANU AT 35 m OF HER GOLD MEDAL 100 M BACKSTROKE RACE AT THE 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES IN SYDNEY
Each frame is .1 seconds apart. Diana Mocanu's time for this race was 1:00.21.
This stroke analysis includes a moving sequence in real time, a moving sequence where each frame is displayed for .5 of a second, and still frames.
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At the end of the following narrative, each frame is illustrated in detail in a sequential collage.
The striking feature of this stroking pattern is the direct horizontal pull effected by both arms. If the hand is followed for either arm, and the path it takes compared to the lane divider, it can be seen that most of the pull is horizontal. Only during the initial repositioning of the hand/forearm propelling surface after entry is there a noticeable vertical component of movement. The left arm is not quite as horizontal as the right. [The absence of any "S-shaped" pulling pattern is also noteworthy as some coaches still teach that movement pattern.]
Both hands orient the arm to pull immediately upon entry. As the hand is turned out and backward, the upper arm begins to adduct. There is virtually no lost time before propulsive forces begin to build on the hand/forearm surface.
The left arm develops very strong drag-force propulsion once its direct force is developed (frame #10). The "milky" water is evidence of the turbulence created on the back of the hand/forearm propelling-surface.
The swimmer's streamline could be improved. The head is too high causing the hips and buttocks to be too low. This position increases the cross-sectional surface that is presented to the water and markedly increases resistance at fast velocities.
The amount of shoulder roll exceeds that of the hips. It is possible this swimmer's performance could be improved by rolling the hips more in unison with the shoulders. Extra hip-roll would also facilitate a bigger, and possibly more propulsive, kick.
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