Rushall Thoughts (1998).

Swimming coaches have long recognized the specificity of training. Programs for developing 1500-m swimmers do not enhance performances for 200 m, etc. Many coaches claim that training effects are so specific that each event has to be practiced as an entity in itself. If training effects in swimming are so specific then why should strength training out of the water with static weights transfer beneficial training effects to swimming? Why would using equipment cause benefits when the action patterns, muscle load sequences, speed of contractions, and kinesthetic sensations are different to the target sport of swimming?

The body just does not have selective specificity. It only reacts adaptively to specific stimuli and knows little of transferring training effects from one activity to another in moderately trained individuals. So why do swimming coaches find it acceptable to program specialized training in some activities and not in others?

Although training programs are well intentioned that does not change the nature of man's responsiveness to demanding stimuli. Specific performances are only improved by specific training effects. The caveat to that pronouncement is that man is also limited to the amount of specific training that can be tolerated.

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