Kahncept Of the Week 

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August 31 2015

History of Goggles (from swimmingscience.net)

In the 1960’s, Swimming goggles were introduced to competitive swimming and changed the face of the sport. The introduction of these goggles greatly extended the amount of time one could train in the pool by eliminating the painful effects of chlorinated water. In fact, claims have been made that goggles have revolutionized the sport of competitive swimming more than any other advancement in the sport. Ever. Outside of the swimsuit there is no other item as closely connected to our sport.

Writers in the 14th century described Persian pearl divers that used goggles with a polished layer of tortoise shells as a lens. This is considered one of the earliest accounts of the use of swimming goggles. ?

In the 16th century, Venetian coral divers could be found using these same goggles. 

Polynesian skin divers were known for their use of wood or bamboo goggles that would trap air to create a viewing area while submerged. Once introduced to glass, they applied glass lenses to their goggles.

The first competitive swimmer to use goggles would be Thomas Burgess. 

With the help of goggles, Thomas became the second person to swim the English Channel in 1911.  His goggles were more like motorcycle goggles and were not water-tight. Due to his use of the breast stroke, these goggles were used more to help protect his eyes from the salty waves of the English Channel.

In 1916 the first modern day goggle design was patented, but we would not see a goggle that would be deemed competition quality for decades. In 1928 Gertrude Ederle becomes the sixth person, first woman and fastest swimmer to date to swim the English Channel, and the first using front crawl (aka freestyle), using a full face mask of motorcycle goggles sealed by parafin wax.  

Her goggles are now in the Smithsonian

Until David Wilkie competed at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, goggles were considered training equipment like pull buoys, kickboards and fins.  Today it would be hard to even envision the sport without the use of swimming goggles. Modern-day swimmers take goggles for granted and would never imagine swimming a length without them, much less an entire practice or season. Want to hear some fun stories about street lamp halos and milk? Ask a swimmer over 60 years old what they remember.

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August 24 2015

Freestyle Propulsion

Last week Mary and I had an oportunity to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). With good equipment and better balance, we both enjoyed 15 minutes of fun in the sun. What nearly knocked me over, though, were the insights into and the comparisons between the sports of swimming and paddleing. Mechanically both rely heavily on fixing the blade/hand in a stationary, submerged position while the board/body pass above. Though not exact, swimmers can learn a lot from paddleboard techniques.

Without coaching, beginners often use their paddles incorrectly. They haven't learned that, just as in swimming, pushing forces are greater than pulling forces.

Aligning the blade so that during the underwater path it remains perpindicular while passing under the paddlers center of mass provides the greatest thrust.

SUP'ers who race, lean forward, digging their paddles deep, while exerting backwards pressure. This image shows a paddles path with white lines drawn every three frames as the board passes behind a floating pipe marked in one foot increments.  It definitely appears that the paddle stays still for an extended period of time. It turns out that all experienced paddlers anchor and release the water by maintaining, as long as possible, a backwards facing blade.  Here are paddle paths of four top SUP'ers.  The first three have greater distance per stroke and the fourth has greater tempo.

Just as in swimming freestyle, pointing the palm any direction except backwards is counter-productive. If paddlers had a oar that was hinged at the joint between handle and blade thay could constantly manage the pitch of the blade so that it faced backward longer. Unfortunately, they don't; but we do. We have a wrist!

Here is recent DAM swimmer, Jake Allen, demonstrating how early in his motion he internally flexes his wrist, and then how late in the motion he changes to an external hyper-extension,  all the while maintaining a backwards facing palm. Notice how the angle of attack at the wrist is nearly identical in both positions. If we were to film Jake against a stationary grid, I'm sure we would see that his palm, once engaged and rear-facing, stays in one place in the water as his body moves past.

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August 10 2015

ATTITUDE (part 3) - Take charge of your attitude.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.

It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes."

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August 3 2015

ATTITUDE (part 2)

The Farmer's Donkey: A Fable for Our Time

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn't worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbors to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up. 

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone's amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up

Every adversity can be turned into a stepping stone. 

What happens to you isn't nearly as important as how you react to it.

Author Unknown

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