Kahncept Of the Week (KOW)


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January 20 2015


One of the many unique aspects of the DAM program is that our swim practices are held in small pools with large numbers of bodies. This condition occasionally results in crowded lanes with swimmers of slightly differing abilities. As much as most problems are always solved there are instances, where due to lack of awareness, people get left behind or let out.

Please keep these following points in mind when sharing a lane and swimming with others

  • Introduce yourself to your lane mates during the 10 minute warmup.
  • Know the DIRT on the set (Distance, Interval, Repeats and goal Time) before shoving off.
  • If entering a lane after a set has begun, wait in the right corner until your presence is known.
  • Know the number of swimmers in your lane and count them while circle swimming.
  • Anticipate when others will catch you and pull over at the wall for faster swimmers.
  • Leave five seconds apart, not on each others feet.
  • '3rd or 4th Person In' means first swimmer leaves when that swimmer touches.
  • 'R:10 or R:15' means everyone in the lane gets at least that amount of rest.
  • '#1 + :15' means the time of the first swimmer determines the interval for the entire lane.
  • When finishing a repeat, touch and move to the left, allowing those behind to touch as well.
  • If stopping during a repeat, stay in the right corner, allowing those behind to turn on the left.

Editor's note: see these USMS articles on lane etiquette: 

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January 12 2015


Our sport is the only competitive activity where the same medium (water) provides both the platform for propulsion and the force that resists its progress.  In a later KOW, we'll address RESISTANCE but this week the focus is on PROPULSION.

Before strengthening propulsive forces, one must feel them. This ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion and equilibrium is known as proprioceptive awareness. At practice, those stimuli are often challenged in drill and pull sets created to compare, contrast and correct feel for the water. With an advanced awareness, swimmers, using a properly sequenced combination of arms, hands, legs and foot motions, can generate greater propulsive forces to propel the body forward.

In swimming, the essence of feel and forward propulsion has been linked using many different terms and images, and this week, we'd like to add another. We're going to start talking more about a “virtual wall of water.” In order to move forwards, water must be angled backwards. And the sooner it's directed backwards, for the longest time, with the greatest pressure, the more thrust will occur.

In all of the four strokes begin feeling and thinking of how soon you can effectively position the hand against a relatively solid surface (water is 800+ times thicker than air). This “virtual”wall also accurately represents the total backward hand motion as it changes form the pull to the push in all but breaststroke. Pulling, or swimming, with hand paddles enhances the “wall” feeling, maintains the hand perpendicular to the direction of travel and increases forward propulsion.

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January 5 2015


Before it evolved into the Romance Languages, Latin was spoken throughout the Mediterranean and many European countries. Along with French and Old Norman influences, Latin contributed a significant number of vocabulary words (80,000) to our English language. Many of those words retained their original meanings but some, over time, morphed into similar or different meanings. COMPETITION is one that has changed.

The early Latin word, competere, meant to 'come together' with another, or team up. Later Latin evolved to mean 'strive together' with another to reach a goal. Either way it was a union of forces.

Whereas the older Greek word for competition, Agon, related to a struggle or contest, the early Romans truly understood the benefits of working with another person and not against them. The best way to strive forwards is not by yourself but alongside someone else. Unfortunately, modern culture has bastardized the Latin and now sees competition as fierce efforts towards an opponent. Nowadays one can only win by making another lose.

That's not how we see things on this team. We want to create bonds and connections. Our goal is to help everyone feel welcome and part of our club. DAM is one of the premier Masters swimming programs in America, renown for both its team size and legacy.

Come join us and participate. Set a goal; meet a fellow athlete. Competere.

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