Video analysis swim session. 

Today I went to meet Jason Tait from South West Swim for a video analysis of my swimming technique in his endless pool. 


I tried not to over think this session and kept telling myself that this is all good experience and will help improve my stroke, technique and in turn my confidence in the open water.  I must admit I was a little apprehensive about it, being just me in the pool feeling exposed and vulnerable.  There is nowhere to hide and all eyes and video are on me.  I don’t even like my photo being taken.  So, to overcome this I decided to ignore this aspect and just swim like the camera wasn’t there.  I had been reassured by Jon and the team at Swim Secure and by Jason Tait himself, that I would be in safe hands.

I arrived and met Jason and within a few minutes of chatting with him all my fears had disappeared. He put me at ease with his kind, confident and gentle way.  What a lovely man. Jason talked me through the session explaining what we were going to do and how the endless pool worked.  I have never swum in this type of environment before and by the end of the chat I was excited to get in the pool and try it out.  


So, without further ado it was cozzie on and in the pool.  It was just the right temperature.  If you have have read my previous blogs my biggest fear is the cold water.  I pushed off into the current and I was away.  Not going anywhere while swimming is a strange sensation.  I was left to acclimatise myself to the current and the pool, surprisingly I took to it quite well.  Then just when I was relaxing into my stroke I looked down to see a mirror in the bottom of the pool!  Well that was a bit of a shock to say the least, seeing myself, but after a while I became used to it and found it interesting to see what I looked like and what my body was doing when I swim.  It was fascinating.  


So once I was warmed up and I had adjusted to the power of the current, Jason explained that he was going to film me from every angle….yep every angle.  Oh great, I thought, I’m exposed with definitely no place to hide.  But pushing those thoughts aside I began to swim.

Once the video footage was complete and downloaded onto the laptop, Jason and I went through it all.  Jason said I had a quite a good stroke and coming from a man of his background I took that compliment. Then we took my technique apart. 

Some things were obvious to me like crossing the mid-line of entry to the water with my hands more to the left, not stretching as much as I could, therefore not maximising the benefit of each stroke.  This explained why I have a tendency to drift off to the right and bash into the lane ropes.  We continued through the video picking up different aspects of my stroke and how, with some tweaking, what I thought was a good stoke could be even better.  There were three basic points that needed working on, head position, position of hand entry and crossing the mid-line.  With the use of some hand paddles it was suggested that this could improve and help correct one of the issues that we picked up during the analysis.  

Discussion over and the freestyler hand paddles fitted (which Jason gave to me, thank you) I was keen to give the suggestion a try so I was off again.  This time I had to really concentrate on the small adjustments that were suggested.  It was difficult to change something that comes naturally to me and I have been doing the same way for many years.  These new adjustments were interesting, making me really concentrate on these simple changes.  The paddles will take some getting used to but I’m sure with some perseverance and practice the results will be amazing.

Before I knew it, the session was over.  How time flies when you are having fun.  I was given a memory stick with my video, the discussion/analysis of my technique and what I can work on with a training programme.  This is fantastic, I can go over the video at home and continue to improve my stroke.  

I left the session on a real high.  So excited about developing my stoke, something I thought I was good at now will only get better.  This has turned out to be an amazing opportunity and I am so glad that I didn’t talk myself out of it.  I’m now looking forward to practicing my drills and improving my technique for the Sandford Parks Lido triathlon later this month.

I want to thank Jason of South West Swims so much for his time, knowledge and experience.  I am looking forward to seeing him at the Introduction to Open Water & Triathlon Swimming next month.  That reminds me; I need to get a wet suit for that one!

Click here for Part 4 of Rachel's story. 

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