Throwback Thursday: Regional Swim Clinic

Originally Published January 1993 in Great Lengths
By Caren Liedtke, Coach of the Victoria Masters Swim Club

On November 15, 1992, the Victoria Masters Swim Club hosted a 4-hour stroke improvement clinic. Fourteen of our own members attended, along wth the coach of the Duncan Masters Swim Team.

The clinic was led by Jack Kelso, a man with a long and distinguished history in swimming. He most recently coached the UBC varsity team, and is currently teaching coaching and sport science at UBC.

The clinic was divided into three sections: watching a swimming video, videotaping the feedback, and individual stroke correction. Jack began the clinic by showing a video from the AquaForm series. The series shows a high level of swimminig (the top two to three male and femal American swimmers in each stroke) and provides thorough stroke analysis. Shots are taken from above and below the water, graphics display stroke patterns from front and side views. Graphs show acceleration phases, and a voice-over analyzes and helps you make sense of all the visuals. As well, Jack paused the video to provide commentary of his own.

For the second portion of the clinic it was on the pool. Jack video taped each swimmer doing three strokes of his or her choice. Then we all gathered around the TV. Jack gave everyone feedback, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses.

In the final section of the clinic, Jack spent 5 to 10 minutes with each swimmer and gave one-on-one stroke correction. He watched the swimmer do a stroke of his or her choice, th4en gave feedback and suggested some stroke drills that might help focus on and improve weak areas.

Throughout the clinic I heard comments such as, “I didn’t know that”, “I didn’t know I swam like that”, “Oh, so that’s how backstroke pull goes”. Since the clinic I have heard, “At the clinic Jack told me to …”, “Since the clinic I have been trying to…” These comments tell me that the swimmers who attended learned something they didn’t already know about stroke efficiency and are trying to apply this new knowledge in practice. On this basis, I would say the clinic was a smashing (splashing?) success.

Thinking about hosting a swim clinic? Let us know so we can help spread the word!


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