Technique Technique Technique!
What an announcement earlier this year; a swimming champion
comes out of retirement – Ian Thorpe to take on Phelps in the pool
at the London Olympics 2012.
At the moment Australian swimming comebacks seem to be growing in
popularity. The most notable and successful in recent history is Geoff Huegill,
a talented butterfly specialist who disappeared into the ether in 1996 after
the Athens Olympics only to return with vengeance taking Gold at last year’s
Delhi Commonwealth Games. This year two more Australian Gold
medallists have announced they will be getting their feet wet once again, 33
year old Michael Klim will be attempting to qualify for his fourth Olympics and
the legendary Ian Thorpe is also gunning for gold in 2012.
Thorpe has left little time to truly prepare; he has lost a lot of his excess
weight fairly quickly but has no recent swim racing experience, something
he will need in order to truly be competitive. What he does have is
bucket loads of high pressure experience. He understands how
to deal with media pressure, he knows what training works for him, he has an
aerobic base of old that will be residual, and he has maturity. However, I believe
his biggest asset and the attribute that will most likely enable him to make a
successful comeback is one of the soundest examples of freestyle technique the
world has ever seen. Try and fault any of it, the recovery, the catch, the
kick. Thorpe is an amazing example of what all the right ingredients mixed with
brilliant technique can achieve.
We might not all be capable of Olympic Gold but by observing
Thorpes technique and using it as the Gold medal standard we can certainly take
our own personal swimming to new levels.
We all agree Fitness is imperative. However, in
swimming, without great technique you aren’t going anywhere!