Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heddi checks in; learning how to swim with one arm....

I had my second session with Paralympic coach, Kiko VanZandt, and was really excited to see my progress.

Since my car accident, I've taught myself to swim one-handed but am really happy to find a coach that understands the ways I need to compensate for the injury. I need to rely on my rotation even more than most swimmers, so I don't injure my good shoulder.

I am rotating a lot more, since Kiko had me work on the timing of my stroke. I'm leading less with my shoulder, and more with the hip rotation. She had me practice turning my hip as my hand pulls next to it under the water. She calls this "opening the door to the garage" :)

It's amazing how much less effort this takes, when the timing is right. She also noticed that I was dropping my elbow a bit as my arm came out of the water. Kiko had me work on rounding my arm, to scoop the water with my hand and whole arm as it enters the water.

I also did some work with a swim paddle to find the right hand position. I was amazed to feel the difference, depending on which angle my hand enters the water. This is going to be a great tool to find both the best pull
position, but also to feel when I use my shoulder more than I should. It really hurts if I get the angle wrong!

Kiko also noticed that my left leg gets a bit lazy when I'm going for air on the left side. Since I only have one arm working, it's more important to keep a good strong kick going. I'm definitely going to have to concentrate on that, since I caught myself doing it a number of times in the session.

I talked to Kiko about mentioning her name in this blog, and she said she loves blueseventy! She sends thanks to Roque for providing her paralympic swimmers with skinsuits--they really loved them, and the records they set with them. I just tried mine out in the pool, and it was a blast slipping through the water:)


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