Most common mistakes
Human’s natural adaptation to water movement
Inadequate postures, better known as the most common mistakes
In the observation of human’s normal behavior in aquatic environment trying to move using the different swimming styles, we perceive common positional elements, which to a greater or lesser extent, can be related, regardless of the personal technical ability level established as individual motor pattern.
We are not going to elaborate on analyzing physical principles that intervene in each situation or position, except their use as explanatory support or justification to understand certain behaviors. Nor are we going to analyze some postures or motor attitudes from the traditional point of view. We will try to associate certain behaviors with the basic characteristics of the central nervous system (CNS) and we will try to be pragmatic, so that our contribution serves as a recipe book applicable to the most common situations.
Before presenting the most common positions and their consequences, we will outline a fundamental aspect that must be taken into account:
Competitive swimming is an unnatural activity. The level of positional and propulsion demand is different and much more challenging in the sports area than in the one related to health.
Is it easy and comfortable to swim effectively by optimizing our resources?
During learning of swimming techniques, there are adaptations that will influence our future motor behavior. The sensitive stages to acquire learning are basic and enjoy the best neuronal conditions, being virgin the support to build. There are children and adults who have a better willingness to learn these skills or are conditioned to do so in favor of the styles they feel more comfortable with, because they have greater ease in simultaneous or alternative gestures. This must be considered in these decisive stages.
Our behavior, both psychomotor and mental, always starts with a protective sense. The mechanism of self-preservation that evolution has transmitted to us is entrenched in our most primitive brain and it is not easy to deceive it in order to swim effectively, something for which we have not built ourselves evolutionarily.
Another great question to ask is which communication channel we must use to reach our students. We are going to find brains that receive information in different ways: more auditory, visual, tactile… each one oriented towards one or more direction. What is certain is that our body is as it is, except for some personal differences Physic laws act in a very similar way. Coaches must find common ground among everyone in basic aspects to get the best performance, not to mention that in every pool we have different swimmers from different levels with different training aids.
It is not easy or comfortable. Of course, you can swim fast and have a pleasant and beautiful sports career, but we can also enter a path of stagnation and frustration that unbalances and weakens us emotionally, because we have learned inadequate or less effective postures. And why not, we can also be faster than we have been while being more technically efficient. You can always change and improve.
Proactive materials are designed to induce and support the Motor Nervous System in order to minimize or avoid natural adaptations that we make when learning swimming styles, considering them from our point of view as inadequate postures and known as common mistakes.
The need for the Sensory Pathway to execute complex voluntary movements through the Basal Ganglia and the Motor Cortex with the help and control of the cerebellum is essential, both in learning and in performance training. In teaching, as well as in training, focusing and maintaining attention in any of the two approaches is an arduous task.
Characteristics of our nervous system and its neurons make us evade control. This is exacerbated in an unusual activity due to the need to develop metabolic capacities and the fatigue they produce. Even after having acquired a high technical level, contribution of its use is crucial for the development of metabolic capacities without unconscious imbalances in the execution of personal styles on their way to the best sporting level. Fatigue caused by the development of physical abilities is the worst situation in which motor control can behave efficiently. Adaptation and integration to the training theory is as artistic as the coach is necessary, and the general contrast that we must alternate in each training should be considered in some athletes who need more time because of personal conditions that prevent them to achieve the optimal technique of each swimming style.
Do we really have tools that measure performance loss as we soften the overall structure or do levers stop applying forces with symmetry?
One of the reasons why sprinters cannot deliver higher volumes of work is because they must be exquisite in execution and complete these trainings it would make them endure inadequate gestures that they do not want to automate.
Prevention is the key element and evolution goes hand in hand with all the systems involved in each training, without neglecting and value the emotional aspect, which makes us feel good or bad and that we must take care of for the benefit of the first, since it is the most primitive and unconscious.
How much quantity and intensity do we need to improve?
The eternal question that we answer in a subjective way, sometimes right, others confused. What is certain is that neither much nor little, orderly, balanced and accepted, will be what makes us progress, both mentally and physiologically to achieve the effects that sports should convey. Each one can make use of this tool that we contribute with as much as they want.
The sequence and possibility of application that we are going to present is not based on analytical work, but quite the opposite and although it seems it sometimes, it only tries to send more neural information to the areas our brain rejects, intervening in the center of gravity to avoid losing hydrodynamic positions so we can execute the global swim efficiently and effectively within mechanoreceptors adaptation period. Let's start...
J. Bonal Pedrón