DVD Review - Swimming Techniques in Action - Alan Lynn
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By Richard Coleman
Overall a very good DVD, very informative and some excellent demonstrations from Alan's swimmers. Intially I was confused as to who exactly this DVD was aimed at, my opinion now is that it's aimed at club swimmers and their coaches. However, if that is the case then why does the introduction concern itself with explaining lane ropes, swimming costumes, goggles etc. ? Basics that raise a chuckle but actually only serve to devalue this excellent DVD.
The filming is quite good, my only criticisms being the filming of Alan talking whilst walking - the camera bobs up and down as it moves with him. Also in some shots there is a massive Stirling University LED clock which draws your eyes away from Alan - you find yourself watching the digits, even working out the time elapsed between shots. Would it not have been possible to have turned this clock off ?
As previously mentioned, the stroke demonstrations are excellent. The underwater shots working really well. All that is needed is for some of the stroke sequences to be repeated in slow motion with Alan highlighting / freezing the various coaching points as they occur. It would be nice to see primary coaching points like rotation, hand entry, breathing etc. listed on screen for swimmers and their coaches to refer to. I would also have been nice to include some dryside stroke demonstrations emphasising the hand/arm positions at various times during the stroke cycle.
Various stroke drills are demonstrated but at no time does Alan describe how to add them into a training plan, when to use nor volume and frequency.
Alan also confuses the viewer with his views on freestyle kicking. The 6 beat kick is mentioned ( too ? ) many times as mandatory for swimmers of all distances. This in spite of most distance swimmers and Olympic champions using the kick primarily for balance and to aid rotation.
All four strokes are covered in this DVD which is very useful, the final section on racing technique is very well covered with some great sequences on turns. The section on sculling is possibly the highlight, Alan really pushing home the importance of correctly presenting the hands to enable catching and holding the water for maximum effect / propulsion.
The DVD ends with the viewer equiped with the knowledge as to how the four strokes should be performed. All that is required is to understand how to correct existing faults and how to build an effective and productive training plan ( incorporating Alan's drills ). Could this be the basis for a follow up DVD ?