Monday, May 11, 2009

Finding Your Routine

Yesterday morning I turned the TV on and ESPN was doing a special on the differences in the warm-up routines and batting stances of some of the best MLB batters of all time. They showed many different routines and styles. The really cool part was that they had many of the actual players interviewed on the show talking about why they do what they do. Immediately I thought about swimming and getting ready for a race.

I've been asked many times why I swing my arms in the same pattern before I race...why I get ready from the side of the block...why I put my left foot on the top of the block and shake it...why I rub my hands together before the starter calls us up onto the block. The answer is the same every time. I do all of this because it's what makes me feel comfortable.

Over my career I've tried different techniques. Some have worked and some haven't. Cal Ripken Jr. talked about how he did the same types of things until he found what worked for him. The trick is to be comfortable and find what works for you. Everyone does something a little different but that is ok...whatever works for them. For instance, Aaron Piersol generally just sits down and puts his cap on, Brendan Hansen puts some water in his mouth and spits it into the pool, Ian Crocker stands behind the block and puts his foot up, Michael Phelps stretches his legs on the block etc.

My advice to all those who wonder what they should do to get ready is what other people do and try it for yourself. If you like it, use it. If it's not for you then try something different. What will likely happen is you will mold several techniques into one that is your own. Good Luck!


Isa said...

Good advice!
One of the things that happens with me is that before every race I get so nervous that I get to the point where I can´t move my legs what makes it difficult to swim at least at the beggining of the race.
In the future I'll try some things to just stay calm.

Nicole said...

Cool! I love watching swimmers get ready! It is almost as much as the race... well maybe not.

J said...

Pinky shake, its sounds a little different. But all the girls on our relay, or friends always did a little pinky shake prior to a race. Its probably more team unity thing, but I always loved it!

BMcCurdy said...

two tugs on the left side of the block two tugs on the right then one in the center. right foot up first and then a big overhead clap.

Getting ready for a 50 i always try and stand real tall and make myself look really big. I have always thought as the 50 as more of a fight then a race. its really comes down to who wants it more.

Garrett said...

Can't move your legs??? That's not good haha

BMcCurdy: remember that the 50 is an event of perfection...there is no room for error and should really be viewed as that.

Isa said...

haha...I know but I feel them so heavy at the beggining that it's difficult to swim... when I just stay calm I swim well.

BMcCurdy said...

I would agree with that as well garrett. when you step up to the blocks with a group of well matched sprinters it really is anyones guess on who might win the heat.
with such a short distance it is difficult to make up for even the slighest mistake.

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