A, mostly serious, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, list of definitions of frequently used swimming words and phrases. The list is necessarily incomplete - please send your requests, suggests and offerings to email@example.com
Last updated :Monday, 2. March 1998 12:18:31
The chemical which is the only form of energy supply to muscle cells. The energy required per time unit determines the form and with which energy-suppliers, ADENOSYN-TRIPHOSPHATE (ATP) is manufactured or re-manufactured. (See also AEROBIC, ALACTIC, ANAEROBIC)
Metabolic processes occurring in the presence of oxygen allowing energy to be supplied for a long time. (See also ANAEROBIC, LACTIC ACID)
Metabolic processes, using fuel readily available in the muscle cells, occurring in the absence of oxygen and without the production of lactic acid. Very high speeds, maybe as much as 15% faster than the average for the race, can be sustained for about seven seconds at maximum intensity.
Literally, "muscle-building"; often mis-understood because of its connection with anabolic steroids, which are banned substances designed to regenerate muscle-tissue at an abnormally fast rate. All "good" physical training should be anabolic in its effect. (See also CATABOLIC)
Metabolic processes occurring in the absence of oxygen allowing high levels of energy to be supplied for about forty-five seconds at maximum intensity or longer if balanced with AEROBIC processes. (See also LACTIC ACID)
The lever, over, or past which, the body is moved in FRONT-CRAWL, BACKSTROKE or BUTTERFLY, to produce satisfactory swimming.
The psycho-physiological phenomenon which excites the central nervous system, enabling high intensities and movement qualities. (See also MOTIVATION)
Markers, hung over the water five meters from the turning walls, to warn backstroke swimmers of their approach.
Beats per minute, the units used to measure HEART-RATE.
One of the four recognized competitive strokes, so named because swimmers used to stay on their front, or breast, during the stroke cycle. The current evolution of the stroke resembles an inchworm metamorphosing into a striking cobra with the breast-down position being held during the non-propulsive phase only.
The system which transports oxygenated blood from the lungs to the organs and muscle tissues via the heart and arteries, and de-oxygenated blood back to the lungs via veins and heart.
Literally, "muscle-wasting"; all "bad" physical training is catabolic in its' effect. (See also ANABOLIC)
CENTER OF BUOYANCY
The shifting point in the body, roughly in the center of the thorax, which locates the �floatability�. The conflict between the center of buoyancy and the CENTER OF GRAVITY causes torque which produces WAVE-DRAG.
CENTER OF GRAVITY
The shifting point in the body, roughly in the center of the abdomen, which locates the �sinkability�. The conflict between the center of gravity and the CENTER OF BUOYANCY produces torque which produces WAVE-DRAG.
That state of mind and emotion which says your preparation effort and application is GOOD ENOUGH. Comfort zones are guaranteed to rapidly result in stagnation and deterioration. Stagnation may indeed be good enough if your goals are low, but deterioration is fatal and will only be a matter of an unknown number of days away - certainly less than you think.
You cannot recognize comfort zones - they produce their own soporific masking agents. The only immunization is to make yourself allergic to them by never allowing satisfaction. Your coach has an aversion to them which produces uncontrollable shaking; learn to recognize the symptoms and quickly supply the anti-dotes - deliberate practice and purposeful racing.
The time-period over which the training work-load is systematically balanced to produce adaptation and improved performance.(See also MACRO-, MESO-, MICRO-CYCLE)
CRITICAL VELOCITY (VCrit)
The maximum speed which you can sustain without slowing down because of fatigue. Critical velocity, or V-CRIT, is dependent on distance; the longer the distance the slower the V-Crit. so it is the highest speed you can hold for the rest of the distance still to be swum. If you go faster than that, physiology being what it is, you will have to slow down more than you have speeded up and, mathematics being what it is, your average speed will be slower.
As the distance still to be swum shortens the highest speed you can hold rises, therefore you NEGATIVE SPLIT the swim. Let�s repeat that; as the distance still to be swum shortens the highest speed you can hold rises. You should, therefore, always be accelerating and there should never be a time when you could go faster and still accelerate. Most world records have been set using negative split strategies. The limiting factor to critical velocity in a well-conditioned swimmer is the ability of the muscle fibers, nerve endings and pain tolerance to deal with the amount of LACTIC ACID in the muscles.
The physiological or psychological assessment of your abilities in respect to the requirements of your goal performance.
A series where you swim faster on each repetition of the set. (See also NEGATIVE SPLIT)
The consequence of a DECISION. The only thing which produces change. (See also TRYING)
Coaches deckside mantra, originated by Frank Sinatra, repeated to produce an aura of tranquillity and mental focus. (See also DOO-DOO-BE-DOO-BE)
Appropriate verbal response to DOO-BE-DOO-BE-DOO
The resistance to movement of a swimmer through water. One of the most underestimated causes of the inability of humans to swim very fast. (See also FORM DRAG, FRICTION DRAG, STREAMLINING, WAVE DRAG)
Movement patterns, usually isolated portions of the full stroke or incongruous combinations, used to emphasize a particular part of the whole movement or enhance kinesthetic awareness of water pressure.
The status of being appropriately qualified to practice or race. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest and the most frequently overlooked.
The ability to repeat movement patterns or sustain exercise for long periods. (See also SPEED-ENDURANCE, STAMINA)
1. Concepts which blunt your resolve or soften your focus.
2. Collegues who lull you into a COMFORT ZONE by saying it�s OK as long as you tried.
The quality displayed by those seriously pursuing perfection. Excellence is not about what you do but how you do it. Excellence is within the grasp of everyone all of the time.
FAILING ADAPTATION SYNDROME
The insidious deterioration, and eventual breakdown of the efficient functioning of the body. Caused by the failure to adapt to a series of cumulative stresses. (See also OVER-TRAINING)
(See FAILING ADAPTATION SYNDROME)
FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE NATATION AMATEUR
F.I.N.A., The world governing body of swimming, headquartered in Switzerland.
The quality of having a large range of movement in the joints and ligaments. Essential for placing and holding the limbs in effective anchoring and propulsion-producing positions. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest. (See also STRETCHING)
Resistance caused by the shape of your body which you present to the water. Long, thin bodies create less form drag than short, wide or fat bodies. Swimmers should minimise their form drag by always making their LENGTH-WIDTH RATIO as large as possible. (See also DRAG, FRICTION DRAG, STREAMLINING, WAVE DRAG)
A word almost always used to denote FRONT-CRAWL, the most commonly used swimming stroke. Literally, freestyle means any combination of movement patterns except in INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY events where it means any stroke except BUTTERFLY, BACKSTROKE and BREASTSTROKE.
Resistance caused by movement of the water across the surface of the body. (See also DRAG, FORM DRAG, SHAVING, STREAMLINING, WAVE DRAG)
Competitors who shake your foundations so that you wake up, question your PURPOSE and prepare more deliberately. (See also ENEMIES)
The enemy of best, guaranteed to deliver you into a COMFORT-ZONE.
The speed, measured in beats per minute (BPM) at which the heart pulses blood around the body via the
CARDIO-VASCULAR SYSTEM. (See also RECOVERY HEART-RATE, HEART-RATE at REST)
The efficient operation of the body and its� functions. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest.
Building an excellent swimming performance is a bit like cooking - to create a classic dish you bring together a specific list of ingredients - eggs, flour, tomatoes, mushrooms, wine - and you cook them. How long you cook for, how many eggs or tomatoes you use, how much flour, what type of wine you add and when, are all part of the RECIPE - how you mix, use and develop the ingredients. Swimming fastest also has ingredients; if you leave any out you will not produce a classic dish. According to Dr. Keith Bell, they are :
ELIGIBILITYINTERNATIONAL SWIMMING STATISTICIANS ASSOCIATION
Producers of monthly ranking lists and the World Swimming Annual ranking the top 150 performers in each event each year, an invaluable resource for all swimmers and coaches. (See also POINTS CHART, SWIMNEWS)
There are currently no words used by swimming coaches which begin with "J"
In BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE and FREESTYLE Rhythmic movement of the legs in order to help decrease loss of speed after the dive and turn push-off, or to help maintain body-position and balance during swimming, where, like a good joke, it is a matter of timing.
The name used when low-energy LACTIC ACID is present in the bloodstream
The chemical formed in the muscle when glycogen breaks down to produce ATP in the absence of oxygen. Large quantities can paralyze the muscle action. (See also ANAEROBIC)
Rotating plastic discs, strung end-to-end between racing lanes to separate swimmers and absorb turbulence.
LENGTH-WIDTH RATIO The relationship between the length and width of a swimmer�s body as presented to the water. The length is measured between the most extreme points, say the fingertips of one hand and the toes of the foot on the same side. The width is also measured between the most extreme points, say the front and back of the thorax when breathing on FREESTYLE. If you have rotated far enough around the LINE this would present a narrower shape than if you stayed flat, therefore less DRAG. (See also ROLL, PITCH, YAW)
An imaginary line drawn through the CENTER OF BUOYANCY and the CENTER OF GRAVITY. Minimum WAVE DRAG is produced when this line is kept parallel to the water surface and perpendicular to the turning walls. (See also ROLL, PITCH, YAW)
MAIN TRAINING EMPHASIS
The primary goal of a training period.
The reason why a swimmer decides, or otherwise, to prepare to perform. (See also AROUSAL)
Swimming faster on the second half of a distance than the first half. (See also DESCENDING SET)
The health and vitality content of food.
�The first rule of sports� nutrition is �don�t eat more than you can lift.��
The term given to the failure of the body to cope with repeated high-intensity exercise, usually caused by inadequate quality or quantity of recovery. (See also FAILING ADAPTATION SYNDROME)
The unattainable goal of every performance. (See also EXCELLENCE)
The grouping of complementary types of exercise into periods of training.
1. �See-saw� movement of the body around the horizontal axis of the LINE. (See also ROLL, YAW)
2. The angle at which the hand and the direction of relative water movement interface during swimming movement patterns.
The annual statistical comparison of performances across gender, stroke and distance compiled by Nick Thierry and published by FINA/ISSA. (See also SWIMNEWS)
The combination of STRENGTH and speed of movement. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest. Extremely difficult to measure for swimmers, usually inferred from land-based measurements taken on a SWIM BENCH.
The ability to use a combination of mental and emotional energies. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest which allows you to use all the other ingredients effectively.
"Quantity has a quality all of its own."
A practice set which moves through the intensity levels represented by colors illustrating the changing appearance of your body during exercise - white, pink, red, purple, blue, green, diced carrot.
The manner in which the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest are combined, especially in a race. (See also TAPER, STRATEGY, REST, TACTICS)
RECOVERY HEART RATE (RHR)
The speed at which the heart rate falls and �plateaus� after intensive exercise. If the RHR is unusually high after a standard time, say one minute, it may indicate that you are starting to get sick or in danger of becoming OVER-TRAINED.
A PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILL.
1. The ability to respond (Response-ability) appropriately to a stimulus.
2. The act of owning the consequences of your actions.
Part of the RECIPE for swimming fastest. The action of allowing the body to recover from intensive or extensive work in preparation for the next effort. (see also TAPER)
Rotational movement of the body around horizontal axis of the LINE. (See also PITCH, YAW)
The act of shaving the hairs from the body in order to reduce FRICTION DRAG and enhance the sensation of speed.
1. The distance-time measurement (e.g. meters per second) of your ability to move through the water, usually expressed in time per race distance (e.g. 1:02.16 for 100m)
2. The quality of moving very fast, usually only possible for a short time or distance. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest. (See also POWER)
The ability to repeat fast movement patterns or sustain intensive exercise for long periods. The main goal of most swimming training. (See also ENDURANCE, STAMINA)
Sometimes used instead of SPEED-ENDURANCE. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest. (See also ENDURANCE)
STANDARD TEST SET
A periodically administered set to monitor your CURRENT STATUS in AEROBIC, AEROBIC-ANAEROBIC or ANAEROBIC exercise. Used as part of the on-going ASSESSMENT and periodic EVALUATION processes.
A periodically administered series of swims, usually 200m, of systematically increasing speed, used to ascertain the relationship between effort, measured by LACTIC ACID, and SPEED.
The action of shaping the body so as to reduce FORM DRAG. (See also DRAG, FRICTION DRAG, WAVE DRAG)
The action of moving a limb to the limit of its� range of movement or lengthening a muscle to maintain fiber elasticity or tonicity. (See also FLEXIBILITY)
The ability to produce tension in muscle fibers. Usually measured by how much weight you can lift or prevent from falling towards the center of the earth. (See also POWER)
The fundamental basic unit of swimming, comprising the movements from any point in the coordinated, cyclical movement of arms and legs to the same point one cycle later. (See also CYCLE LENGTH, CYCLE RATE, STROKE LENGTH, STROKE RATE)
Sum of six skinfolds - an indication of your total body fat.
Process occurring during the TAPER parts of the MACRO-CYCLE which span UNLOADING and PEAKING. Changes accumulated during training are allowed to take full effect by the absence of further deleterious stimulus. (See also REST)
One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest.
A land-based machine that simulates the effect of swimming movements.
www.swiminfo.com - electronic publisher of Swimming World, Swim and Swimming Technique magazines, containing essential information for any swimming coach.
www.swimnews.com - one of the most valuable sites on the internet for swimming enthusiasts, containing news, rankings, meet results and over 400 links to other swimming-related sites.
The combination of hereditary �gifts� which lay a foundation for success, such as height or muscle fiber-typing, and acquired skills, such as AEROBIC ENDURANCE or an ability to produce fine movement modifications in response to changing water pressure, which are the superstructure defining the degree of that success. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest, talent is measured by the amount of improvement in the training situation.
Taper includes UNLOADING, PEAKING and RESTing and comprises the progressive reduction of the training load and gathering of the body�s psycho-physiological energies in order to produce the optimum combination of skills and abilities on race day. Part of the RECIPE for swimming fastest. (See also SUPER-COMPENSATION)
Skills acquired during the training process, including the combination of movement patterns applicable to each stroke and the gymnastic movements used at the start and turns. One of the INGREDIENTS of swimming fastest.
The weekly or yearly plan of the frequency, volume and intensity of exercise. A model assumes optimum conditions and has to be modified to suit circumstances.
�Plan for the plan to be disrupted.�
Dr. Helga Pfeiffer
1. The moment of change from the phase of a dive or turn when propulsion is the result of a single leg thrust from the starting block or wall to the swimming phase when propulsion is produced by repeated movements of the arms and legs. The timing and coordination of this change is critical to the effort required in order to attain and maintain your speed on the subsequent lap.
2. The physiological balance point where energy replacement during exercise changes from predominantly AEROBIC to predominantly ANAEROBIC. (See also ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD)
The delusion utilized by many swimmers to excuse FAILURE. (See also DOING)
�Do, or do not; there is no try.�
Yoda. Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back
There are currently no words used by swimming coaches which begin with "U".
("Hey, U!" does not count.)
The time corresponding to V4.
The velocity, or speed, at which 4mMol/l of lactic acid is produced. (See also STEP TEST, tV4)
(See CRITICAL VELOCITY)
This is the over-use of force. If you want the water to be happy with your presence use only that amount of force which will produce the desired effect.
Friendly fluid medium through which you swim.
Movement of energy through a fluid medium such as water, causing visible undulation on the surface. (See also DRAG)
Resistance caused by movement of the shape of the body in the water. At speeds above 1m/s (which is very slow swimming) this is the largest hindrance to your forward movement. (See also DRAG, FORM DRAG, FRICTION DRAG, STREAMLINING)
A traditionally indefinable quality, possessed by successful swimming coaches. However, it would seem that the ability to respond appropriately to different swimmers, issues and situations, is a good start.
Movement of the body across the lateral plane of the LINE. (See also ROLL, PITCH)
There are currently no words used by swimming coaches which begin with "Z"
There are many which end in ...zzz's.
Last updated February 28, 1998. All contents © Sports Resource Group, Inc.