Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Get a Kid's Toy Torpedo

As promised, today we are going to the toy store. When you get there, go to the pool toys area and buy one of those small solid rubber pool torpedos. They are generally available in four-inch and an eight-inch lengths (the one you find may be different from this link). You'll only need one. Buy one or the other (by the way, when we're done, you're giving the thing away - unless you have some other nasty ideas which we don't want to think about). The smaller ones are probably cheaper, but will still get our point across. Now, we're going to the pool, and since we are still trying to learn this stuff without embarassing ourselves, you might want to bring a kid along with you - makes playing with the torpedo a little less unusual, don't you think? OK, take the torpedo out of the packaging and with the toy in your hand, stand in water that comes up to your waist - no higher. Toss the torpedo to your partner (the kid) and see if you can make it go straight. If you can't do it at first, try slapping it down on the water before releasing it. This may take some trial and error. Before long you will get it and it will race through the water like a powered rocket, much faster than you might have imagined. If you've tossed it incorrectly, you'll find that the torpedo goes only a few feet through the water and curls around and falls to the bottom of the pool. What's the lesson here? The torpedo goes fast and sure only when it is going in a straight line. Any opposing forces and it goes wacky. The lesson for applied swimming is the same. Going in a straight path will aid in your swimming. Remember the line you lay down upon in the most recent post? That's the position to take in the pool as you apply your stroke technique. Your energy and effort will not get wasted if you approach your swimming with that straight line position. No varying it, or you'll end up like the mis-thrown torpedo at the bottom of the pool. OK, we're done with the toy. You may now give the kid the torpedo. Come on, give it. Now!

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