Example of coach's analysis and comments
This is almost the way we like to see a relay start. First, notice the timing in the swinging of the arms. In the second frame you will notice the squatting down motion. This squat motion is what causes the muscles in the thigh to stretch, like an elastic rubber-band. Then in the next photo the rubber-band springs back, launching her up into the air. Wow! Look at the height she gets!
Also notice how straight her back is, starting with the second frame. Her head is also straight in line with her spine.
The only criticism we have is that we would like to see the arms getting up quicker and leading the way out front sooner and not down. Many athletes will point their arms down to change the center of gravity. There is a better way, and that is by stretching out further in the streamline position while in the air. This is like extending the length of a teeter-totter.
By lengthening the fulcrum (the front half of the body) changes the center of gravity.
Some swimmers try to shorten the fulcrum by bringing the legs up-close from the rear half of the body and pointing the arms down.
The problem with shortening the fulcrum is that the dive entry will be too deep. It also causes a larger (rip or tear) hole in the elastic surface of the water. The longer the tear or hole, the more resistance which slows your momentum. (See Photo 7)
Remember a secret of a powerful start is to take advantage of the momentum created by gravity and improve your awareness of resistance as you enter the water.
The angle of entry is good. Notice the streamline as she enters the water. Her head is in a good position, not too far down or too far up. Notice her head is straight in line with her spine as she enters the water.
This is a well executed start with good height on the jump, yet she renders a good shallow entry into the water. The ideal depth is less than .9 meters. This entry will give her a powerful surge as she accelerates underwater. Concentrate on gliding with the least drag resistance so that the momentum of 4.5 meters per second or even greater is utilized for as long as possible.
The PowerStarts® coach will analyze each segment of the start and provide verbal and written feedback to the swimmer.
Continue on from here for a detailed analysis of this start.