Arm span: Anthropometrics
Throwing Velocity: Strength
Stroke Frequency: Kinematics
When researchers and coaches look at a swimmer as a competitive athlete, these variables are consistently valued for investigation and seen to determine what improves swimming performance.
Research results are consistent to the point of redundancy: a strength and conditioning program increases upper limb strength thereby the ability to produce more force in the stroke; stroke frequency is greater in sprinters and stroke length is important.
This is where the conversation ends - primarily because we haven't advocated for researching the correct variables for the application stage. The application stage occurs between the coach and the swimmer when discussions regarding why training is occurring and how it's relevant to the collective end goal: dropping time in a race .
A Call To Action: Value These Additional Swimming Variables
Anthropometrics: Angle between the Acromium and contralateral Iliac Crest (tip of the shoulder to the opposite top of the hip)
Strength: Latissimus Dorsi strength in the Scapular Plane
Kicking Gait rather than Stroke Length
Jenni Brozena is a sports business leader and international sport scientist specializing in how sport and human performance can build revenue streams and grow industries.