Need some summer reading to get you ready for Rio? I'm giving away a softbound copy of my book In the Water They Can't See You Cry to a few lucky winners! Click the image above to enter!
A quick way to make sure you are getting everything out of your Breaststroke pull is to wear your paddles without the straps on your wrists and fingers. I call this my naked paddles drill. When you are pulling you want to keep the pressure of the water against the palm of your hands–you want to grab and pull the water through as much of the stroke as you can otherwise you are wasting valuable energy on motion that's doing nothing to propel you forward. They only time this drill should be difficult is when your hands are in the shooting phase.
• Try not to grip the paddles with your fingertips. Use your whole hand.
• Don't place the paddles together when you shoot your arms forward or it becomes difficult to separate your hands and continue the pull.
• My favorite way to do this drill is to do it very slow with my head staying above water and my chin resting on the surface.
• Do not rush through your stroke. Go slowly through the movement and make sure your technique is correct.
• I find 8X25 commits the movement to muscle memory for at least the rest of my workout.
I was interviewed on Fox Business this morning and was asked about the Sochi doping scandal–my thoughts weren't really complete so I will firmly add this–doping is wrong and those who do it, or support it, should be appropriately disciplined.
Do I think an entire team should pay for the actions of the few or even the actions of the majority? No, I do not. That would be a simple reaction to a complex problem and it would hurt the drug free athletes more than anyone else.
It's very unfortunate that sports (and politics) are plagued by people who must win at all costs and while I don't know what it feels like to win while doping, I imagine in the long run it feels a lot worse than losing clean.
As a mother who has children in sports, I see the problem very differently now than I did when I was swimming internationally and the solution I keep coming back to is to make sure I teach my kids to never forget the importance of competing. Winning is great but every time an athlete steps into their arena, the only thing they can be sure of is that they will compete against others and how they do that matters so much more than the results.
My workout today–very few things get my head straight for a full day of important business decisions like swimming does!
3 x (25 Fly, 50 Back, 75 Breast, 100 Free)
4 x 200 IM's Descend 1-4
4 x 100 IM's Descend 1-4
*This is my workout, not yours. Exercise at your own risk and always consult a licensed physician for advice especially before trying anything new.
Leading up to the four Olympic Games I competed in, I was often asked "Are you ready?" and I usually gave the answer I thought people wanted to hear; "YES, bring them on!" In truth however, the Games were barely on my mind. While the rest of the world was understandably brimming with hype and prepping for the big show, I–like many Olympic hopefuls–was hyper focused on beating the snot out of my fellow countrymen.
Competing at Olympic Trials for swimmers in the U.S., win or lose, is a gladiatorial right of passage. After spilling sweat and blood in solitary confinement over the course of roughly four years you're thrown in the ring and given a seconds long chance to prove your worth in front of thousands of live spectators and millions more watching on TV. Just being there means fortune has already smiled on you more than most but many very talented athletes go in and only a handful come out as members of the highly respected Team USA.
Unlike the barbaric contests of the distant past, If an athlete fails at trials they go home with their life but I can tell you from personal experience, when you lose that big, when you let that many people down, the bladed wheel of disappointment's chariot cuts your soul to the ground. If, however, you win–the mind numbing euphoria completely transcends anything you've ever experienced before.
Filled with breathtaking highs and nauseating lows for competitors and spectators alike, in whatever order fate delivers them, Trials is the biggest hurdle on the way to the Olympic stage. It ensures Team USA has the best of the best going in to what is arguably the greatest sporting event of all time.
There's no doubt Rio will be the highlight of the summer but before I settle in to the excitement of watching international athletes of all disciplines crush one another for precious metal bling and a spot on an Olympic podium, my eyes will be on Omaha.