Technique is key

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

Andalusia's B.J. Donaldson competes in the backstroke Monday night at the swim meet. | Andrew Garner, Star-News

Two weeks out from the District VI ARPA swim meet in Eufaula, Andalusia Stingrays 11-and-up coach Gavin Donaldson said his team is focused on one thing — improving technique.

“We’ve still got some strength and endurance to build on in that two-week time period,” he said. “The focus is changing a little bit more where the endurance is such where we can start the technical aspects of each event or each stroke.”

Today, the Stingrays will travel to Troy for the second time this summer, and will compete in their fourth competitive meet of the season. The meet will start at 11 a.m.

Andalusia, along with Troy’s swim team, the Tiger Sharks, practice and compete in an outdoor pool, and Donaldson said that can provide some slower times, which is expected

“These swimmers are swimming in water 90 (degrees) or above in the thermal layer,” he said. “It’s simple physics. The molecules are farther apart so that when they go in with their arms, they’re not going to get as big a bite as they would in cooler water because the molecules would be closer together. I knew their times wouldn’t be as fast. I’m not sweating one or two seconds.”

Normal competition water temperature is between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, Donaldson said.

And that’s where having good technique comes in handy.

“I should see the reality of it will all come to pass,” Donaldson said. “It will be waters conducive for fast times.”

On a side note, Donaldson said two swimmers from the team participated in Brett Hawke’s Auburn Swim Camp for one week.

At the camp, the swimmers learned more on starts, turns and strokes, Donaldson said.

“Everything (the students) learned that week, they’re willing to share with the team to get them better,” he said. “So, we’re going to be focusing on some starts, turns and strokes two Sundays prior to district to get out some of the bad habits some of the swimmers are doing. The more refined your technique is, the faster that you’re going to be able to swim and move through the water.”

No matter what meet the Stingrays compete it, their “philosophy” will stay the same, Donaldson said.

“We’re going to continues to work hard each week,” he said. ” And take and refine techniques on Sunday afternoons, and go to Eufaula and let the chips fall where they may.”