Monday, April 9, 2012

Golf...I Need to Improve my Swing, I mean Stroke

Today was the first time I have played golf since it was required, along with badminton and swimming, as part of my 9th grade P.E. class. I don't want to tell you how many years ago that was, but it was more than 25 years and less than 45 years.  

Yes, it was a challenge, especially because my golf
did not involve a green or a sand pit or a club.

My golf involved a pool lane, a stop watch, a soggy piece of paper and pencil and an overloaded brain.

Here's why my brain was overload:

Swim Golf is a game you can play to improve your swim efficiency. The objective is to reduce the amount of time and strokes to get across the pool. Swim efficiently, emphasize glide, use proper technique, and manage your energy to derive a good score. Brute force will not work and will result in a poor score. Here's how to play. Determine a reasonable distance, number of repeats for that distance, and an interval for each repeat. For example…
Distance = 50 yards
Repeats = 10
Interval = 1 minute (Use your first interval time)
Perform your first repeat: Count your stroke cycles for your first repeat. A cycle is each time your left hand (or your right hand, but only one hand) enters the water.
Note your time for the repeat.
For example, it takes you 20 strokes of your right hand to complete 50 yards in 1 minute.
Add the two numbers together for your “PAR” score. For Example 60 seconds plus 20 strokes = a par of 80.
Perform your second repeat. Let’s say you swam the second repeat of 50 yards in 65 seconds and it took you 21 strokes. The result for the second repeat is 86.
Your score after 2 repeats (AKA holes), is +6. It took you 6 extra strokes to do the same repeat.
Now let’s say you do your 3rd repeat in 20 strokes and 55 seconds for a result of 75 which is 5 less strikes than PAR.
Your score after repeat #3 is:
Repeat #2 score = +6
Repeat #3 = -5
Combine the two repeats (+6) and (-5) for a score of = +1
Remember Repeat 1 is not a score, it is a baseline = PAR = 80
After 10 repeats, tally up your overall score as in the example below.
1. 50 seconds & 20 strokes = 70 PAR
2. 50 seconds & 18 strokes = 68 (-2)
3. 50 seconds & 17 strokes = 67 (-3)
4. 53 seconds & 17 strokes = 70 (0)
5. 55 seconds & 20 strokes = 75 (+5)
6. 50 seconds & 20 strokes = 70 (0)
7. 50 seconds & 18 strokes = 68 (-2)
8. 50 seconds & 17 strokes = 67 (-3)
9. 50 seconds & 17 strokes = 67 (-3)
10. 50 seconds & 18 strokes = 68 (-2)

Add all individual repeat scores. -10
Continue to derive a result for each repeat as we did here and apply it to your overall score. Try to finish an overall score of 0 (zero). To learn how to get more out of each stroke by playing the game of Swim Golf! This simple swimming drill will help swimmers develop better swimming technique, improved efficiency, and sense of pace. .

I had to remember all this, keep track of how many times my right hand entered the water, while remembering to have good form, while remembering to breath, while remembering to count my arm strokes, while remembering to keep my head down, while remembering to keep my arm in front of me and not pull too soon, while remembering to breath, while remembering to count my right hand strokes, while remembering that I was swimming and not in a math class, while remembering to breath. I did take in some water a couple of times because my breathing was not synchronized with my counting. 

At the end of the 50 I wrote down my time (when I remembered to push the button on my watch) and strokes.


Did you see the numbers above?

Let's compare them to mine.

My coach's example:
1. 50 seconds & 20 strokes = 70 par
MINE: 114 seconds & 35 strokes = 149 par

Like I said, DEMORALIZING. But I didn't want to give up. Good thing I was in the water and had a lot of water dripping down my face. No one could tell I was crying. I told myself I sucked so badly I could only improve.

From my coach:
2. 50 seconds & 18 strokes = 68 (-2)
MINE: 115 & 35 = 150 (+1)


My par was going in the wrong direction. That must mean my form was really off. Or maybe my counting. My third lap I concentrated hard on my form and my counting. It is a skill to have form and count, kind of like rubbing your head and your stomach at the same time.
I don't know these people, but they
can rub their head and their stomach at the same time
way better than I can swim with form and count. I want to
learn their technique. If this is you, please reply and tell me
your secret.

Lap 3 example from coach:
50 seconds & 17 strokes = 67 (-3)

MINE: 114 & (uhm, my paper seems to have a hole in it here, but it looks to be a...yes, I can make it out) 35 = 149 (neither a plus nor a minus)

Lap 4 example: 53 seconds & 17 strokes = 70 (0)
Okay, so even the example has a bad lap or two. I am feeling better now. I do want to know how someone takes so few strokes to get up and down the length of the pool. I think my coach's example is based on someone way taller than my 5 feet. Do short people have to take more strokes to get through the water?

MINE: 112 & 34 = 146 (-3) YEAH! I big negative.

Lap 5: 55 seconds & 20 strokes = 75 (+5) Wow! This example swimmer really let his form go on this lap. I think they may need a coach. Man, he sucked on this lap.

MINE: 112 & 33 = 145 (-4) Yeah, baby!

Here's my lap 6: 112 &
That's right there is no stroke number because I was so focused on my form that by the time I got to the end of the lane and click the button on my watch I had no stroke number in my head. I am not even sure if I even counted on that lap. What do I do about that? Is there a penalty number or something? I didn't see anything about this in the rules. I guess I can just make up a number......and I'll go with my high stoke number of 35 = 147 (-2)

Here's the rest - all of it MINE:
lap 7: 110 & 31 = 141 (-8) I think I may have miscounted.
lap 8: 113 & 34 = 147 (-2)
lap 9: 114 & 32 = 145 (-1)
lap 10: 119 & 35 = 154 (+5) Uhm, I guess I shouldn't have said those awful things about the example swimmer. I can totally commiserate with him now.

Anyone have a better way of doing this at the pool? Maybe a white board with a dry erase marker? What works for you?

There is another part of this golf game. Something about adding all the scores up and then doing it again next week and comparing scores.
This triathlon training is really getting complicated. I mean, I was all in for the swim, bike, run, but swim, bike, run, MATH?

Next week: train-n-tri to do better at math!

Also, feel free to check my math. If you find any mistakes, please let me know. Thanks.


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