Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Arrogance Vs. Confidence

We all remember the trash talking before the 100m Fly final between Phelps & Cavic and we all remember the hype before the 4x100 Free relay at the 2008 Olympics with the french and american teams. But why? Surely you would expect that athletes at such a level would be able to conduct themselves in an orderly manner. Th truth is there is a reason, other than complete arrogance, for all this shouting.

If someone asks who is the best boxer of all time, the answer you are most likely to hear is Muhammad Ali. The reason for his success, apart from his determination and natural ability, was the fact that he truly believed he was unstoppable and as a result, so did everyone else. Ali once said, "To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are."
Essentially, if you don't believe you are going to win a race, you probably won't.
This why the best swimmers come across as arrogant, partly because they have earned the right to do so but also because if they didn't behave in such a manner, they'd probably be average.

So yes, be confident, be cocky but don't be a prick. Have faith in yourself and your training but don't feel the need to criticize your opponent. This doesn't show confidence, in fact it shows insecurity. So rather than telling some one else they suck, tell yourself you're the best because at the end of the day, wether people judge you as confident or arrogant is determined by the outcome of the race.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Why FINA banned suits

I'm sure we all remember the hype surrounding the then new swim suits in 2008 & 2009 which were used to break almost every swimming world record that had previously existed. It was suits like the Arena X-Glide, Speedo LZR and Jaked 01 that were responsible for dozens of new records being set.

I once heard a commentator at the 2011 World Champs sarcastically ask, "who didn't break a world record at Rome in 2009?"
Many people believed that FINA decided to ban the suits because they were overly instrumental in the setting of these new, unbelievably fast times. The reason, however, for the suits being banned was not because they were making swimmers too fast but because they were making certain swimmers faster than others.

The suits no longer simply created a streamlined surface for water to flow over your body but they actually changed the shape of your body and the position in which it sat in the water. It was therefore judged by FINA that the suits created an unfair advantage for athletes of a certain size and body shape.

Alain Bernard and Eamon Sullivan were the two hot contenders for the 2008 Beijing 100 Free Olympic title. Both swimmers had very different techniques and body structures, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. FINA decided that it was unfair for the suits to benefit one swimmer over another and that their success should be determined by their own physical capabilities and not the correspondence between their style of swimming and training with an race suit.

Unfortunately swimming just isn't as exciting to watch as it used to be with the wide array of suits that were on display.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Cold Water Swimming.

Seriously? How bored do you have to be to do this regularly? Swim across the atlantic or across the english channel and call it a cold water swim but don't swim across a pool and call it a sport because the water is icy cold.
As far as I understand, the objective has nothing to do with how fast you can swim but how silly you can look doing it.
I do believe that is a gerbil of some kind.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Swimming & Beach VolleyBall

Recently, I was lucky enough to compete against several international swimmers. One of which was the very talented Zsuzsanna Jakabos. It may have been the highly competitive swimming that attracted the hordes of spectators or, more likely, it may have bee Miss Jakabos herself with her interesting fashion sense. Regardless of what drew the crowds, there were swarms of guys who came to watch her swim, and by "swim" I totally mean stare at her butt.

So with the 2012 London Games approaching fast, I started to anticipate the women's swimming. I then realized there are a lot of similarities between women's swimming and beach volleyball; not because there are copious numbers of bums on display butbecause they are both highly competitive, fast paced sporting events.