Future of SwimmingPublished 10:30am Thursday, June 14, 2012 Updated 9:07am Thursday, June 14, 2012
The future of competitive swimming was introduced to the Fergus Falls swimmers as renowned swim coach Milt Nelms and his wife, three-time gold medalist, Shane Gould held a seminar at Kennedy Secondary Pool this past weekend.
The Fergus swimmers participated in the four-day seminar that included instruction by both Nelms and Gould for two to three hours in each session.
Nelms’ philosophy is to focus on learning more natural movements to swim faster with more power and more control.
He does this by teaching swimmers that their quality of movement is very important in order to improve their times. Nelms’ breaks movement down into three categories — arm and legs, body energy, and the rhythm and the water.
In one case, Nelms instructed a swimmer on how to improve their breaststroke by gliding through the water with their head and arms, rather than coming up faster to increase time.
“We are trying to help kids approach swimming from a different angle,” Gould said. “Rather than using traditional training like doing drills, we want swimmers to develop body awareness.”
Gould has experience in the pool herself, winning three golds, a silver and a bronze medal for Australia at the 1972 Olympics in Munich at the age of 16.
“The seminar is a creative learning model for swimming. We are looking to maximize the potential of swimmers by not limiting their development,” Gould added.
Otters’ Head Coach Tom Uvaas and staff were on hand to help with instruction and learn more on the methods of what many have dubbed “the horse whisper” of swimming.
“We are learning the new terminology and seeing the methods that Coach Nelms has used to help Olympic swimmers improve,” Uvaas said. “He has had great success with improving times for swimmers and we are trying to incorporate that into what we do.”