- Do some stretching and conditioning on your own, emphasizing and practicing the proper technique that was taught all last year.
- Practice pool skills at our weekly clinics, which have been specifically set up to run weekly to accommodate families’ travel.
- Two Olympians are better than one! ANA Synchro will be hosting a clinic the week of August 18th with guest coach Mary Killman, our 2012 USA Olympian and current collegiate champion in synchronized swimming. What could be better than spending a week with 2 synchro Olympic athletes, our very own Coach Leah and Mary Killman!
|Head Coach Leah Pinette encourages her athletes to get outside this summer!|
ANA Synchro: What about activities if the girls are indoors, just catching up on their favorite TV shows?
Leah Pinette (Head Coach): They can be working on getting the perfect squat in preparation for next season. The girls know I love the squat because it helps to balance out all the front-facing moves we do in synchro. Andrew Cannon, the physical therapist who has been helping us with injury prevention, gave us a helpful video to illustrate the proper way to do a squat.
|Head Coach Leah Pinette demonstrating the proper flat split position, with hips square, front leg up, back leg down, and nice posture.|
|IMPROPER flat split position with hips rolled out.|
Leah Pinette (Head Coach): Yes. We want the girls to achieve flat
splits, but in the proper position, which is up and down, not sideways. Sideways, or “rolled out” as we say, actually works different muscles than you use for a proper flat split, and it creates imbalances. So we want the girls thinking more about alignment of their legs, keeping their hips square, and maintaining a nice posture when stretching. Stretching from a proper position will feel differently than from an improper one – and they may not be able to get down as far when they first start doing it properly; but in the long run, it’s better if they just go as far as they can using the proper technique.
Leah Pinette (HeadCoach): Sculling refers to the propulsive moves a swimmer makes with her hands and forearms. In synchronized swimming, we have about 10 different types of sculls for different purposes. Some enable you to stay stationary while executing a move with your legs; others allow you to spin; still others enable you to travel through the water. It can look effortless, especially the way some of the more experienced athletes do it, but I assure you it’s very difficult. And sculling can be a challenge to teach because it can be a little different swimmer to swimmer. A swimmer really has to find the motion that works and is efficient for their particular body. You don’t think of a liquid like water being something you can “grab,” but that’s how we talk about it – finding the right “grab” or “pull” in the water with a scull.
|Olympian Mary Killman (center, yellow) will be joining Head Coach Leah Pinette (right, blue) in coaching a clinic in August.|
Leah Pinette (Head Coach): You get everything in a full-day clinic like the one we will host. You get synchro skills; you get land activities; you get seminars. We’re also looking to do Pilates, some dance, and some yoga. All of these cross-training activities are great for synchro; we just don’t have time for them in normal practice. So, a full-day clinic is a great way to expose the girls to many different training techniques from different instructors, and they’ll be able to say what they liked and what worked well for their body. We are thrilled to have Mary Killman help us out with this year’s clinic. Mary went to the Olympics in 2012 and, earlier this year, helped Lindenwood University win the collegiate championship. I know Mary, and she will not only be an excellent teacher for the girls, she will undoubtedly inspire them all to do their best.