Friday, November 27, 2009

"The Essential Triathlon Swimming" DVD Review

The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD

"Discover the secrets to improving your swim
technique, avoiding painful injuries, and shaving
minutes off your best triathlon times to date!"
~ TriSwimCoach

Below is a review of the TriSwimCoah DVD "The Essential Triathlon Swimming" I have now watched this video a few times. I continue to take away great information about how to improve my swim stroke and what drills I should be doing on a regular basis in order to improve my swimming balance and efficiency. Read through my review, post your opinions and let me know if you've watched this video before. I encourage you to go to the TriSwimCoach website and read more about how to improve your swim.

For those who do not know who Kevin Koskella is, he is a very well known and experienced swimming coach. He has been involved in coaching for more than 25 years. You can follow Kevin on Twitter for regular updates about how to improve your swimming as well as general fitness tips. Kevin Koskella on Twitter

Video Overview:
This is the perfect video for the new triathlete. Of course, the DVD is about swimming, but the connection of swimming to triathlon is quickly made and covered throughout the video. Being a self taught swimmer and still new to the sport, I am grateful to see step by step instruction on technique drills and to understand what I should be taking away from each drill. Most of the 36 minute video is covering drills, so the seasoned swimmer may not take away as much information as the new swimmer/triathlete. The content is easily understood and presented in a manner as to where most viewers should be able to visualize the drills while later attempting the swim. There is enough content to necessitate watching the video more than once and the material is covered in a manner where watching it again won’t become boring. While there is a DVD Menu, there is not the option for Chapter selects (i.e. going from one drill to the next). So to review 2 or 3 of the drills may take a short time to find, however after watching the drills a few times, I continue to take away new information.

Video Quality:
Video quality is excellent. Instructional content matches the video / The voice over is properly aligned with the video aspects.

Audio Quality:
The audio quality is good.
Background music is not overpowering of the voice and does not fluctuate too quickly.


Learn to “Laugh at the Water”

Drills that are covered in depth:
Vertical Kicking
Side Kicking
Shark Fin - Kevin reminds us that we should expect to sink while doing this drill. Good thing, otherwise I would have wrote off this exercise upon my first attempt in the pool.

Breathing and Full Stroke - Here Kevin Koskella does a review of the complete swim stroke with breathing. I found this to be critical to watch. If there is any single part that I visualize when I go swimming now, this is it! There is multiple angles and some slow motion video.

Many other drills are covered with great detail. A few others include: ¾ Catch Up, Fingertip Drag, One-Arm Drill, Sighting and Bilateral Breathing

Structuring Workouts including what duration and phases to utilize.

Description of Terms and Walkthrough of a workout:
For Example: WU
6x75 Kick/Fist/Swim
Cruise Intervals +/-:05s
6x50 Free Golf

Open Water and Race Strategies:
During the part of the DVD Kevin touches on safety, water entry and sighting. He covers the basics of swim starts - beach starts, wading starts and treading water starts.

Be Early / Practice - Upwards of a 20 Minute WU - Swim to the Shore
Review the Course
Waves/Markers/Direction/Heat Starts
The Swim portion covers topics such as the Dolphin Start, staying to the outside and issues relate to panicking. Kevin talks about the essential issues like rounding buoys and drafting with great detail.

The Swim Finish
Swim to the Beach
Walk/Jog to T1
Start Hydrating Immediately

Equipment Recommendations:
Finis Paddles
Fins / Zoomers


What I liked:

There is not an over emphasis on the slow motion reviews. Some videos seem only to show things in slow motion. I liked that this video included multiple angles and the underwater view. Descriptions of what each of the drills are designed to help you learn - what to focus on during the drill ie: hip rotation. Kevin covered some of the terms that I’ve always wondered about such as "Swimming Golf" and then explained how you can use it to make your swims more interesting without loosing focus. There is also discount codes for some of the equipment used in the video. I was happy to see a quick correlation of swimming and triathlon.

What I would like to see more of in future DVD’s:

How most people do the drills wrong / frequent problems encountered as a new swimmer or triathlete. Perhaps this point is even better covered in text. I liked to see the tips on the triathlon swim, but what could I do while swimming if I start to get cramps.

All in all, this really is a great learning tool. Short of having a coach at your side in the pool to correct your stroke deficiencies, this is a good investment for less than $40. You can buy this directly from the TriSwimCoach website. You will also find waterproof drill cards and an eBook available on the site.

Go Here Now to buy the TriSwimCoach DVD

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