Sectional Prelims for the girls' 2014 Swim Team was this afternoon! Shoutout to everybody on the Sectional for being awesome and to all those that came and cheered!!
Swimming. Physics. Breaststroke. Physics. I am a breaststroker, and I have been since I started swimming for the school in 8th grade. Breaststroke, in my opinion, is 10% luck, 15% skill, 9% concentrated power of will. 5% pleasure, 15% pain, and 100% reason to remember the name. Ha ha. But really, breaststroke is the most technical stroke, takes the most coordination, and is the most intense in both the mental and physical realms (other strokers may argue against it being the most physically demanding, but nobody says it is easy). Newton's Third Law kindly states for us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So when my breaststroke kick snaps together, I am pushing the water backwards, and the water is simultaneously pushing me forward. So I like to think that my kick is quite powerful. But could it be that the water pushing against my kick is what is powerful? Neither. Or rather, both. As much force as I push the water back with, it pushes me forward with a force of identical magnitude. And when we practice our starts over and over again in practice, we are working on the most effective way to push the block backward with both our fingers and our toes (basically whatever is touching the block). The more we push the block backward, the more we go forward. A good flat-start (a start from the buzzer, not a relay take-off) is below 0.70 second. In fact, anything above about 0.65 second is considered a slow start. So in the half-second-or-less that we are on the block after the buzzer sounds, we are giving everything we've got into pushing the block as far behind us as we can, thus pushing ourselves forward at an incredible speed. As hard as we shove the block back, it shoves us forward.
Sectional Finals is on Friday at 5pm at the WAC!! (Webster Aquatics Center). Come support swimmers and experience this truly unique and exciting sport. That would be awesome!