Education Matters

How can water sport facilities give students an edge

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Oct 28, 2019, 6:00:00 AM

How can water sport facilities give students an edgeJust one of the benefits of a private education is access to high quality facilities and resources. Some facilities may even help your son to become a better runner, painter, or musician. At Trinity we pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art pool facilities — but just how can water sport facilities give students an edge? For those students who are passionate and committed to sports such as swimming, diving and water polo, our facilities are crucial in helping them to be the best they can be in their chosen sport.

Here’s how.

1. Time
It may seem like a small thing, but having pools onsite at school has major benefits for students, giving them more time in the pool and for study. Eliminating the need to travel to an offsite location means our boys need only make their way across campus to reach training. Easy access means travel time is virtually eliminated, allowing more time for sleep, study and family interaction.

2. Fit for purpose
Trinity’s onsite pools are predominantly for the sole use of the School, which means avoiding competition with other schools for time in the pool. The pool used for Water Polo is 50-metres long, with a consistent depth of two metres. These facilities can accommodate two matches to be played concurrently. It also means boys train in the same pool that they compete in — familiarity can give them a winning edge. The pools have also meant an enhanced PDHPE programme offering, which benefits all Trinity students.

3. Quality coaches
Exceptional facilities attract quality coaches. Excellent coaches bring out the best in their students, and give students an edge inside and outside the pool.

4. Improved performance
Some innovative water sport facilities come with high-tech features such as diagnostic tools to help swimmers and divers identify what they can improve. There are two key features of the pools that can help Trinity swimmers, divers and water polo players to improve and reach peak performance.

A. Video cameras
A state of the art ‘SwimPro’ underwater video system, features 13 different cameras that are positioned in various locations above and below the water. They allow the coach and student to visually assess the various patterns and movements in any given stroke. This enables the coach to suggest modifications to strokes to continually improve a swimmer’s’ technical ability. This is beneficial in several ways:

– Visual learning
This type of training tool is very valuable, especially for boys who are visual learners. Sometimes the ‘technical jargon’ of sports coaching can become overwhelming or confusing, so watching and analysing a video in real time or slow motion can really allow swimmers and divers to ‘see’ where changes can be made.

– Incremental improvements
A major focus of our video work are skills-based sessions. Focussing on primarily small changes can ultimately make a huge difference in a time-based sport such as swimming and technical-based sport such as diving. Working a swimmer‘s start, turns, and finishes can make a huge difference to the result.

Dive starts — We can look at the position of the swimmer from head to toe as they enter the water. A slight change in the swimmer’s set-up on the starting block can make a huge difference to the angle in which they enter the water. This in turn has a flow on effect to their angle of attack under the water, and how much speed or velocity they can carry through into their swim.

Turns — If we consider a freestyle flip or tumble turn, the way in which a swimmer approaches the wall, rotates at the wall, and places their feet on the wall to push off, all create different variables to change and make improvements. Turns are recorded on delay, and after each, students can jump out of the pool, watch it on the screen, and make any adjustments before their next turn. This helps to create both direct and automatic feedback for the individual swimmer.

Finish — There are numerous technicalities to look at in a swimmer’s finish to help them to touch the wall first.

– Improved relay performance
Relay changeovers can significantly impact team performance. Trinity is currently executing a ‘swing and stepover’ change which is very popular in the NCAA college system in the USA. This changeover calls for acute accuracy and timing, and can quite easily go wrong. Access to video with functionality to either delay or capture, means that footage can be slowed down to hundredths of a second to try to complete the perfect changeover.

B. Wireless timing
The Colorado Dolphin wireless timing system is semi-automatic. The watches start automatically upon the starting signal but still require a time keeper to press the button to stop the clock. This creates consistency amongst the lanes, but also allows coaches to collect very accurate data for later comparison.

“I believe that the biggest advantage of the video system is that it is a training tool which allows both the swimmers and the coaches to collaborate and make informed decisions together. There is always plenty of healthy discussion at our training sessions,” said Trinity Director of Swimming, Benjamin Tuxford.

For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, in mind, body and spirit.

At Trinity, we believe that co-curricular activities are vital in supporting your son’s academic education and allowing him to pursue his passions, realise his potential and discover his life’s purpose. If you would like to learn more about the Trinity difference and our full range of co-curricular activities, download our Co-Curricular ebook.

Trinity's Co-curricular booklet download

Topics: Trinity difference, Sport and boys, Co-curricular activities, Technology