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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Transferrable Water Polo Skills To The Open Water
"Morning ocean races were followed by water polo tournaments throughout the summer," recalls Steven Munatones of his aquatic upbringing in Huntington Beach, California. "If you were into both sports, California is a great place to compete in both. Of course, it required a bit of stamina so our coach Jon Urbanchek really worked us out in the double workouts during the week."
Water polo players develop a combination of skills that are transferrable to open water swimming. "From being able to eggbeater (tread water) well to accepting physicality, from head-up swimming to expecting the unexpected, water polo is an outstanding sport for a young person to play that can prepare them well for competitive and solo open water swimming later in their lives."
Ned Denison, one of the most famous marathon swimmers in the world and a former water polo goalie, agrees, "Playing water polo is great background for open water swimming in several regards. First, you can eggbeater to feed - keeping your head well clear of the waves, confident that your steady leg motion will not cause a cramp. Second, looking up is natural. Finally, there has been known to be a little contact in water polo - so running over a slower swimmer in a race is no reason to stop."
Adam Walker, a former British water polo player on track to complete the Oceans Seven, sites various benefits of water polo in open water swimming. "There is the fitness and stamina required. Tracking your opponent, swimming up and down the pool. Waiting for the break and sprint off your man. You are having to do constant sprint sets and with no real rest. It is very similar to the training I've done for the Oceans Seven to increase my stamina. In addition, you develop a very strong eggbeater which is required in defense, aiming to get shoulders and waist out of the water to block an opponents shot or alternatively to maximise your own attacking shot.
I have also played in goal and I use to train by rolling the ball up the side of the post and across the cross bar so I can be strong getting out of the water for a shot. This has helped me on my channel swims as there have been times on feeds where I've had to push myself high out of the water to get a drink as the waves have been rolling high over the top of me."
Photo above shows Adam Walker eggbeatering.
Video below shows a young water polo player being tested for his eggbeater skills with PoloMetrics by Steven Munatones:
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
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The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.