Endless Pool Elite, an UltraSwim Education

  12 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | May 16th, 2012 | Featured, Gear

The Charlotte UltraSwim is, by far, the best USA Swimming Grand Prix competition.  Since 1987 it has been nationally televised, covered by the media far and wide, but most world-class swimmers come for the amenities, the extra love from the home team, SwimMAC.

Sofas, widescreen TVs, and omelets made-to-order aside, the best additions come from the UltraSwim Partners that surround this aquatic event. This year one partner stood out:

Endless Pools.

The team at Endless Pools brought their best high-end machine for athletes with U.S. Olympic Trials on their minds, the Endless Pool Elite Model.  Almost every elite swimmer got in and did a test swim. No exaggeration.  Most said, “Oh, I just want to hop in and stroke for a minute to warm-up. (The water temp was a relaxing 84 degrees.) Those minutes stretched into intense half-hour technique sessions, sidelined by Endless Pools proponent, Glenn Mills, an old friend and the co-founder of goswim.tv.

Glenn’s an Olympian, a former world-class breaststroker, easy-going and a great guy to talk you through your first dip in an Endless Pool.  For him, this technology is the best teaching tool a coach can have. (See Glenn offering indepth background here. Click on the video in the post.)

“Most coaches pace up and down the pool deck watching their athletes, but everything really happens below the surface. Also, you’re so far from your swimmers on deck, it’s tough to judge the tiny nuances that might be inhibiting forward motion; head position, body position. With the Endless Pool Elite Model, you’re right there. You can reach-out and tap your swimmer on the head.”

Elites at the UltraSwim weren’t always verbal about their experience. They simply slipped in and this interplay happened with the Endless Pool Elite Model as they went through a laundry-list of must-dos; hanging on the bar to get a stretch, a relaxed stream-line position slowly increasing their dolphin kick speed (as Glenn increased the current), a lot of stationary swimming with their head very still as they watched themselves in the mirror below, or, swimming backstroke, the mirror above.

For me, watching these incredible athletes work with the Endless Pool Elite Model was like peering inside their heads. You could see them making tiny corrections, experimenting with the pitch of their hands as they pulled through each stroke. A lot was going on in front of your eyes, not two and a half feet away.

Elite coaches, and I’m not naming any names (but they were all Olympic coaches), got very quiet as they walked up. Several were looking for their athletes. They had arrived at the Endless Pools Booth to wrangle their athletes back to the meet. All stayed and witnessed the same thing: their athletes using the Endless Pool Elite Model to refine their stroke, and, maybe more importantly, really get in touch with their feel for the water in the controlled environment.

I think the best use of the Endless Pool Elite Model, if you’re someone motivated by improving your stroke, is that it almost forces you to focus in one particular area. Every swimmer said essentially the same thing: I had this image in my head of how I looked. Until I was stationary in the water watching myself in the mirror, I never knew I was doing this right, or that I was doing this wrong.

Swimming in an Endless Pool Elite Model is eye-opening for everyone. If you can try one, do it. You’ll be hooked. I am.

For more information about Endless Pools go here.

Follow them on Twitter here.

Fan them on Facebook here.

WIN AN ENDLESS POOL by helping Endless Pools in their partnership with Swim Across America.

Comments

  1. Craig H says:
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    How is the turbulence in these? The older ones I’ve seen seem to have a lot of bubbles that could interfere with keeping good technique.

  2. jean michel says:
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    excellent tool

  3. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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    Craig H…. the ride is very smooth, surprisingly so. As for the bubbles, when I filmed some (how should I say this) older Olympians, they thrashed a little more on the surface, creating the bubbles you saw from angles captured at the back of the Elite Model. I’ll be popping up more videos in the future, some very smooth slow motion to show how smooth the current actually is. (If ANYONE has slow motion shots, please share the links here in the comments.)

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    I agree with the earlier post. the old ones have so much turbulence that most swimmers need to use a pullbouy or even a wetsuit to maintain body position. Although I agree they do have a lot of advantages as well. Are these improved in that respect?

  5. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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    Jill…absolutely. The technology, design, it has improved and will continue to. Endless Pools is the global leader. They’re very passionate about what they do. When you get a chance, checkout the Endless Pool Elite in the links above.

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    Thanks for posting Mel. Cool stuff. I’ve owned a standard Endless Pool for about 10 years, and one of the reasons I’ve gotten involved with them on this product is simply because it IS so good. It’s the missing link for the top 5% of competitive swimmers I could never work with in my old pool. The Elite is much faster, with a wider current. My only regret from Charlotte is that I didn’t get Mel in the pool and have some fun. He had quite a busy schedule… so maybe next time. :)

  7. Kris says:
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    Is the Endless Pool a good workout choice for mere mortals? How does it work for ordinary middle aged (slow) swimmers who just want a little exercise?

    • Trudy Ann Dayton says:
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      I’m a mere mortal swimmer, many pounds overweight. I love my endless pool! I can practice all four strokes at a slow speed; then with the speed cranked up I can get a pleasant massage while holding the bar. With the machine off, I can do many exercises that my muscles complain about when done on dry land.

  8. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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    Kris, most swimmers get in and swim at a pace that’s comfortable for them. Some elite swimmers swam very, very slowly, focusing on their stroke, watching themselves in the mirror. Some went lights-out…. I think it’s up to you how fast you want to go. From what I witnessed, it’s all about that smooth controlled position you can hold while watching yourself in the mirror…. I don’t know about you, but it’s helpful for me to workout in front of a mirror in the gym. I think you focus a lot more on what you need to accomplish when you do.

  9. Justin says:
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    Mel, thanks for the info. Although the article reads more like an ad, lacking objectivity. Do you have anything critical to say about them? Cost and availability?

  10. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
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    …the investment in an Endless Pool Elite is high for most teams, Justin, but I know the benefits of having the Elite Model on club & college pool decks is significant. It’s ideal for coaches to get close to their athletes. Considering the design, R&D, the investment Endless Pools has made, they’ve kept their prices relatively low. More and more college & club programs are making the investment. I’ll keep you posted in the coming weeks on who they are, the athletes using it to improve performance, etc.

  11. VICTOR REUNEKER says:
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    CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME AS TO WHERE I CAN BUY YOUR ENDLES POOL ELITE?,
    I LIVE IN PASADENA C.A. PLEASE LET KNOW HOWMUCH IS THIS POOL,Please contck me
    MY EMAIL;[email protected],AND MY HOME # 626-797-5212.
    I realyiIeed thid pool for my exersise,10 yrs ago i had an exIDENT AT A WARE HOUSE THAT SOLED TEAK AND OAK WOOD FROM ASIA,THEY STCKIT THRE FLOOR HIGH,AND SUDDENLY IT FOLL APART BUT I WAS ABLE TO SWVE MU CLIENTS BUT NOT MY SELF,
    I WAS 2 YRS TOTALY PARALIZE FROM MY NECK DOWN,BUT NOW I AAM STARTING TOWALK BY MY SELF,AND 5 YRS AGO I WAS DIACNOSE WITH CANSER AND IT WAS 2 DEFRNT KIND.I AM DOING BETER NOW.
    SO SIR PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS TO HOW MUCH IS THE ENDLEES POOL ELITE,AND
    IS IT POSIBLE TO MOVE IT IF I HAVE TO?
    YOUR HELP IS GREATLY APRCIATED.

    YOUR HUMBEL SERVANT

    VICTOR REUNEKER

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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