SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which stroke changes the most from long course to short course:
Question: Which stroke is the most different between long course and short course?
- Breaststroke – 50.7%
- Butterfly – 24.6%
- Backstroke – 19.6%
- Freestyle – 5.1%
More than half of voters said breaststroke changed the most between long and short course, with butterfly a distant second.
The two ‘short-axis’ strokes accounted for about three-quarters of the total votes. In both breaststroke and butterfly, momentum stops and starts a lot more often, with more defined power and glide phases. That can make the middle of a long course pool feel awfully long, especially when momentum starts to dip, and a swimmer’s hips start to sink in between power phases.
What probably made breaststroke stand out most, though, was the underwater pullouts. For a good breaststroker, a short course race features a lot of time underwater – in fact, a swimmer with great pullouts can often spend more than 15-meters underwater, especially off the start. The long course race is a drastically different ratio of strokes-to-underwater-pullouts.
Backstroke came in at 19.6%, just a tick behind butterfly. Meanwhile freestyle finished far behind in this poll, rated as the stroke most similar between short course and long course racing.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters to predict the 2020 SEC Champions on the women’s side:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner