Physics and Swimming Insight W/ Team USA Swimming High Performance Consultant, Russell Mark

Russell Mark is a consultant to the U.S. national swimming team. He is an advisor on the development of Olympic swimmers in the U.S. national team, works directly with them and their coaches and provides feedback on training, races and stages of improvement.

Over the past decade, Russell Mark has learned countless hours of shooting and communication skills with the world’s best trainers and swimmers to understand the intricacies of each rowing. With this knowledge, he worked directly to help the U.S. national team by conducting hundreds of conversations about swimming techniques and contributing to numerous books and research articles.

While swimming at the University of Virginia, Mark earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He then went on to pursue his engineering career, briefly working in the Pratt and Whitney military jet pilot programs. This unlikely career path served Mark well in the world of swimming, he used his knowledge of physics, hydrodynamics and engineering to determine and advise what makes the fastest swimmers.

B. Compared to your current position, it sounds so diverse. Could you tell us a little more about the synergy between your previous training and your profession and your current job?

A. Actually, it went well. My college swimming training and degree in aerospace engineering were for me the perfect tools to stay in my life, a passion for swimming at a professional level and a real benefit in helping the U.S. swimming team, you might say, my dream of a job. There’s more physics involved in swimming than I think people think, and my upbringing has given a knowledge base to see the film of our athletes in a different light. I am analysing the mechanics and strength to give our swimmers the best opportunity to perform at the optimal human level.

What is your overall impression of U.S. swimming at the 2012 London Olympics?

A. It was a great London Olympics for the U.S. national team, we not only achieved our goals, but also assembled a diverse group of medalists, young and old, and we believe that we have a good group of swimmers for the future. .

B. Day of training or race, what day do you prefer?

A. For me, it’s all about travel. The analysis of the film, preparation, training and thought process required summing up the entire day of the race or the results of the hard work of each!

Can you explain some of the technology that the U.S. swimming team uses during training? Which device, app or technical device do you think provides the most important information when analyzing your swimmers?

A. The technology is quite simple for the U.S. national team. Our most effective gadgets include underwater video recording using waterproof video cameras, our iPad for video analysis and a timer. We have recently developed software that tracks and preserves the number of rowers, pace or frequency to analyze our athletes. Here’s an example of Missy Franklin’s running chart using our running statistics software at the 2012 London Olympics.

B. For novice swimmers who want to improve their results, are there any fitness gadgets or consumer apps that you would recommend?

A. If you have the option, I would definitely recommend an underwater camera, but I know that it is not available to everyone. The second-rower will be a great start for those who want to improve their speed, endurance and track intervals. There are a few tools that I’ll talk about in detail later that you can use for engineering, but they’re not based on technology, such as a tube and flippers.

What’s next for the U.S. Swimming and the 2016 Olympics, who should watch?

A. Swimming in the U.S. is very exciting and interesting, in practice there have been many cases when (publicly) an unknown person comes out of the darkness and even surprises the field. We are very confident that our young swimmers from the Olympic Games in London will move forward, and we have one of the best swimming programs among juniors.

What basic swimming skills could you share with our readers who are looking for a few extra benefits or are you just starting to swim?

A. Head and body position are the basis of swimming; I’d hone those techniques before I go swimming. Some of the recommended tools I would suggest are flippers (supports legs and increases strength) and a tube (head lowers). When the head rises to breathe, the hips and legs fall above the water, begin to pull and slow down. To become a good swimmer, it is important to work out the breathing technique. Use the tube from time to time to start without focusing on breathing techniques. Exercises to increase the amount of time during which you can keep your head in water while your body work. In swimming, everything happens underwater; Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these basic techniques, you can start thinking technically with tempo tracking and video feedback.

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