SWIMNEWS ONLINE: July 1997 Magazine Articles

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Pablo Morales

Questions and Answers on Technique


Cecil M. Colwin

Q: Do you allow your shoulder girdle to move forward, almost as if you are hunching your shoulders as your arms reach into the stroke?
A: I've never thought about it, but I think, yes, that does happen.

Q: Tell me about your stroke timing. Many young swimmers seem to have trouble mastering the two-beat timing in the butterfly.
A: I really don't know what to say about that, or how. I think that in getting the correct timing, with two kicks for each arm stroke, as a youngster growing up, I did a lot of one arm drills to get the rythym going a little bit.

Q: What about timing your breathing?
A: As you start your arm press, at the start of the stroke, right when you're pressing, the head starts lifting forward slightly, and, I guess, later on, I felt that made sense because by timing your breathing with the press of your hand, instead of late in the pull, you can maintain a higher body position. By waiting too long to start raising the head, you can easily lose your high body position.

Q: When do you actually inhale?
A: (Laughs) As soon as my head comes out of the water! You know, I've never really thought about it!

Q: Do you inhale before your hands start their recovery?
A: Well, let me see, You're asking tough questions, Cec, because I've never really thought about it!

Q: You're lucky; because you're a natural, you don't have to think about it! What do you think about it, anyway?
A: I think you're right. I think I breathe before my hands exit.

Q: Pankratov has swum a 1:55.22 in the 200 fly, maybe even faster, and he is also the world record holder in the 100, and so was Gross the holder of the world record in both events. Would you say that these people are exceptions to the rule that most fly swimmers excel either at the 100 or the 200?
A: I really think that it depends on the individual. Melvin Stewart swam an excellent 100 fly, though I think that, genetically, he is more suited for the 200. The same could be said for Gross, even though he set the world record in the 100 metres at one point. Pankratov does both equally well, even though he seems to have focussed more on improving his 100 in the last two years. Gross did a 53.08 in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. I remember that very well! When I set a world record in the 100 at the 1984 trials, I went 1:58 in the 200, and 1:57 at the Games. But Sieben came up with a 1:57.04. There were three 1:57s in that race, and I was fourth. I was very much concentrating on the 200 fly as well. I don't think the two distances are too contradictory.

Q: Are you a "race swimmer," in that you produced your best times when racing?
A: I was a very hard worker, but I think I was a better racer.

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