Library notes: Mastering the art of swimming

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009

By Laurel Robin Reisen
Rowan Public Library
Swimming is not only a great skill, but also a great way to get fit.
Rowan Public Library has some excellent resources to help you improve your technique in the water.
“Fitness Swimming” by Emmett Hines is a fabulous book for the beginning swimmer, complete with color photographs. The book starts with equipment details including how to choose a swimsuit, goggles and swim cap. Pool etiquette is also discussed. Then the book provides a swimming test to determine your swimming fitness.
At the heart of the book are the 60 workouts to help you improve your swimming. Among these workouts are drills, speed workouts and skill workouts. Appendices and training diaries at the back help chart your swimming progress.
“Total Immersion” by Terry Laughlin is a wonderful book for the experienced swimmer who wants to improve his or her swimming. More than a book of swim drills, it contains key advice to help you swim smarter and more efficiently. Master swimmer Laughlin stresses that the best way to improve your swimming is to perfect your form. In other words, first comes proper form and then speed will follow. His mantra, “swimming is 70% performance and 30% fitness” is often repeated throughout the book.
He also describes how and when pool aids such as fins, pull buoys and paddles should be used in swim practice.
Also by Laughlin is a DVD called “Outside the Box; A Total Immersion Program for Success in Open Water.” Laughlin leads the informative DVD with help from other head coaches from Israel and Japan. This is a great resource for the swimmer interested in open water swims in lakes and oceans.
Laughlin provides hints on how to navigate choppy water swims and close quarter swims with other swimmers. Especially important for open water swims is his advice on sighting, maintaining a consistent pace with less fatigue and rounding buoys.
Another helpful swimming DVD is “All Strokes” by world class swimmers Kaitlin Sandemo and Erik Vendt. This is an awesome visual aid for pool swims and for demonstrating the four main swimming strokes. The DVD is divided into four sections, one for each stroke: butterfly, breast, fly and free. A slow motion feature helps swimmers understand and pinpoint each portion of each stroke. The underwater view of each stroke is invaluable as it demonstrates the mechanics of the stroke. There is a special drill section for each stroke. The value of the DVD is that it is a visual resource, allowing a swimmer to actually see the strokes in motion.
Your swimming can improve with the help of these fine resources available at Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Yahoo e-mail: Beyond the Basics; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Internet Searching: Beyond the Basics; Oct. 29, 2:30 p.m., Absolute Beginners Computer Class.
East ó Tuesday, 1 p.m., E-mail Class.
Children’s storytime: Through Nov. 19, weekly story time. for more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Tiny Tots (infants-23 months), Wednesdays, 11 a.m.; Toddler Time (2 years), Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time (3-5-year-olds), Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead (4-8 years), Thursdays, 4 p.m.
South ó Preschool Time, Mondays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead, Mondays, 4 p.m.; Toddler Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
East ó Toddler Time, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 11 a.m.
Book chats for children: Children in grades 2-5 are invited to participate in Book Chats, a new program at South Regional library only. Registration required. Registration begins three weeks before each program. Call 704-216-7728.
Teen program: Transform your T-shirt with tie-dye, bleach or paint. No sewing skills required. Teens should bring at least one T-shirt, but may bring several. For information, call 704-216-8234. East, Monday, 5:30-7 p.m.; headquarters, Oct. 26, 5:30-7 p.m.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Oddball October. Tuesday, “Doubt”; Oct. 27, “Last Chance Harvey.”
Displays: Headquarters ó Domestic Violence Month by Family Crisis Center; American Legion by Amy Cozart; South ó Art by Carson High School. East ó Girl Scout Troop.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.