Joseph Dixon has sent this to Swimming Times:
Recently I spent a week coaching at Crystal Palace and was surprised at the advances made in the starting blocks in use. Maybe the following points could be informative to clubs and coaches,
- The blocks made by Omega (OSB11) have a blade fitted to the rear which can be adjusted to three positions
- The blocks first appeared 2 years ago and have been sanctioned by FINA
- Used in the recent Shanghai championships and will be utilised in the London Olympic events
- Makers are Omega - Astral - Myrtha - Marlsten with pricing in range of £800/£1000
- Obviously will create a greater Take-off, Flight, Entry and Transition velocity phases so swim times should be faster by one or one point per second factors.
- The Omega OSB11 Starting Block is remarkable but will present setting (adjustment) problems at the start of any competitive race unless the swimmer knowns their own individual setting.
- It must be remembered that although the OSB11 is entirely suitable for the 'Track-Start' technique. The 'Grab-Start' must still be practiced for relay 'take-over phases' for the head cannot be looking downward for both the approach and take-off phases in these events.
- Although the pricing is prohibitive (some clubs have purchased just one or two of the blocks). Some companies will replace the tops of existing starting blocks with 'Track-Style Plinths' as a cheaper consideration. It could also be a factor worth considering to purchase the athletic track type foot unit and amend accordingly. At a price range of £100 it is well worth considering,
Joseph Dixon FISC AISC
A.S.A. Tutor A.S.A. Coach
Last modified: Saturday, 12 November 2011, 6:00 PM