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“I’m nearly at the level where I could qualify for Kona, but I’m a lousy swimmer. I need something better than a Masters program to improve my technique. Where do you recommend going for swim stroke analysis?” –Paul Cupo
Depending on where you live, there may be a facility nearby that does analysis. If not, look for a swimming camp with a video component, or contact a local U.S. Masters coach (Usms.org/lmsc) or USAT coach (Usatcoachdirectory.com) to ask if he or she offers the service. If you live in a relatively remote location, consider uploading your video online to be analyzed by an experienced coach—former Olympic medalist Gary Hall Sr. will give you a detailed review for $150 (Theraceclub.net). Here’s a list of some options around the country.
San Diego (and remote)
TrainingBible coach Jim Vance will do an underwater video followed by a full Q&A session for $125/one person or $200/two people. He also offers an analysis of sent videos for $80. Coachvance.blogspot.com
At SwimLabs, you’ll work one-on-one with a coach in an Endless Pool to get a 360-degree view of your stroke. Coaches use Dartfish Software to analyze your video (which you can take home), and can even show you your stroke next to the sport’s top athletes. $55 for 30-minute analysis. Denver.swimlabs.com
As part of the 5400-square-foot “triathlon heaven” that is Playtri Performance Center, you can get a one-hour coached swim in an Endless Pool with DVD and analysis for $190. Playtri.com
The Swim Studio at Chicago Blue Dolphins offers a 50-minute pool session with filming from multiple angles plus a 25-minute out-of-water session to talk about areas of improvement for $225. You’ll leave with a CD of six video clips (including coach voiceovers) and instructions on stroke changes to work on. Chicagobluedolphins.com
QT2 Systems coach Jesse Kropelnecki does underwater analysis and technique explanation at a local pool. After taping, he’ll give you drill or exercise recommendations ($125) and for an additional $95, he’ll annotate your footage. Qt2systems.com/triathlon-swimming
For a mere $20, you can get a 60-minute video session at BayShore Swim’s triathlon training facility with USAT Level II Coach Joe Petrush. (A take-home video is an extra $15.) Bayshoreswim.com
Get your stroke analyzed where some of the country’s best swimmers swim at the state-of-the-art National Training Center for $120. Usantc.com/ntc_aquatic_center.htm