Being a 10 year old and partaking in one of the fastest and competitive strokes in the world of swimming races, cannot be taken lightly. Freestyle dominates swimming competitions and it is known to be a favourite to both professionals and triathletes. Because of this, performance trends in elite freestyle swimmers are well known.
Determining the average time for a female 10-year old 50-yard freestyle depends on a number of key influence – as you shall see below. Nonetheless, if we were to exclude variables and base the average time score against the US swimming chart, 38.38 (SCY) would be a good time. For one, it would mean that as a 10-year-old swimmer, you’ve made the national cut of B time swimmers hence you can compete with peers at swim meets. It would also mean that with more effort, you can work to compete in the Olympics.
Now lets look at some of the variables that might influence your swimming time.
Identifying your goals will help you uncover the essence behind your love for swimming. This step is important because, it is only by asking yourself what you want to achieve, that you will learn if you are swimming to learn, or to be part of the Olympics someday.
No pressure though. If you haven’t figured it out yet you will. You still have the time to.
Whether your goal is to have fun or improve your swimming skills, checking swimming records of elite swimmers helps you track your progress and keep up with the requirements when competing against your peers. You can find these records at your school, world junior records or the US swimming chart.
Looking at your age group records, also gives you a backbone to determine, whether you would like to elevate your speed against elite swimmers or as per your peers who might also be swimming without the pressure to join swim meets.
This goes without saying that if you’re trying to find out your average so that you can join a race, for a good time standard, it would be wise to base it against the universal records of elite swimmers.
The US swimming chart will also motivate you to challenge yourself and to stay on toe as your competition.
It is a fact that metres are longer than yards. For instance, a 50 metres long pool converted to yards would be 54.68 yards long.
With that in mind, if your fastest freestyle time ranged between 29 and 30 seconds (Short Course Yard) that would denote good time/speed given that you’d be an AA swimmer.
What to note is that the Universal standard for competitive swimming, uses Long Course Metres rather than Short Course Yards.
That means if your freestyle time was 29.00 seconds (SCY), on the Long Course Metre chart it would read 33.00 seconds. This is solid time for a 10-year-old female.
However, 38.89 seconds is still the slowest recorded time standard on the chart, and a considered average for a Short Course Yard. Meaning if you managed to attain this swimming time, it would only be a matter of skill before you start competing at swimming meets.
Since now you know that the average of Short Course Yard is different from a Long Course Yard metre, you could always convert your short yard course swimming time according to the US swimming chart, then work on your speed from there.
But How Can You Improve Your Technique to Attain This Average?
By now you know that good posture and swimming techniques are important to succeed in the freestyle stroke. And even though freestyle allows swimmers to cover long distances with the least amount of energy, it takes skill to attain this level of prowess.
Therefore, let’s first uncover some of the mistakes that could be hindering you from attaining the speed you desire.
Wrong Arm Stroke Technique
We can agree that arm strokes are the important aspects of freestyle swimming. The technique of performing a freestyle stroke begins by assuming a prone position in water, then executing alternating movements.
One arm moves backwards in the water from an overhead position, towards the hip and provides propulsion. The other arm recovers above water from the hip towards the overhead position.
Afterward, your arms switch roles. In the same beat, your legs do the flutter kick, which means they are extended, kicking downwards and upwards in the water with pointed feet. This gives you a fair share of propulsion increasing your speed.
However, too often a mistake that swimmers make is to perform an arm stroke with low elbow position. The swimmer fails to catch as much water and pulls from the surface. However if you perform a correct arm stroke you can be able to catch a large amount of water, gain speed and momentum.
What is a correct arm stroke? A correct arm stroke is done by turning your forearm inside while your elbow is directed upwards. Your forearm and palms face down while your elbow stays in high position. This gives you the power to push and propel forward in the water, making your swimming super-efficient.
The opposite form would be a straight forearm with your elbow in low position and performing short arm strokes. This lowers your body position, leaves you tired and decreases your speed.
Another common mistake that swimmers make when swimming freestyle, is to lift the head forward instead of turning to the side to breathe. Doing so is counterproductive as it cause your legs and hips to drop hence slowing you down.
Learn to breathe out under water. Holding your breath will only add stress to your body, causing you to use too much energy. Instead, breathe in to the sides when your arm is in recovery, and out while underwater. The other hand should be out in front.
Do not start and arm stroke when your head is turned to the side. Rather start a new arm stroke when your head is down after taking a breath. Also, ensure that your arm is at an almost straight trajectory, it doesn’t go under your stomach and your body is directed forward. To know if you’re in good position, your fingers should touch your leg.
This is how triathletes breath since it allows them to be more relaxed. Another practice experienced swimmers use is having one eye open above water and the other, below the water surface. You can practice this when doing kick drills.
Instead of swimming flat, swim on your sides. This way, you activate large back muscles and the shoulder muscles, giving you additional strength for an arm stroke.
In addition to this, swim with your legs straight. Keep them relaxed to avoid bending at the knee.
Do not kick too high. To practise and improve your technique, do the freestyle kicking in vertical position.
Do not forget these general tips as doing so will make your swimming counterproductive. These tips include;
- Ask your coach for help when practicing basic breathing drills and other technical elements.
- Do not forget to wear your goggles, which will only heighten your anxiety underwater.
- Use a nose clip to keep out water from your nose if you need to.
- The arm recovery above water minimizes drag. Therefore, avoid pushing water forward. Your hand should assume a parallel position to the surface of the water with your palms facing down. More to this, do not overreach your arm above the surface of water only to let it drop as this creates turbulence causing additional drag.
- Learn the two-beat kick as you consume less oxygen and stay relaxed during freestyle swimming than with the six-beat kick.
- Freestyle is the preferred swimming stroke for fitness swimmers. Hence, monitor your health.
- Ever wondered why male time standards for the same age group are slightly higher than female time standards? One of the reasons would be because boys are considered stronger than girls. By this notion, know that strength matters. Since you will also be competing with boys, it is high time you start building your physique. Strength can be achieved through a healthy diet coupled with the guidance of a good coach.
- Do wide sprints one of the common track exercises.
- Do short distance running as it helps with non-aerobic exercises and lung pattern.
- Explore swimming and through this, you will become more aware. Try different things, push your limits but importantly, do not forget to have fun.
- Build on your focus and discipline. These are key skills needed in every sport. And to become a professional swimmer, more than will or passion, you need to focus and put in the work.
It is also important to go to swim meets.
For as much as you might have to endure a few disappointments (especially when your training doesn’t attain you the results you hoped for,) you also get to learn the value of hard work, sportsmanship, how to deal with set back and importantly where your abilities rack up.
Fortunately, you still have time to get better. Hence leverage on the fact that you are young and start stacking the right habits early. As you get older you will train more and get faster.