In a competitive open water race with a mass start, sometimes swimmers get boxed in swimming within a pack.
In the words of national champion Eney Jones, "Poise is power."
That is, stay cool, calm and collected. Understand the situation and resolve it.
When describing what to do when one gets boxed in swimming within a pack, Eney Jones recommends, "Sometimes no matter what preparation you have done, you can get boxed in rounding a buoy in a race. It is your reaction that counts, not the situation."
"Your training should include working "power catches" with a halo machine or head-up water polo drills or 0-60 acceleration drills. You can also work on mermaid turns where you flip at the flags, or in open water, do an actual flip turn and work on acceleration at the beginning of the stroke to initiate forward propulsion. Power towers or baskets also help increase strength. Sometimes, proper placement entering the turn will not result in what you intend because you have no control of the others rounding the buoys. Just deal with your placement, but resolve it with the correct mental control, power and finesse."
Photo shows Eney Jones racing against Olympic gold medalist Brendan Hansen in the Race for the Oceans in Ft. Myers, Florida.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association