Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Jonty Skinner Talks About Skill Acquisition With KAATSU
Jonty Skinner was inducted as a coach in the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
But the South African first made his name in the international sports world as the fastest sprinter in the world [see below].
He would have been one of the gold medal favorites in the 100m freestyle at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games if his home country of South Africa were not banned due to its apartheid. Ineligible to compete in the Olympics, he had to showcase his speed in a shallow pool in Philadelphia.
He broke the world record - and was joyfully congratulated by his rivals, a tribute to his journey and obstacles that he overcame to become the fastest man in the water.
At the 1976 Olympics, his American rival Jim Montgomery won the 100m gold medal en route to becoming the first swimmer in history to break the 50-second barrier in the 100m freestyle with a 49.99. Twenty days later, Skinner set a new standard in 49.44 to set the world record.
Upon his retirement as the world's fastest sprinter, Skinner has long established another great legacy, this time in coaching.
He is a scientifically-minded, analytically-oriented coach whose career included an 8-year reign as USA Swimming’s Director of National Team Technical Support covering the 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In this position, Skinner was charged with organizing all of the testing, monitoring, and analysis of national team swimmers.
He also coached three separate times in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama (1978-1981; 1988-1994, 2012-2019) in one of the swimming world's most prestigious swimming programs.
As Skinner is described by Floswimming, "He continues to apply his analytical mind towards using cutting-edge scientific methods on his swimmers. In a sport where races are won and lost by hundredths of seconds, Skinner is always searching for new and creative ways to get his swimmers to move faster through the water."
Watch his use of KAATSU here, produced by Floswimming. Skinner also shared his more recent thoughts about KAATSU and how athletes can accelerate their skill acquisition in the video above.
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