by Irvin Muchnick
The SwimSwam news site has a good one on a murky research study we exposed by Indiana University’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming. The head of the American Swimming Coaches Association, John Leonard, had bragged that USA Swimming’s Chuck Wielgus underwrote the $23,000 review of literature on training methods, directed by Indiana’s Joel Stager. The text of the findings went up on the ASCA website, then was removed as the aquatic scholars undergo the academic log-rolling ritual known as peer review.
SwimSwam notes that one of the conclusions of the study “refers to USA Swimming, the funders of the study, as ‘the premier swimming program in the world.’”
As currently written, the study seems to fall short of Leonard’s stated goal of blowing out of the water a trendy technique called USRPT, for “Ultra Short Race Pace Training.” The old guard of ASCA favors long, long drills — yards, yards, and more yards — for training swimming champions.
None of the fluffy substance of the study was of particular concern to Concussion Inc. We were and are more focused on the obvious captivity to USA Swimming of the “independent” Counsilman Center, and how the $23,000 grant was a de facto bribe by Wielgus to underwrite ASCA’s special-issue tribute to him just months after he was forced to withdraw in disgrace from his announced induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.