Bah I don't mind enough about these things to go through all this, as here on my side of the ocean, I don't know why, but people just.... kick. There are those who are slower, those who are faster, everyone smiling at eachother sharing good time. That's my experience as a trainer (like you say), and it's been consistent since 1988, when I first started to coach.
Beside, there's only one way to be successful as for feet angle, is to let the foot relax, and by doing this, the foot will naturally take the only angle that leads to optimal stretch.
That's physics. I'm pretty sure a strong guy like you can easily kick for 10-15 pounds of force downward every kick. If you let the ankle relax, a force is exerted against the top of your foot, which stretches the foot hopefully. Any attempt to place the foot in this or that angle can only be achieve through inducing tensions somewhere, which could be detrimental in preventing optimal stretch.
That's not to mention those cramps you get under the foot trying to point your toes in this or that direction.
There's no choice with this, and there's nothing you should attend to do to change this. Success depends on combination of flexibility and relaxation. The less flexible, the more relax you got to be. I know of only one rule that actually works, and it's this one.
But... But, that being said, I've fancied running a scientific study for a long whilst now, since I'm in a position to run one, coaching a Ph.D in exercise physiology which happens to be a researcher and teacher at the U where I coach. And my idea was to use metrics exactly like yours, except I was going to get help from an expert in biomechanics to help this you know, if I run this, it'll be as part of a team, and I'll put together a good team so that the conclusions be irrefutable.
What I had in mind was to pick only people that never swim. That's it. So it would be a mandatory condition that you never go to the pool. Simple. Pretest, take measurements, run kicking time trial. Perform ankle stretching alone, with no visit to the pool. Post test, take measurements. Then run another time trial and notice what we all know, an improvement will be seen across the board given that the stretching program resulted in to noticeable improvement in flexibility, and that in spite of never visiting the pool.
smootharnie wrote:Possible conclusions:
- even with stiff ankles it is possible to get a decent propulsion. Get the rest of the leg action sorted.
- stiff ankles are really slowing things down. Need some stretching.
I agree with this entirely!