18 May 2005

7 tips on finding your best stroke

Here are a few tips for finding your best stroke:

Here are a few tips for finding your best stroke:
  1. Study the experts. If you have the opportunity, watch films of top swimmers. If not, perhaps you can watch some advanced swimmers in your own pool. View under the surface as often as possible, and notice what these swimmers have in common and what they do differently.
  2. Enlist a coach to provide stroke technique analysis on a regular basis. Or, attend a stroke clinic conducted by a qualified coach or experienced swimmer. If possible, have your swimming videotaped and critiqued. Keep up to date with the most current stroke techniques, as there seems to be slight advances and changes to strokes on a regular basis. Subscribe to swimming magazines and read recently-published books on swimming technique.
  3. Never accept that your stroke cannot change. Sometimes, stroke modifications take months to occur. Be patient and use repetition to the fullest.
  4. Consider your physical capabilities in relation to what you understand about the general principles of swimming. Contemplate why you swim as you do and whether changes may be in order. Are you lacking the flexibility to improve your technique? Add 15 minutes or more of stretching to your daily routine.
  5. Learn to trust your stroke. Particularly when racing, give up doubting whether your stroke is the right or best stroke for you and just let go with what you know. Too much analysis can block the natural flow of your stroke.
  6. Experiment with new techniques and ideas. Don't just try something once and then let it go. Give it a month to six weeks and see if it serves you better in the long run.
    1. Your stroke is your swimming signature. Don't be dismayed by the fact that you swim like no one else. Instead, take pride in your uniqueness in the water. No one ever has swum just like you, and it's likely that no one ever will.

      And if you are ever in doubt about whether a particular technique modification is right for you, there is one definitive test: if it makes you swim faster, go with it! - Scott Rabalais


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