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Drills, drills, drills and the elusive pursuit of a perfect stroke.
It is not easy to maintain a beautiful, efficient stroke at high speeds and that is when technique drills come into play.
The hardest part about having the perfect stroke is the ability to change, modify and adjust your stroke as you as a swimmer develop.
If you desire perfection you cannot be afraid to try new things, right?
Here are a few tips on how to get started with good technique.
1) Watch a lot of swimming videos of top level swimmers, but also of normal swimmers.
If you only watch the best swimmers, many times their skills are way way advanced for you, so adding some other type of swimmers like triathletes etc. could help with understanding some concepts.
This could get you started:
2) Do not think of technique as something that you will learn and never have to think about again.
The perfect stroke requires constant attention, so stop your mind from wandering all over the place when you swim and focus on how the water feels
3) To help you with motivation, you may pretend that you are being watched in every single practice by fans in the stands or on the pool deck and they will laugh at you if your stroke looks like crap.
Let's see you now not think about the technique.
Nobody likes to be laughed at (even though it is only imaginary:).
4) Ask your peers or coach to watch you and evaluate what you are doing right and what you could correct in your stroke.
The best time for evaluation is right after or during your daily training, so you can incorporate their feedback into your workout right away.
If you get feedback a week after your swim, then it loses the full purpose as it is too late.
5) If you have access to an underwater video camera, USE IT.
If you do not own one, they are not that expensive to buy and are worth the purchase.
Film yourself from the front, the back, from each side and from 45-degree angles on both sides in the front.
Then upload the video to a platform of your choice and feel free to share the link with me.
I will provide you with some hints on what to improve and get you swimming properly in no time.
6) Have fun and don't be afraid to play around in the water.
By playing with your stroke you might discover some knew technique or movement that might just work for you.
To top it off, swim other strokes than just freestyle. You will see there are many similarities and adding another style into your workouts will in fact make you faster in freestyle.
7) Finally, relax!
It is the ease, relaxation, and efficiency of the stroke that makes you go fast, not how many muscles you put into it.
Swimming is a constant learning process, so be a good student of the sport and reap the benefits of a good swimming technique in no time.