What Have I Learned From The Coached Swimming Sessions?
For the last couple of years, I’m on the battle; I want to swim faster! It’s a part of the other, much bigger project, getting qualified into the Triathlon World Championships in Kona! 🙂
Becoming a good swimmer isn’t easy. You cannot merely swim a lot, putting the miles in and hope for the best. This approach might work with running but definitely will not work with swimming.
Swimming is very technical, and it’s all about the feel. You need to learn how to sense the water, how to be well balanced and how to make the water work for you. (you see Alex, I do listen to you ;p)
In my relatively short swimming career, I had a couple coaches who helped me with getting thru various plateaus.
Below you will find a couple of the most common tips I’ve heard during the sessions.
”Swimming slow will make you swim fast.”
”Don’t focus on the miles, focus on the technique.”
”The distance will come. The speed will come. But for now focus on the form: high position in the water, high elbow, early entry, a good catch, steady pull.”
When you start working with a swim coach, you need to think long term.
If you are in for the quick fix, forget it.
Allocate at least 3-6 months. The chances are your stroke will have to be changed almost entirely.
The first session will start with a stroke analysis. If you like me, with no swimming background, your legs are hefty in the water. And they sink.
This creates a lot of drag.
The good thing is, this can be corrected! Your coach will teach you how to engage the core, how to elongate your body and how to achieve the best position in the water.
After, you will learn a fast, high elbow, extension, best way of kicking, relaxed breathing and much more!
If you are lucky, you will swim in the endless pool.
There is a mirror at the bottom of the pool, and all your tries are recorded from 4 different angles. Your coach will refer to those often, it is a great way to visualise your perfect stroke.
If you swim in the pool, the GoPro works well too!
At times it will feel very frustrating. It will feel like you are going backwards. But that’s normal.
This is what’s learning is about. Sometimes you need to step back to move forward.
So give yourself a slack, keep your ego outside the pool and enjoy the process.
You will become a much better and efficient swimmer.