Which comes first? Technique or speed.

Swimming Technique or Speed: Which is More Important?

Okay, so you are new to swimming. You got your new swimmers and a flash pair of goggles and now you’re ready to dive straight in and go flat out. But before everything else, ask yourself these questions: Do you have a program? Do you have the right drills? More importantly, do you know the basics?

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You need to understand swimming is not simply a competitive sport. It is actually a sequence of highly coordinated set of movements. Altogether, these movements create speed, power and high performance. In my opinion, good swimming technique will develop in two stages: technique improvement and fitness improvement.

Poor Swimming Technique Can Slow You Down

Through extensive research and observation, I have found out that while you can be able to do these stages at the same time, focusing on one stage at a time makes the next stage easier. For example, you are trying to do 10 x 50-metre laps on the minute. You start off thrashing your way down the pool and get to the other end with 10 seconds to go. Then off you go again and thrash your way back. Sure, you will get fit and go faster but only at a certain point. Why? Poor swimming technique hinders speed.

What can you at this point? If you were to back off the speed and do 10 50-metre laps instead within a minute and 30 seconds. This will help you focus more on your swimming technique and be able to reduce your time down to a minute eventually without feeling as puffed as you initially were.

Try observing swimming competition participants. They may look like they are simply thrashing up the pool but actually, they are using their technique to swim within a short amount of time. Their drills may still focus on stretching and increasing stroke reach. Keep in mind that as you go faster, things shorten up. Its like typing the sentence The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog on the keyboard. If you start slowly, your accuracy will be excellent. As you go faster, your fingers may start making mistakes. The same goes with swimming. If you are not in control of your body movements, the purpose of training becomes vague.

The approach I have discussed have worked for 90 percent of the people I have coached. Their technique was great and after some time, their speed picks up and times drop. I would love to get feedback and discuss this topic with you if you have any thoughts.

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