If you are a competitive triathlete or someone who swims for recreation, the chances are you see swimming as a necessary evil for completing your event or for staying fit.
Swimming doesn't have to be like this, and quite often thinking of it as such is your biggest barrier to further improvement.
Follow these simple tips to get you thinking more positively about your swimming and watch your performances sky-rocket as a result:
1. Identify Your Weaknesses. One of the best services we are able to offer those attending our International Clinics is high quality video analysis of swimmer's stroke technique. You may have a preconceived idea about what is holding you back with your swimming but when you can clearly see this on the video screen above and below the water, it becomes immediately apparent what you need to do to make improvements.
Having your coach clearly lay-out the factors behind what is holding you back, why and how to improve these areas is extremely powerful and motivating.
Don't delay, make sure you book in to get your stroke analysed!
Enjoy your time in the water, a bit of water-play will help your swimming.
2. Play In The Water. Everyone these days appears to be time poor – rushing from work to training and trying to cram in as much as possible.
Often this build up of 'pressure' can be quite productive when cycling and running, but not so much in the pool. Before jumping into the water you need to simply take 5 or 6 deep breaths focusing on a steady exhalation to help you relax. Even dedicate the first 5 minutes of your warm-up to just playing around in the water, e.g. floppy swimming, dolphin dives and swimming underwater.
How can this possibly help, surely I need to be knocking out as many meters as possible in my allotted time? Not so. If you have hit a ceiling with your swimming and often feel tense and rigid when you swim, you need to take some time-out at the start of each session and clear your head for the session ahead. Stop thinking of it as a chore, start to relish the unique environment that you are training in.
That might sound silly but you'll see some big benefits in your training and stroke technique from doing this.
With an engaging training program that contains plenty of variety and purpose you are much more likely to follow it closely. You'll see better results than if you simply turn up at the pool without a clear idea of what you hope to achieve.
Embrace swimming and think like a strong swimmer..
Try adding Swim Smooth's 3 Essential Elements to every session:
i) technique and drill work
ii) fitness and threshold development
iii) fun and open water specific exercises
Include those components and you'll soon be on your way to much better results.
4. Stop Telling Yourself You Are A Lousy Swimmer! Nobody likes to be weak at something, especially not triathletes!
The thing is, it's rarely anyone other than yourself that is telling you that you are lousy. The more you cling to this idea or vision of yourself, the less likely you are to improve.
Flip things around and focus on the challenge of developing your technique. Think about the potential for great improvement in your swimming - potential to improve that doesn't exist in your stronger disciplines.