Competitive Swimmers and Technique Focus

When I am approached by the parents of competitive swimmers for 1-1 Coaching the initial enquiry has a similar tone, here are a couple of examples.


My daughter swims with a Club, she is doing quite well and swims 4-7 sessions a week .  While assisting their training session each week I realised that they do not spend enough time reviewing technique.

My daughter has been training for the last two and a half years in a competitive swimming club.  Although she is in the Performance C Squad and has many sessions per week, her strokes don’t seem to improve.  She would like to get faster and better but she really doesn’t know what she is doing wrong and how to improve it.



To improve your times fitness and meterage are NO guarantee, you have to address flaws in your stroke, flaws that slow you down.  Understand your stroke flaws and you can start to make improvements in your speed, stamina and endurance and how you interact with the water. Fitness and Stamina are rarely the swimmers issue.

Meterage is an opportunity for repetition; repetition that reinforces sound technique, meterage doesn’t want to create fatigue and scrappy strokes which in turn reinforces less effective technique.  Challenge and test technique, allow for mental and physical rest so you can remain focussed.  Focuses that improve physics and biomechanics and make swimming infinitely more interesting.  Humans are not hard wired to swim efficiently, most skills that improve our swimming are counterintuitive.


Focus becomes your super power and the meterage the opportunity to reinforce technique.

Science and how our body moves through water can be understood by young swimmers, the science they study at school;  gravity, buoyancy, laws of motions, joints and muscles can be applied with positive effect in the pool.


After a 3 hr session with Sam we found his technique improvements and to take ownership of these improvements he made this document which is now laminated and in his swim bag to help remind him of his focuses and how to focus on just one or two in each training session.  There is a forgetting curve as well as a learning curve.


Thank you so much for giving up your time over the half term to help me progress with my swimming, the still photos and analytical videos are so useful for looking over as they are a great reminder of what we talked about and it looked to me that even in that one session, my stroke had progressed so much in all aspects. Just to let you know, the gala that I did the next weekend, I registered for a county time in the 200 breaststroke and big pb’s in nearly everything else. I think the start and underwater work must have got me there.  Thanks Sam



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