The Oxford English defines the following words as:
Connection – a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else.
Balance – an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Function – an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing
Equilibrium – a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced
These words are vital to your success as a swimmer.
Your connection with the medium of water is paramount to your success as a swimmer – you cannot battle or fight against it, the water will only push back harder. Accept this fact and you are already a better swimmer. The connective tissues within your own body start from the crown of your head down through your spine to your coccyx and hips, poor posture causes weaker connections, which in turn will impact on the other two words balance and function.
The dictionary highlights upright balance, to truly connect with the water a human must achieve horizontal balance; this requires a closer look at how we distribute our weight. With great posture and connections our body mass will find its equilibrium and balance in the water.
With connection and balance comes function, our ability to perform an activity that is natural – think of how relaxed aquatic mammals look as they move through the water, moving with distinct ease and grace. As land mammals we may love the water, but swimming efficiently is not our natural function. Think of how exhausting swimming can feel leaving you gasping for air after 25m and strokes can feel predominantly for survival. Think back to the first two words, you have not yet found your connection or balance. If you look at the most efficient swimmers (in turn these swimmers will have great capacity for speed) they share the same traits as aquatic mammals they are connected, balanced, relaxed and well connected. They make it look natural.