Swimming Technique is not finite
Our technique is not finite, it will change as we grow and age; after injury or illness; after a period of rest or over training. What does remain constant is our humanness. Our inherent awkwardness in water, the use of our four limbs in water, limbs that are made for the land.
To swim well and continue to make continual progress is a testament to your ability to practice both with purpose and diligence. Swimming is a skill and like all skills if you repeatedly make an error, any improvement will not happen or be limited, you will more likely further and more deeply embed the error into your nervous system making the habit more challenging to change.
Wherever your swimming ability lies the challenge of continual improvement is to know where your improvement lies, notice the changes in your technique; good and bad, changes that you may only become aware of or notice for the first time when you see yourself swim.
Having completed a three person Channel relay I have recently done more training then I have in a long time, I recently tore my calf muscle which took over 4 weeks to heal and in the process sent my postural alignment off.
There are three things here:
- Increased training and the possible emergence of some human awkwardness.
- More time swimming longer distances and in more challenging conditions where focus can be lost and less time in the pool practicing more diligently.
- Change in postural alignment that has effected how balanced, stable and connected I feel in the water.
In the video you will notice a difference in the arm recovery on my LEFT arm, this is something new that I’ve not seen before.
The extra splash will be creating drag and the weight and forward momentum of my left arm isn’t as fluid as the right.
It is more pronounced from the footage in the endless pool, the following day I focused (very hard) in a pool at a slower tempo, then at a faster tempo I could just about rectify it. But trust me it took brain power. To keep the same quality of movement over longer distances will take mental than physical endurance to make sure the improved movement stays the same.
They say knowledge is power and this is certainly true in swimming. I wasn’t annoyed or frustrated by what I saw, I learnt something.
There is no such thing as perfection, striving for this only weighs us down and progress is never linear. Incremental and continual progress allow us to celebrate small wins that are motivational and best done when you stay on the edge of your comfort zone where we grow, thrive and have more fun! Make enough progress, highlight any changes (good and bad) and celebrate enough small wins there’s no telling how good you will get!