Swim Slow To Go Fast

Posted Dominic Latella Articles

By Dominic Latella
The Swim Box

It’s always much easier to swim fast, it’s just not maintainable for more than 25 or 50 yards. Learning to swim slowly is what’s really hard, and it’s what most, if not all, swimmers need to do in order to learn to control what they’re doing.

Swimming fast provides us with easy balance and buoyancy without even realizing it’s happening. Once we slow things down we are forced to have learn to balance with our trunk, legs, arms, an even head.

That’s a lot of moving parts and a lot to think about. It is impossible to try to control and focus on everything all at once. Its much smart to have a check list so you can think about each item on that list one at a time.

The more you can do something correctly the longer you’ll be able to maintain it, and then it becomes a habit.

As a swimmer you should pick a priority for what you want to correct. That priority should be number one on your mental check list. Once you can perform that task well you can move on to your second item. And then your third item and so on. Then you just keep repeating that list. This is what will turn proper technique into habit.

During drill work make sure you take the time to understand the drill and focus solely on what that drill is designed to help you with. I hear from my SwimBox clients all the time that their legs were, “all over the over the place”, or ,”my breath was really bad”.

But the drill we were working on was about the catch phase, not their legs or how they take a breath. Sure, it would be great if they could do everything all at once, but that’s just unrealistic.

I am guilty of this as a coach. I will only focus on what the task is at hand is and not pay attention to what their legs are doing, or what their breath is like. It would not be very helpful if I told a swimmer, “nice job on the drill, but your legs – that had nothing to with the drill – were crap.”

When we give a video analysis we like to try to point out as much as we can see in order to give you guys have all the information. But in no way should you being trying to correct everything all at once.

Sometimes if you correct one issue it can end up clearing up a few other issues. Two birds with one stone. And we love when that happens, but we don’t know until we slow things down and work on issues piece by piece. So take your time, slow things down, and focus on one thing at a time.