Sometimes, a sport like swimming can be overwhelming.
I’m not much of a golfer, but the times I’ve played, it seems like if I do one thing slightly wrong, everything gets thrown off and I miss the ball, or it doesn’t go where I want it to go.
Swimming is very similar, with a little more room for error.
There are some things in swimming that are “nice to have”, but also some essentials, where without them you will really be struggling to get the results you want.
Here’s a list of 5 essentials that you can start implementing immediately to make sure things are headed in the right direct (i.e. forward, faster!)
1. Rotate hips. I bet you thought I was going to start off with high elbow catch or Early Vertical Forearm. Those are important but hip rotation separates the struggling swimmers from the fluid, flowing ones who have started to befriend the water. This is so important on an open water triathlon swim, where you need to conserve as much energy as possible.
2. Acceptance. This is something we’ve discussed a lot lately. A basic self acceptance of where you are and what you need to focus on- both from stroke to stroke, and from a perspective of where you are in your progress (or lack thereof)
3. Breath control. I’m not talking about breathing every 3 strokes, or being able to hold your breath for 25 meters+. What I mean is having the confidence that you can, at any time, fill your lungs with air, with ease. This happens by practicing the balance drills (kicking on your side + shark fin drill), as well as practicing breathing techniques like Wim Hof breathing. Gaining this confidence makes a huge difference for anyone in their swim, at any level.
4. Consistency. This could be #1! More than just about any sport, the consistent act of just getting in the pool and doing some swimming is essential to making progress. It’s easy to lose that “feel for the water”, and hard to get it back!
5. Positive self concept. Similar to Acceptance, without the belief in yourself, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t help you swim better or faster. It starts with a deep inner belief that you are capable of this. It’s not easy to make swimming gains, and having this belief that it is possible for you, no matter what your background is, and no matter where you are right now, is fundamental to success!
Befriend the water this weekend!