Law of Chaos- “When left unattended, a swimmer will gravitate towards the worst technique possible.”
As a swim coach, I teach kids from ages 4 all the way to ages 18 how to swim, and not just how TO swim, but how to swim WELL. I’m with kids who can barely doggie paddle, and young men that can crank out 45’s in the 100 freestyle, and they all come to me to get faster. One thing I can do is tell them to swim more; I can put 1000 extra yards in their set, I can do lung-busters until they wear out, and I can run threshold repeats until their toes tingle. And you know what? It would probably work. BUT, if I can fix their stroke and then work them hard, I’ll have a nice little bunch of record breakers on my hands. No matter what stage of your swimming life you’re in, correcting even the littlest thing in your technique can be challenging.
- The first step is admitting you have a problem
- The second step is allowing someone or something to help correct it
- And the third step is concentration and repetition
Kickboards, fins, paddles, and buoys: The Big Four. These essentials will get you movin’ on your way to smoother, stronger, faster, and more efficient swimming.
KICKBOARDS: Streamline kick is great, but kickboards allow you to channel all your focus to your kick, while still maintaining good body form. Get ready to feel the intensity.
FINS: Fins help both your kick and the rest of your stroke. By increasing speed, fins allow you to feel good body positioning and rotation with less effort. It also helps increase ankle strength and flexibility, both important aspects of an efficient kick.
PADDLES: Usually going hand in hand with buoys, paddles increase the water you pull with each stroke, providing a killer upper body workout. On top of that, the majority of paddles are shaped to pull easiest in a perfect stroke, so finding the correct pull is simple and easy to replicate throughout the set.
BUOYS: Buoys are my personal favorite piece of swim equipment. Buoys fit snug in between your legs, and allow you to swim with just your upper body, which really isolates your stroke technique. When using a buoy, parts of your stroke are easy to adjust or modify, and you can feel the effects on your stroke almost immediately.
Competitive racing, staying in shape, or just starting out; you’re going to reach a time when your stroke can improve, and that time is always. Try out some of the equipment engineered to help your stroke and see what happens, because it’ll be good.
Remember, it’s only cold right when you jump in. Taaaaake your marks, Go!
Written by Kevin Jervis, GH Team Member