Train other strokes .
In my personal opinion, training other strokes can help you to improve your feel for the water. If you use only one stroke in freestyle, you may develop bad habits in your stroke that can translate over to your freestyle if you’re not careful. Switching to a different stroke for several laps can help you to develop an appreciation for the other strokes used in a race and help you to learn how to use a variety of skills to make your races more effective.
In my personal opinion, training other strokes can help you to improve your feel for the water. If you use only one stroke in freestyle, you may develop bad habits in your stroke that can translate over to your freestyle if you’re not careful. Switching to a different stroke for several laps can help you to develop an appreciation for the other strokes used in a race and help you to learn how to use a variety of skills to make your races more effective. Focus on a high turnover rate. This is commonly referred to as “producing an effective kick.” Your purpose with the kick is to keep you going, not to propel you forward. If you rely on your kick to help you to accelerate, you’re going to be pulling against your body’s natural pull through the water. Focus on using your kick effectively to maintain your stroke and to avoid sinking.
Sculling is very important: It’s how you make progress. You’ll be doing a lot of it. It’s done by propelling the boat primarily with your hands using long, exaggerated sculling motions. This is in constrast to “chopping,” which is a quicker, staccato version of sculling.
Doing many, long, lazy sculling motions will slow your rate of travel down and increase your endurance.
This is much more comfortable than trying to use choppy choppy motions to go fast. Your body will not adapt to the choppy motion easily. This will build up your arm muscles and endurance, but you’ll feel every stroke.
To begin learning sculling, you should find a coach. Do not try to teach yourself how to scull. Ask friends or family to help.
Watch Olympic rowers sculling on youtube or on a TV. Try to do the same. Rowing is hard work.
Open the swim gear bag .
Take out a bathing suit. Wash it, stretch it, and hang it up to dry. Always use freshly laundered swimsuits. This step is very important because dirty fabric absorbs water. Therefore, it becomes heavier, more difficult to swim, and much less comfortable as well.
To Perfect Form
The most important way to improve your form, speed, and feel for the water is to practice. Specifically, you should focus on three important drills: the tumble drill, crossover drill, and full stroke drill.
In the tumble drill, you’re basically just doing tumble turns from one end of the pool to the other. This is a good drill to build speed for the long course. When you’re doing a tumble turn, you should try to get your elbows nearly over your head. Once that feels comfortable, switch to the crossover drill. In this drill, you swim freestyle with your head to the opposite side from the arm that’s in the front. For example, if your right arm is in the front, your head should be to the left.
Change your stroke rate while you’re doing this drill, starting at a slow pace and getting faster with each kick. The key is to keep your form perfectly straight and your hips level in the water, even when you’re kicking. You should also try to keep your head steady and looking forward. This drill forces you to engage your core, which will help you move faster through the water with greater control.
Super slow swimming.
Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. This old adage held true for our swimming coach even when he’d be screaming at us to move faster.
But what exactly is the “slow” that we should be aiming for? The answer is that it is your brain speed. All too often, we are moving quickly with no idea of where we’re going. Many swimmers miss corrections at the wall and don’t appreciate good swimming technique until they slow down their brains and feel their way into a proper stroke and turn them into second nature.
So how do you slow down? For a few years during my college years, I lived and trained under the following formula: wake up at 5 AM every day and swim 6,000 yards at a super slow pace between 30 and 45 seconds per 100. With this kind of steady-state, low-intensity swimming, you’ll really be thinking about how you’re moving.
There are other ways to slow down, such as karaoke, open water swimming, endless talking, or dancing to a reggae beat. But don’t worry, this isn’t all work and no play; most of these drills involve hilarity as well.
Make sure you practice regularly and stay consistent with your practice.
When a kayaker learns a new trick, coach, or paddling theory, they often want feedback on how they’re doing it. Whether it’s switching to a new stroke technique or switching to a freestyle posture.
Often, they want to know what “feels best” to them. Unfortunately, that feedback is less than helpful.
You have to ignore the feedback your hands are giving you and follow what your feet are doing. If your hands say to keep doing your current technique, but your feet tell you another technique is the way to go, pay attention to your feet, not your hands. Your hands will feel one way and your feet will feel another.
That’s how I encourage my students to think about their paddling and to ignore their hands. Keep your head centered over your chest and pay attention to what your feet are doing.
You may be surprised how much your feel improves in a short period of time.