3 Tips to Improve Your Distance Per Stroke

Michael Butler
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Counting your strokes is essential.

Counting your strokes can be a useful and interesting way to improve your game. There are various ways to count strokes.

For example, you can count the number of strokes it takes to sink a ball. This is great if you don’t have a partner and need to keep track of your progress on your own. I would suggest that you only do this after you have matured your game and developed a consistent stroke.

You can count the one-hundredths of a second that it takes to run the table … or just count your strokes on one part of the table it takes you five strokes to run the table, and two strokes for your opponent. You can count the number of strokes on a new ball for you or the number of strokes on a same ball for your opponent. For example, if on one ball for you it takes you four strokes and four strokes for your opponent for one ball it would be five strokes for you and two strokes for the opponent. This way you have to develop a strategy based on the same number of strokes on each ball.

As you improve, the number of strokes you take will become less and less significant. In the early stages of your development, however, counting your strokes and focusing on making each stroke count can help you improve.

Ride the horizontal plane.

When you begin to learn to ride a longboard it is important to work on a flat surface that is as smooth as possible. This helps guarantee that each and every stroke that you make will go exactly where you intend it to go. By riding a flat surface you will also be less distracted by whatever obstacles or terrain might be lying in your path when you begin trying to ride down hills and high speed.

Practice in the weightless environment of either a lift, parking garage or large empty parking lot. Not only will this help you learn to carve as you are rising up on the board but can help you to learn balance over time as you are rising up on the board.

It is also important to try to use as little foot-push as possible in order to effectively control the board in the initial learning stages. Many riders over time develop habits which may include applying too much push to the board in order to move the board forward.

The board must lean into the curves and not the rider. If the board is doing all of the work, you are not leaning enough.

Improve your feel of the water.

This can be achieved in a number of ways. If your strength is good, work on making the strokes more efficient by moving your body through the water as you pull and kicking from the core, so that you contact the water directly under your body. By smoothing out the strokes, you will be able to move through the water faster and more effectually.

Keep your body position during the stroke.

Your body should be in a ready position in between strokes. Hold your core tight so there is no flapping. Hold your hands open and relaxed to the side of your body instead of holding onto the wall frequently. Maintain the relaxed shoulders and no tension in your hips.

Move in the correct stroke pattern.

It is natural for this to vary but keep it as close as possible. If you’re short stroking, you’re putting force on the downbeat instead of the recovery. By medaling on the recovery you will create more efficiency and speed. By doing this, you will also maintain a straighter path to the end of the pool and improve your feel of the water.

For more race strategies, check out the Infinity Aquatic 2k Training Plans and download the Training Checklist! These plans include everything you need to maximize your race day performance.

Take Your Swimming to the Next Level

Swimming is a great aerobic exercise, which is one of the best ways to improve your health and burn a lot of calories. Not only does it get your heart pumping, but also untwists the knots in your muscles and relaxes your mind. This means you can reap the benefits of it whether you’re on holiday, recovering from an injury, or preparing for an upcoming athletic competition.

The only downside to swimming is the fact that it takes a lot of time to incrementally improve your time and distance. There’s no getting around the thousands of laps of practice it takes to get better.

So how do you maximize every lap to get faster and improve your swim stroke? We asked professional swimmer, Shelly Schlender, to share her best tips.

Work on Your Breathing

And learn to relax in the water.

When Schlender was first starting out, her coach told her that if she could increase the amount of air that she could take in through her mouth every time she took a stroke, it would significantly improve her performance. So she practiced with a swimmers’ snorkel. She learned that the more air she took into her lungs, the less drag she experienced in the water.

As a result, Schlender focused on improving her breathing. This meant increasing her oxygen intake and improving her stroke efficiency.