The last time I had a real in-depth analysis of my swim stroke was back in December of 2011. I wrote a post back then describing some of the glaring flaws in my swim technique. I figured that it was time to have an expert take a look at my swimming and tell me how I can become faster and more efficient in the water. So last week I met with my former Train Smart Swim Group coach and friend, Manny Nieto. He’s an eleven-time All-American and current Assistant Swimming Coach at St. X High School here in Louisville…so he knows what he’s talking about!
So Manny gave me a few things to work on, but before I get into that, I wanted to compare some still shots from now and December 2011.
|December 2011 – while taking a breath, my opposite arm would cross over my mid-line.|
|June 2013 – after taking a breath on my left side, my right arm stays under my shoulder…much better form.|
|December 2011 – As I took a breath, my legs would separate, creating drag|
|June 2013 – Legs still separating…maybe even worse!|
My times are faster in both the pool and in races, so I know that my form has improved…but there’s still plenty to work on. The leg separation is something that will take time to correct. More than anything, this is a balance issue. As I rotate to take a breath, I feel my legs sinking, so I instinctively pull my legs apart to keep them closer to the surface. The goal is to keep my feet inside of the “tunnel” I create with my shoulders. A shorter, faster kick is the goal.
Here’s what it should look like – legs together at the knees and separated below that only to kick.
Other things that I need to work on:
- Make sure my hands enter the water with my fingers pointing down (particularly an issue with my right hand).
- Start my pulling phase with more force – using my chest to initiate the pull
- Finish my pull by incorporating my triceps more
- Keeping a straight line from the top of my head down through my torso/legs
Here are the raw videos of me from last week. Please comment if you see some other flaws that I need to correct!
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