Monday, 23 September 2013

Most Common Swimming Mistakes - General Overview

These are the most common swimming mistakes I have come across in my "swimming life" and I wish correcting them were as easy as erasing them and simply replacing them with a new technique. Unfortunately, swimming is not a very forgiving sport and only practice makes perfect. Hopefully, these tips will help ease your road to perfection or at least swim more comfortably and possibly faster.  I'll do my best to discuss at least one in depth each month.  Meanwhile, below are a few brief tips to get you started.

A weak leg kick–  Beware all pull buoy junkies, excessive use/reliance on your pull buoy may decondition your kick!  Also, a good kick requires very flexible ankles.    Tips:  Do some ankle stretches everyday. Once in a while, include a kick set as a “key set” in your workout.  Learn to kick in time with your breathing and don’t kick from the knees but from the hip flexors.

Doing only fitness training and no technique work –  Tip: If your workout time is limited, fit your technique work in with your warm up.

Poor Breathing Technique – This could be because: you breathe too early or breathe too late; you breathe to one side only; you may be lifting your head to breathe.  Tips: Rotate your head don’t lift your head to breathe.  Practice keeping one goggle in the water and one goggle out when breathing.  Find an alternating breathing pattern supporting both sides e.g. breathing every 3rd stroke.

Lifting your head –  This causes your hips to sink and may also lead to neck injuries.  Tip:  Don’t look forward while swimming, use the black line as your marker to keep your head down and low.

Short Stroke – With a short stroke the hand entry is usually correct, but the stroke is completed too soon and the hand exits before the extension is complete.  This decreases your DPS dramatically.  Tip: Include the  “Salute drill” into your technique work to improve this mistake.

Swimming Flat – this is a result of poor hip rotation.  Tip: to improve your hip rotation, practice the 6-Kick Switch drill set.  This clip from Go Swim is an excellent explanation of this drill.

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