To learn how to get more out of each stroke, play a game of Golf! This simple swimming drill will help swimmers develop better swimming technique, improved efficiency, and sense of pace. Here's how:
- Determine a reasonable distance, number of repeats of that distance, and an interval for each repeat - for example, 9 x 50 yards on 1 minute.
- Perform one repeat.
- Count your stroke cycles for that repeat - a cycle is each time your left hand (or your right hand, but only one hand) enters the water.
- Note your time for the repeat.
- Add the two numbers together for your par score - for example, 45 seconds plus 25 strokes = a par of 70.
- Perform the set of 9 x 50 yards, starting a new 50 every 1 minute.
- Count your stroke cycles for each repeat, adding that number to your time for each repeat.
- Compare this number to your par.
- Keep track of the difference. For example, on your first 50 you take 28 strokes and have a time of 40 seconds for a score of 68. Compared to a par of 70, you are two under!
- Complete all of the repeats.
- Total your score for the front nine.
Do the set from time to time to measure your progress. Focus on something different on different repeats - long strokes, fast strokes, high elbows - and note the results. Technique is more important than brute force. Remember to do drill work as part of your practices. Change the interval and watch the results - what do you learn about your technique when you get more or less rest? Can you decrease the rest and still stay efficient?