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Swim Smooth Freestyle Swim Technique and Training Book

A Guide for Freestyle Swimming Triathletes, Swimmers, and for Swim Coaches

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Swim Smooth Book

Swim Smooth - The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes, by Paul Newsome and Adam Young.

Paul Newsome/Adam Young/Wiley Nautical
The Swim Smooth team has put together a great book (Swim Smooth, The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes) for freestyle swimmers and triathletes. The author's have gathered together their teachings from their Swim Smooth DVDs, websites, and their own experiences, to give swimmers a complete guide to the Swim Smooth freestyle swimming and training methodology. 300-plus pages, from how to the freestyle stroke, to improving swim technique, to training and workouts, to injury prevention, to open water swimming, the book will be a valued addition to any freestyle swimmer's library.

Why only 4.5 stars? It is only for freestyle, it does not get into any other strokes. This is may make it unsuitable for some swimmers looking for a book that covers all four of the competitive strokes. I don't really think it is a weakness, but it could be for some swimmers.

What's In The Swim Smooth Book

The book is loaded with pictures, drawings, and diagrams to help fully understand what the author's want a swimmer to do when swimming freestyle. While I think that reading through the whole book is a better way to start, checking out the table of contents and then going to the section that most interests you with a current swimming challenge might work for you, too.

The book fully covers the Swim Smooth Swim Types system of defining what kind of technique a swimmer uses, and how that type of technique can be improved. Reviewing the table of contents reads like a clinic on not just freestyle swimming, but swim training and open water racing for triathletes, too (if I have comments on a section or chapter, they are in italics below):

Swim Smooth Table of Contents

Getting Started
1. How to Use This Book
2. Introduction to Freestyle Swimming (includes swim terminolgy)
3. Swimming Equipment (what is essential, recommended, optional, and what is not recommended)
4. The Three Keys to Better Freestyle Swimming (technique, training, and open water skills)

5. What Makes an Efficient Freestyle Stroke?
6. Stroke Flaws - Cause and Effect
7. Breathing (learn to breath to either side is vital to developing symmetry)
8. Body Position (lists 10 top causes of poor body position)
9. Leg Kick
10. Posture and Alignment (develop good posture on land and it can carry-over to swimming)
11. Rotation and Arm Recovery (get your body right)
12. Hand Entry
13. Catch and Pull-Through (I think this is a key part that many swimmers need to develop)
14. Stroke Rate Development
15. The Science Behind an Efficient Freestyle Stroke (stroke length or stroke rate? Both!)
16. Performing Your Own Video Analysis Session (find someone to help and you can get great feedback from your won swim video)
17. The Swim Types System (the "smooth" or the "swinger" are types the authors feel are best)
18. The Arnie
19. The Bambino
20. The Kicktastic
21. The Overglider
22. The Swinger
23. The Smooth

24. The Importance of Fitness Training
25. Balancing the Different Types of Fitness Training (speed/sprint, endurance, and threshold/sustainable speed)
26. A Simple Skeleton Structure for Your Swimming Month (laying out a training plan based on how often you swim)
27. Finding Your Critical Swim Speed (find your swim workout paces with this testing method)
28. Pace Awareness in the Pool and Open Water
29. Dry-Land Conditioning (some out-of-pool strength and flexibility work can be a good thing)
30. Prevention and Management of Shoulder Injuries (good information on causes, prevention, and cures)
31. Pool Skills (a good bit on how to properly swim in a pool by your self and with others)
32. Nutrition for Longer Sessions and Races

Open Water
This section of the book brings together all of the other parts and applies those parts to open water swimming
33. The Importance of Open Water Skills
34. Managing Anxiety
35. Swimming Straighter
36. Drafting Effectively
37. Turning Around Buoys
38. Better Wetsuit Swimming
39. Adapting Your Stroke to a Variety of Conditions

A. Swim Smooth Drills (22 pages of swim drills)
B. Swim Type Stroke Correction Processes (the steps to take to move your technique toward a better one)
C. Training Sessions (48 different swim workouts covering 8 different types of sets)

Is the Swim Smooth Book Worth Buying?

Short answer - yes. If you are looking for ways to become a better freestyle swimmer, get the book.

In general, all swimmers do some freestyle, and I cannot think of many triathletes that wouldn't do some freestyle sometime (if not almost all of the time) in training and in races. Based on that line of thinking... get the book! It is loaded with great ideas, photos, and swim tips to help make you a better swimmer; chances are that is why you are reading this - you want to be a better swimmer - and the Swim Smooth book can help you achieve that goal!

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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