Question from Christen: I’ve taught myself to swim by watching videos on YouTube but I’m struggling to see much improvements with my swim time any suggestions?
The short answer is once you get your technique good enough you need to start focusing on speed and power.
There are so many videos on YouTube that will break down the swim stroke bit by bit that can be very helpful. Also watching yourself on video is also highly valuable. You don’t need a very expensive GoPro camera to do this as you can get cheaper versions from eBay for around $40 with free shipping.
Problem with this however is there are a lot of public swimming pools that will not allow video cameras. Therefore you must be sneaky by the way you video yourself. Hide your camera in the foot hole of your fins and when there is no one in the lane you’re swimming in, you can pull the camera out stack your paddles, pull buoy and fins over top to camouflage the camera and start filming. I have done this hundreds of times and I have never been caught or got into any trouble. Only film yourself.
Another option is to speak to one of the lifeguards who knows swim technique that works at the pool you visit and ask them to keep an eye on your swim technique and offer advice if and when needed. Most of these lifeguards a boards to hell and often are more than willing to help. It helps them pass time and helps you improve in the water…… win, win.
When you have your technique good enough that it’s a foundation that you can build upon, you need to start working on speed and power within each session. A lot of short sharp sessions and a lot of paddle sessions.
Swimming in groups and with faster swimmers is worth its weight in goals but not everyone can fit this in with their available training hours.
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