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How can you become a smoother swimmer?

On a busy Tuesday morning at Stadthalle, as I’m observing swimmers traveling up and down the lane, I can’t help but notice how fit and dynamic some of them are swimming. They have a high stroke rate and are capable of sustaining a full hour of interval swimming.

Yet, some swimmers appear inefficient and misdirect energy that doesn’t help them propel forward. Meanwhile, others are gliding effortlessly through the water appearing to barely break a sweat. Which leads us to this question:

What’s the strategy towards becoming a smoother swimmer?

Three factors are at play to truly make progress:

  1. Quality Skill Training

  2. Consistency & Enjoyment

  3. Quality Feedback

Alright, you might not be surprised by my concise breakdown. Allow me to expand on each topic…

Quality Skill Training

A qualitative approach to training has become increasingly popular in the last few years. The evolving science of sports has validated that performing quality sets with a concise focus is more effective in providing results. Not only are we defining the purpose of the effort more clearly, but we can also distribute better attention and energy to each effort.

During a training session, one needs to check in with themselves. There needs to be awareness and planned execution. It’s crucial that you have a technical element in mind that you want to implement. Focusing on maintaining an element is challenging but persistence yields results.

Understand the sensation you want to achieve in the water and adjust your swimming accordingly.

  • Head relaxed and body aligned?

  • Engaging kick and coordinated rotation?

  • Body coordinated and timing on track

Consistency & Enjoyment

Consistency is key.

You are more likely to improve if you swim often. That’s a given. If you have the opportunity to train fewer lengths of time but more often; that’s a better strategy than training fewer times for longer lengths of time. Maintaining consistency may help you retain more easily elements of your stroke you've been working on.

Swimming with a team allows you to lose yourself in the effort and have fun. It's a great way to reduce stress and challenge yourself differently than you would swimming alone.

Quality Feedback

Quality feedback is crucial to making progress. The opportunity to receive feedback on your stroke opens a perspective you may not have seen.

Whether you are being introduced to a new technical element or being guided in correcting an existing inefficiency; quality coaching will help you reduce the risk of potential injury, improve the overall quality of the effort and broaden your perception of your technique in the water.

There’s always something to work on, whether it is strengthening an existing quality or adjusting a weakness. The beautiful duality of swimming is both our ability to be highly focused on movement and simultaneously being in a state of flow. There is both relaxation and engagement.


By training efficiently and moving with meaning, enjoying the effort, training often and working with a great team and coach; you’ll really improve your swimming.

In many ways, swimming is a team sport.

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