Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Relax and Just Lie Still

Have you ever watched a good swimmer from the pool deck and noticed how they don't appear to be using any more effort but they are continuously lapping nearly everyone else in the pool? Don't think what you are seeing is wrong. Those people zipping through the water are relaxed. In fact they are probably more relaxed than most everyone else and that is why they are moving faster. What?! Yes, relaxing as you swim can make you go faster - important note: I'm not talking about competitive swimming here. These faster swimmers have found a trick and relaxing is a big part of it. To explain my point, let's examine the opposite premise. Suppose you watch someone struggling with their stroke. It seems like nine out of ten of these people are fighting the water. The better swimmers on the other hand do not. They relax. They stretch out and lie still after each stroke (to quote the title here) and allow that stroke's inertia to continue to propel them through the water until friction slows them down again. What are they doing during all this time? Relaxing my friend, catching their breath and getting ready to pull hard again when the time is right - not before.

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