Thursday, April 03, 2008

How to Swim Well - The Most Important Thing to Learn

I was planning this post before today anyhow, but when I ran into an old acquaintance who without solicitation offered me his opinion on the most important skill to have in order to swim well, I knew I had something - not that our opinions matched.

Anyhow, my friend said that he had learned from a "world class swimmer" (and his boss ... so he really HAD to listen to him) that the most important thing to know how to do well was to relax in the water. If you can relax, you aren't going to tire yourself out with every stroke and every attempt to breathe.

Now the above is not quite what I was going to write originally in this post, but I'm including it here because of the cred (the credibility).

My contention is (and if you've ever read more than a half dozen posts of mine, it should come as no surprise), that the most important thing to know how to do well in order to learn to swim well was to learn to keep a straight line. Your body should be linear from tip of your stretched out fingers at the end of your stretched out arms, all the way down to your stretched out tippy toes at the end of your stretched out legs - so you can streamline through the water. Once this position is learned, it must be applied during the stroke. If one breaks from the linear, the streamlining is lost and you encounter resistance from the water your are swimming through.

Do these two suggestions conflict with one another? I don't think so. If you can do the first you can learn to do the second. And if you can do the second, you can begin to do the first (to relax) since you won't have to fight the water so much.

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