Overcoming the Fatal Mistakes- Taking Action I
To get better, you have to act. For you, that means you’ll need to find technical clarity, and you’ll need to change your perspective on training. In previous sections, I described reality for most triathletes, I described the mistakes most triathletes make as a result of these realities, and I described the solutions to these realities.
While I trust it was all insightful information, and has inspired you to change, it’s all theory unless you put it into practice. It’s time to get practical. Below, I’ll show you exactly how to do that. If you’re taking action on the concrete steps I lay out, you’ll be swimming faster sooner than you expect.
Finding Technical Clarity
It’s easiest to get lost in endless detail and endless drills. They all promise instant and dramatic improvement. The ‘secret’ is working on the most important skills that everyone already knows about, and staying consistent with working on these skills. What you require more than anything else is FOCUS. Take these 3 steps to make sure you’re focused on what really matters.
1. Pick 2-3 skills that you believe will make a massive impact on your performance (or ask someone you trust for their advice). You can’t do it all. You need to focus on a limited number of skills if you want to create real change. Importantly, they need to be skills that will make a huge impact on your overall technique and your speed. While perfecting the elbow angle of your pull might help to some extent, swimming with great body alignment will ALWAYS help. If you’re focused on a major component of the stroke, that’s a great indicator that it’s an important skill to address.
2. Find the exercises that will help you learn those skills quickly and easily. Once you know what you need to be working on, you need to choose the exercises that help you learn those skills. Unfortunately, not all exercises are created equal. Some work really well and some do not. Importantly, there are some that work well for most people, but might not work for you. Give each a try and determine if it’s helping you address the skill you’ve identified. If it is, roll with it.
3. Work on those skills and exercises exclusively. Now the hard part. ONLY work on the skills and exercises you identify and ignore everything else! It’s very easy to get distracted by the next big thing or ‘the secret to faster swimming’. Trust you’ve made the right decision and get to work.
Of course, determining what skills are most important to address, and how to address them, is easier said than done. If you can do so successfully, that’s awesome! If not, finding a great coach can really help the process. Beyond providing you with great information, you’ll also be confident in knowing that you’re working on skills and exercises that address YOUR specific issues.
Rather than leaving you without anything to put into practice, let me help you out. You may be wondering what I think is most important.
Here you go.
For the VAST majority of beginning swimmers, you need to work in three key areas-
Position- the position and shape you create as you move through the water. Click HERE for one of my favorite exercises to address the issue.
Pull- how you use your arms to move water so that you move forward. Click HERE for one of my favorite exercises to address the issue.
Piston- the timing between your arm actions and your rotation. Click HERE for one of my favorite exercises to address the issue.
I’ve found these to be the most important elements for improving swimming technique and performance FAST, and I’ve developed a system of exercises to do just that. The exercises I’ve shared tend to work well for most individuals, and they work even better when paired with 1-2 others.
You may find focusing on these skills and exercises works well for you, or you may find that you need to place your focus in other areas. Regardless, remember the 3 key steps that you need to act upon to begin improving your swimming skill today!
FASTER. EASIER. BETTER.