Think Like A Winner.
Strong. Lean. Fit.
Why You're An
Fuel The Metabolism.
What it Takes.
Our Clients Speak!
Truth In Education.
The 2B Mascot
How 2B Swimmers Train:
The first thing all swimmers have to realize is that water is over 700 times denser than air. Thus, everything you do in the water (good or bad) is going 2B magnified times 700. This is why it's so obvious when you see a great swimmer. They move effortlessly through the water with no wasted motion. But on the flip side, if your head is out of position, your entry is not clean, your catch is weak, your rotation is poor, your kick is not rhythmic (just to name a few), you're going to pay for it dearly in terms of energy expended and time wasted.
This is where swimming differs greatly from running and cycling. Whereas you can “get away with” relative inefficiencies on the run and bike, you cannot in the water. An unorthodox running form can still produce decent times. A cyclist can also ride strong with a faulty bike setup. After all, in running and cycling your only enemy is air--which is somewhat beatable. But you cannot overpower the water—it will win every time. And this is why swim technique always beats swim fitness--especially in longer races.
First, you need to understand drag and what it does to you in your stroke. The main types of drag we're talking about in swimming are form drag (your shape and surface area) and wave drag (displacing water that takes energy away from the swimmer). Think of it like this--if you have a pontoon and your friend has a speed boat, and you’re both out on a lake, which one is going to go faster? The answer is probably obvious...the speed boat. But let’s say you’re the owner of the pontoon and you really want to make it as fast as your friend’s speed boat…but instead of changing any of the dynamics of the way the pontoon balances, moves, and interacts with the water, you’re only going to focus on one thing—the engine. And even if this engine is taking a massive toll on the body of the pontoon (in terms of energy expenditure), you’re going to continue building a bigger and bigger engine until you can match the speed of the speed boat. There's got 2B an easier way...
Hence, you should not worry about building yards/meters swimming in the pool if a) you're a beginning swimmer, or b) you have noticeable weaknesses in your stroke. Instead of building yards/meters swimming, you should be spending it drilling. Drilling is spending your time refining your technique until it is second nature. Then this technique will remain stable as you build your swim fitness (increasing yards/meters swimming). Do not put the cart before the horse, which is thinking that swim fitness is more important than swim technique.
It pays to have a short discussion on motor learning here as well. The first rule of motor learning is:
Practice does not make Perfect.
Practice makes Permanent.
Only Perfect Practice will make Perfect.
So, emphasis in the pool must be on practicing perfect technique. Swimming lots of miles isn't always the answer because if there is a flaw in your technique, all you're doing is further ingraining that technique. Now, if you ever choose to try to correct this flaw, all these miles you swam in the pool are going to work against you because the more deeply ingrained a motor pattern, the more difficult it is to replace. Go ahead, try it with something you do everyday, such as eating or brushing your teeth. Try holding a fork or the toothbrush in a different hand. Now continue doing this and tell me how long it takes before this movement starts to feel remotely natural to you. It's going to take time, focus, and repetition.
Second rule of motor learning—there are three phases in which we learn: Cognitive Phase, Associative Phase, and Autonomic Phase. I won’t go into a lengthy discussion of what each phase entails, but there is an important fundamental to understand:
Most swimmers are in the Cognitive and Associative Phases of Swimming.
This means that they are only capable of processing ONE thought at a time.
Thus, do not try to focus on many different things when trying to swim—you'll probably end up doing everything average and nothing very well. But if you focus on ONE aspect of technique that can be improved, work on it, refine it--you will ingrain that movement and own it much faster. You can then move onto the next area of focus and repeat the process.
Automaticity is only something that occurs when you’ve been doing an activity for a very long time. The activity becomes "automatic." Again, like eating and brushing your teeth, you don’t have to think about these things and you can multitask while doing them. They come totally natural to you because you’ve “practiced” them all your life. In athletics, professionals are often the only ones that ever reach this phase of skill.
Other pages will discuss the intricacies of what makes good swim technique and how to build swim fitness. It should be noted that, after a period of time, you should be working on swim fitness. There comes a point where there are diminishing returns for the amount of technique work you can do and the overall effect it will have on your swim times. But this is for the more advanced, experienced swimmer.
Starting out, it is absolutely essential that you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing in the water. And especially for beginning swimmers, do not think that swimming a lot is the only way to get faster. You'll get the most out of your swim fitness if it's built on proper swimming fundamentals (it pays to have a coach teaching you these at the start). So practice perfect technique, until it becomes permanent, and you'll be swimming faster times more consistently, with less effort.
Contact 2B for more information on Swimming Smart!
Back to Home
Copyright © 2009 2B Consulting | www.decide-2B.com. All rights reserved.
"2B will transcend the way people use their Brain & Body – empowering them to live and not simply to exist, to move forward instead of remaining idle and to demand more of themselves and succeed in ways they never thought possible. We want to inspire and lift people up 2B greater each day, everyday; so they fall asleep at night knowing they are making the most of their precious days here on earth."