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Combos Are King

The unfortunate truth is that just because you’re able to execute a skill development exercise with perfect precision, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to swim with perfect precision. While it would be wonderful if this was true, unfortunately it is not. The purpose of skill development exercises is not necessarily to learn how to swim more effectively, but to feel new ways of moving.

The key is to transfer these feelings from skill exercises to full stroke swimming.

How does one do so? Combinations are where it’s at. While the concept is simple, the impact is powerful. Simply alternate between a skill development exercise and full stroke swimming.

Repeat over and over.

The idea is to get exposed to new sensations during the skill exercise and then aim to recreate those sensations during regular swimming.

The skill exercise opens the door to change. Full stroke swimming is how you step through the door.

The more times you can move back and forth, the more these sensations become integrated into the swimming.

Over time, the goal should be to reduce the percentage of time spent with the exercise. For instance, let’s say you start with a 50% split between exercises and swimming. Over time, you’ll want to reduce the percentage of exercises in your combos relative to the full stroke swimming.

Maybe it’s down to 1:2 ratio between exercises and swimming, and then 1:3, and then 1:4. Over time, it will take less work on the exercises to ensure they show up in your full stroke swimming.

Remember the goal of the exercises- help you feel what you want to feel during full stroke swimming. Over time, you’ll want to integrate those sensations into your full swimming.


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