top of page

The Simple 3-Step Process For Improving Your Swimming

One of my main goals is to provide you with big picture content that is simple and actionable.

Rather than just provide you a drill or two that ‘solves all your problems’, I want you to understand WHY you should approach swimming in certain ways, and HOW to do it.

That way, you can take control of your swimming journey and get the results you want.

However, countless books and thousands of research articles have been written on swimming, so it can be tough to distill that all down to simple, actionable steps that actually WORK.

The ideas have to be simple AND effective.

Sometimes, I’m able to do that:).

Today, I’d like to share with you a framework that lays out what really matters in the improvement process, and what you need to achieve to get faster.

If you’re overwhelmed by all of the information that’s out there, or you’re confused as to where to start, let me help you out.

Improving in the water really comes down to this-

1. Establish COMFORT in the water

2. Learn the key SKILLS of freestyle swimming

3. Develop the FITNESS to sustain these skills

Let’s take a slightly deeper look at each.


If you’re not comfortable in the water, you can’t learn good skills and you’ll be too exhausted to train.

The reason it’s the first step is because you can’t achieve the others without it.

Not being comfortable means you always feel like your legs are sinking, you’re always out of breath, or you’re always really tense.

I’m sure you’ve seen others that are COMPLETELY relaxed in the water.

They DON’T have some special talent.

They learned how to do it, and you can learn to do so as well IF you make establishing comfort a priority.

It’s not complicated either, provided you take a specific approach.


Once you’re comfortable in the water, it’s about learning how to swim freestyle well.

While there are ENDLESS ideas about how to swim freestyle well, it really comes down to 3 key skills-

1. Stay aligned

2. Move water backward

3. Time your arms and rotation to optimize #1 and #2

Again, these are simple skills.

While executing them is NOT easy, what you’re trying to accomplish is not complicated.

Knowing this makes it much easier to stay focused on what matters.

You need to move through the water like a missile- straight and narrow.

You need to move water backward with the arms so that you move forward.

You need to time the rotation and the arms so it’s easier to accomplish #1 and #2.


Fitness is the ability perform a given activity at a desired speed for a desired period of time.

For most, the goal is to swim faster and/or longer than you can currently do.

If you want to do something faster and/or longer, it assumes you can do the desired activity in the first place!

If you can’t swim at all, there’s no sense in trying to swim poorly for a greater duration.

That’s why fitness comes last.

You need to be comfortable in the water and swim with appropriate skill before you train those skills.

After that, it’s simple.

Just swim progressively longer and faster than you’re used to.

It’s not complicated, although it probably won’t be easy!

Putting It Into Practice

The key is to identify where you stand to improve the most right now.

Do you need to get more comfortable to set the foundation?

Are you comfortable but need more skill?

Are you comfortable and skilled, yet need more speed and endurance?

The answer to these questions determines where you should place your focus and what you should work on.

If you understand the goals you need to achieve, and you know where you’re at, you can figure out what you need to do to make it happen.

In subsequent newsletters, I’ll explore how to improve each area in more detail.

Check out the sets that follow to see what a focus on each area could look like.

Give them a try to get a feel for how they differ, and how they can help you improve.

1. If you’re looking for do-it-yourself solutions to improve your swimming, check out my resources Freestyle Made Simple and Addressing Adult-Onset Swimming.

2. If you want a more personalized learning experience, we can work together to analyze your stroke or develop a technical training plan.

Exit the Water…


Recent Posts

See All

Breathe Easy For As LONG As You’d Like

Doing drills is not going to lead to bulletproof breathing that holds up while racing. It’s not enough to just do some drills and call it good. You need a plan to be able to sustain great breathing fo


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page