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Which Skills Are The MOST Important?

Previously, I talked about how CHANGE is what’s required for better swimming.

To create change, here’s what needs to happen.

You need to-

  1. Identify the most important skill to change

  2. Pick the most effective exercise(s) to learn that skill

  3. Design workouts that effectively facilitate learning

When I first started out coaching, I thought everything was important.

If there was even a 1% chance an error was being made, I let athletes know.

While my intentions were good, the results were not!

When I tried to improve everything, NOTHING improved.

I was constantly spinning my wheels.

When you focus on everything, you focus on nothing.

The problem was that I didn’t know what to do about it.

I thought that all of the skills were equally important, and I didn’t know how to determine which skills were more important than the others.

I was stuck.

That all changed for me when I was reading a book called Swimming Fastest, by Ernie Maglischo.

It’s a 700-page monster, but there was ONE sentence that made all of the difference for me.

Dr. Maglischo said that swimming skill is all about reducing the drag your create and increasing propulsion you create.

That’s it!

Rather than focusing on all of these super intricate skills, I just had to focus on the big picture.

I knew that I had to focus on skills that reduced drag and increased propulsion.

The bigger the impact on those two factors, the more important it was to fix.

To reduce drag, you want to move through the water like a torpedo.

Any time you do anything ‘un-torpedo-like’, you’re putting on the brakes.

All you have to do is look for the movements that are slowing you down, and get rid of them.

Picking up your head to breathe? That’s a big one.

Letting your legs drop in the water? That’s a big one.

These are the types of skills you want to fix.

To increase propulsion, you want to make a big paddle with your arm and move water straight back.

Any time you’re using your arms for something else, that’s a problem.

Dropping your elbow? That’s a big one.

Pulling side-to-side? That’s a big one.

These are the types of skills you want to fix.

In both cases, you’re looking for the BIG problems.

Address those first.

So, better swimming is all about reducing drag and increasing propulsion.

Changing skills is all about finding MAJOR opportunities to improve in one or both areas.

Once you know WHAT to fix, you need to know HOW to do it.

That’s all about using great exercises, which is what I will be showing you how to do next


Keep it simple…


P.S. The shortcut- any time you’re thinking of changing a skill, just ask yourself if doing so will reduce drag or increase propulsion.

If the answer is yes, ask how much?

If the answer is a lot, change it!

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