Bemedalled Olympians Michael “The Baltimore Bullet” Phelps of the U.S. and Ian “The Torpedo” Thorpe of Australia, are best known for their amazing swimming records and graceful strokes on the pool. You can certainly aspire to be like them but for now your swim coach is telling you to push yourself and swim faster using the freestyle stroke. Here's how to do it.
- Work on your physical condition. For you to swim faster using the freestyle stroke, you need to be on top of your sport in the physical sense. Work out at the gym to build your muscles using strength training and aerobic conditioning. These will build your body up from lean to mean. When you feel that you are at your physical peak, mental conditioning to swim faster is easy to adapt.
- Get recommendation on the proper swim suit. Watch the interview of another Olympic champion, Britta Steffen of Germany, and you’ll find out that one of the reasons that make her swimming become faster is her choice of proper swimsuit. The sports brand Speedo is of course on top of the list. If you can afford it, purchase the brand’s top-of-the-line Fast Skin for allowing you to swim faster and for cutting water resistance dramatically. If budget is tight, then just wear a body suit that skims your body from the neck down to your feet.
- Push yourself off the plank as far as you can. On the jump position, use the strength and power in your legs to push yourself as far as you can from the starting point. This provides the leverage that you need to swim faster.
- Use tunnel vision when jumping into the water. Fix your eye on a small patch of water when jumping into the pool. This is called tunnel vision. Using this technique will help you enter the water very clearly, like slicing through the water with nary a ripple.
- Place your wrists on top of each other as if bound together. If you’re a keen observer of Olympic swimmers, you’ll see that they jump into the water with their arms extended over their head and with their wrists over each other. When you assume this position and enter the water this way, you are setting yourself up to swimming faster than usual.
- Assume a “question mark” position when stroking through water. In your mind, visualize yourself making a question mark as each arm strokes through the water. This position provides you with the needed torque to move through the water.
- Balance yourself by pushing your pelvis out and keeping your head above water as you push faster. Once you concentrate on using your arms to move you through the water faster, you might unknowingly forget to balance your body on the water.
- Ask your swim coach to track you while practicing your freestyle stroke. If he sees you thrashing in the water, it’s a sign that you are losing your balance. To correct this, make sure you are floating straight as a rod above the water. After you begin your first freestyle stroke, push your pelvis in, push your head above water, and keep your feet parallel to your arms as you continue making clean slices on the water.
- Maintain your technique and position until you reach the finish line. Your coach will time your entire swim. This will let you know if your first attempt at swimming faster in the freestyle stroke is a success. Just keep practicing and your dream of swimming faster in any stroke other than freestyle will come true!
Remember, all dreams become reality through hard work. Swimming as a competitive sport is certainly a hard work!