Boost Your Swimming Performance with Online Coaching
By Julia Galan
One of the most challenging aspects of the sport of swimming – for both new athletes and seasoned competitors alike – is maintaining a consistently healthy and efficient technique throughout their swimming career. Solo swimmers, for example, often struggle with lack of feedback. Beginners may have access to a pool and a desire to learn, but may not know how to effectively begin easing in to the sport. Or, swimmers on a team may be getting intense training but are not able to achieve efficiency due to the lack of personalized technical feedback from their coach. Given the high level of technique inherent in the sport, and swimmers’ inability to see themselves in the water, having a coach is one of the keys to improved performance and overall success in swimming. And yet, for many individuals, coaches are not readily available. Whether the swimmer lives too far away from the nearest swim team, or whether his or her goals are not aligned such that committing to a team would be beneficial, an on-deck coach may not be an option. It is in these situations, among others, that online coaching from sources such as Swimspire comes into play.
The concept of online coaching has had its fair share of criticism. Workouts generated through a software program can often be non-specific and based more on the swimmer’s self-evaluation of strength rather than on their technique needs. The multitude of self-help videos found on the internet can be confusing and provide conflicting advice. Even video analysis provides swimmers with only one side of the story, discussing the swimmer’s technique flaws but not offering solutions for how to address those flaws.
However, the right combination of online coaching can offer a variety of benefits to boost your swimming performance. Swimspire offers three stages of online coaching to cater to every swimmer’s need: video analysis that allows swimmers to see their stroke and understand which aspects of their technique need improvement; customized workouts that build upon the video analysis with the exact combination of technique and conditioning required for overall optimum performance; and instructional videos that demonstrate many of the drills we use to correct and enhance technique.
Why make the investment in our online coaching? Here are just a few good reasons:
Get a second opinion on your stroke with video analysis
Whether you are self-coached or part of a team, getting your stroke technique analyzed is always a good idea to ensure that you are swimming at optimum efficiency. Our sport is highly technical, which means that even small changes to your stroke can make a big difference in your performance and your potential for injuries. For example incorrect stroke technique is one of the main culprits of injuries for many swimmers, particularly the infamous “swimmer’s shoulder”, as it is called in the swimming world. Getting your stroke screened for trouble spots will help correct any twinges of pain you might have or prevent them in the future. Unfortunately, swimmers who are part of large teams may not benefit from the close supervision needed to determine what areas of their stroke need work, while those who swim solo normally would not have a coach by their side to act as their “mirror”. A video-based analysis will allow swimmers of all goals and levels the ability to not only see their stroke but also to learn more about the mechanics of their technique and use that knowledge to improve efficiency, avoid injuries and have more fulfilling workouts.
How does Swimspire’s video analysis service work? Simply get a friend or a family member to film your stroke and upload it in private mode to Vimeo or YouTube, then send us the link. We’ll break down the mechanics for you and carefully explain what is working and what might be missing. We will also include a follow-up report with recommendations for drills that you can implement into your workouts. Now you can take all of this knowledge with you into the pool!
Not convinced? Read more here about why video analysis is a good idea.
Get a swimming consultation and take advantage of your workouts and swimming style
Whether you are a triathlete, open water or pool-based swimmer, if you’re swimming solo, you need guidance to ensure that you are taking full advantage of your training time with appropriate workouts catered to your needs. While there is plenty of free advice to be found via Google search, much of it will provide conflicting opinions or offer tips that may not be geared towards your specific needs. Drills, for example, are numerous but drilling for its own sake provides no additional benefit if it is not targeting your highly individualized stroke technique. You may also see articles or videos that offer differing opinions on key issues. Fins or no fins? Kick or no kick? High-intensity interval training or long yardage? Drills or fullstroke? It can be difficult to determine the appropriate ratio of drills to fullstroke in writing up your own workouts. If your primary goal is fitness, for example, your requirements will be different from a triathlete who needs to complete a 2.4 mile open water swim. This can leave you feeling frustrated and confused.
A swimming consultation with Swimspire is the perfect solution. We can develop a plan for your swimming training based on the amount of time you have, the pool facilities you are working in, and your level and goals. Start out by sending us a video to analyze, and we can provide you with feedback and three customized workouts per week that are based on your swimming background, your current stroke technique and your goals. You can watch our instructional drill videos to get a better sense of the proper way to execute the drills we prescribe. Or, if you just need some reassurance that your current training is sound, you can simply send us your video and a recap of your weekly workout plan and we’ll send you our thoughts and recommendations. Whether you receive affirmation or re-direction, a swimming consultation is the perfect way to ensure that you are maximizing the time and effort spent in the water.
Watch instructional videos to ensure that you are executing drills properly
As mentioned above, the purpose of swimming drills is to target areas of your stroke that need refinement or strengthening in order to build towards an overall healthy and efficient swimming style. However, including drills into your workout with no specific purpose is generally a waste of your precious workout time. Not only must you know which drills are right for you, but you must also know exactly how to incorporate them strategically into your training and execute them properly. If you are able to achieve the perfect balance, swimming drills will help prevent injuries by reinforcing proper technique, improve your efficiency by allowing you to concentrate on specific areas of your stroke, and add variety to your workouts.
Starting off with a video analysis or an in-person stroke consultation will allow the Swimspire team to monitor your stroke and determine what the next steps in your training will be. You then have the option to continue to the next level with customized workouts or use the feedback provided by the video analysis in your own workouts. Regardless of which you choose, you will need specific guidance on how to execute the drills we prescribe correctly. Our video library of instructional drills will offer you visual and instructional guidance, with the drills clearly demonstrated by U.S. Masters Swimming national record-holder Peter Galan. You can access the videos as many times as you like, and if you can find a friend to film you practicing the same drills, you will be able to compare your version to ours in order to further improve.
Swimming is not a sport that is easily self-taught, particularly if you aim to be a competitive or long-term swimmer. Having a personal coach to monitor every aspect of your stroke and training is certainly an ideal situation for improvement. However, if you are swimming solo or not benefiting from individualized attention, Swimspire’s online coaching system can offer you the right combination of confidence, feedback and direction to keep you on the journey to success.
Check out all of our online services here and consider giving the gift of Swimspire over the holidays! We are looking forward to working with you soon!