There is a substantial difference in being willing and being able when it comes to
process driven progress. This difference is very clear when we challenge our swimmers
to make a change for more speed.
Keep it simple…raise your hand if you want to swim faster. If your hand is up you are in
the correct group.
In free and fly you swim faster when you don’t breathe. Backstrokers need to remember
that as they get faster due to underwater fly kicks they will be swimming less so they too
will have less oxygen available. Top backstrokers today swim less than ½ the distance
of the event.
So we have challenged our swimmers to breathe 2 times max on the last lap of all free
and IM swims, no matter the distance…with the obvious exception of the 50 free. We
are talking short course.
When you breathe only twice you have a much better body position and a faster, more
even tempo. The faster tempo is due to less time with your head turned (even slightly)
to the side and an urgent desire to hit the touch pad so you can breathe.
Everyone in our senior training group can do this. They are able to swim 25 yards in 15
seconds or less with 2 breaths. However, as of this writing more than a few are
unwilling. Fortunately we coaches have faith in their ultimate desire to swim faster.
When they miss a cut by a tenth or two we can simply smile.
When they discover for themselves the power of self-declaration on this small point they
will have a shift in their awareness about all the areas this distinction can impact. Small
incremental changes over time make a substantial difference…all the time, every time.