Do you feel the water?
I recently got a copy of Swim Speed Secrets by Sheila Taormina and was flipping through it as I was working on a swim video analysis for an athlete. And it got me thinking about a feel for the water. How do you “feel” the water?
I would say the majority of adult swimmers who didn’t swim in a structured way (like a swim team) in their youth, don’t know what they are trying to feel. I can vouch for this first hand. We can talk about stroke mechanics all day long, but if that sensation isn’t there, how do you know you are “swimming right?”
So tonight I decided to bring some sculling action into the swim, as recommended in the book. And sure enough, it proved a very fruitful exercise, especially to one of my athletes who is indeed very new to swimming.
As “painful” as those exercises can be, “feeling” the push and pull and learning how to grab the water in a sculling drill will can translate into faster swim times as you realize what you are actually doing in the catch and pull.
So if you aren’t already sculling, add some drills into your routine.