Video Analysis: Curing The Overglider

One of our most popular blog posts ever was our recorded video analysis of Triathlon World Champ Non Stanford's stroke. Today we're going to share with you another of Paul Newsome's sessions with a very different swimmer - someone called Phil who had tried to make their stroke as long as possible by adding a pause-and-glide into their stroke timing. Paul takes up the story:

Hi guys, I recorded this session with Phil in May 2013, it's a great session to watch for anyone who's added a pause and glide into their stroke timing (and any coaches trying to work with Overgliders): 

When I filmed Phil he was swimming at 32 strokes per 50m length at a painfully slow 36 SPM, taking around 1:49 /100m. I recently re-filmed him (7 months later) and Phil is now down to 1:35 /100m and his stroke rate is up to 51 SPM, taking 40 strokes per 50m length.

The question is, which is more efficient? Taking 8 strokes less or swimming 14 seconds per 100m faster? That equates to an improvement of 3:30 over 1500m or 23 minutes over the 20km Rottnest Channel swim he'll be undertaking in two weeks time.

You'll see in the clip how increasing his tempo and sacrificing a little stroke length is a product of a better hand entry and removing the over-glide from the front of his stroke. There's no super-science or magic to this process, it's just understanding that too much emphasis on stroke length can seriously damage your efficiency in the water.

The results of this session have been great for Phil, just a few weeks ago he swam 5km in open water in 1 hour 22 minutes, an average pace of 1:38 /100m - that's 11 seconds per 100m quicker than he's swimming in this video over 200m and yet its 25x further. Much more efficient swimming!

If you've added a pause-and-glide into your stroke, work on removing the dead-spot in your timing, don't over-glide and your rhythm will improve naturally, not because you are focusing on turning the arms over faster. This is truly how to cure the Overglider within you!

Enjoy the clip - Paul

If you would like an analysis like this on your own swimming then see one of our certified coaches - they'll take you through the exact same process and quickly have you swimming faster and more efficiently, whatever level you are currently at!

Swim Smooth!


Shorty said...

It all makes perfect sense . Love the way he improved his time , a massive achievement . Way to go !!

Patricia said...

I'm an overglider and have dead spots in my stroke. I have been trying to swim with a strap on my ankles to improve body position and hopefully address this... and thinking it will make me use my core too get higher in the water.
Your thoughts on the use of an ankle strap?

Unknown said...

very impressive! Could you analysis my video ( I can mail to you)? and how much should I pay for?

Martin Hill said...

Hi Simon,
I provide an on-line swim video service if you are interested - full details can be found on my Swim Smooth website at:

Martin Hill
Certified Swim Smooth Coach

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