Wednesday, April 22, 2020

More Visualisation = A Better Stroke

Paul Newsome - Swim Smooth Head Coach:

"When I started training for the Lake Windermere swim this year, I was only able to swim 5-6 hours a week. After a few weeks I was surprised to see that I was making similar improvements in my training to people in the squad who were training 8-10 hours per week. I realised that simply being on the pool deck thinking about swimming and constantly demonstrating good stroke technique was giving me much needed visualisation time and turned out to be equally beneficial for my training as spending time in the water."

Studies show that visualising a movement activates the same areas of the brain as actually performing that movement. This means that taking the time to visualise a perfect swim stroke really does assist in developing great technique. In swimming, where stroke technique is so important to improve your efficiency and speed in the water, visualisation could be the answer!

Here's the thing: In a training session it is easy to lose focus during long sessions, which could mean you only end up thinking about your technique for about a quarter of that time. If you normally swim 2-4 hours per week, that means you might only have 30-60 minutes a week of active visualisation.

How can we boost that? We suggest setting aside 3x 10 minutes a week to visualise great stroke technique, which will boost that visualisation time without having to spend more hours in the water. Making this small addition to your weekly routine will have a positive impact on your stroke technique when you do return to the water.

At Swim Smooth we have a wealth of resources available to you to assist with "land based visualisation" - it is very much at the core of our swim program. Use them regularly to develop your swimming:

Our Animated Stroke Visualisations

This is the perfect visualisation tool. You can view Mr Smooth's stroke from pretty much any angle to focus in on the parts of your stroke that need the most work. If you don't have it already, download it onto your computer or iPhone totally for free:

And for just US$2.99 / GB£2.99 you can also purchase the PRO version which includes Miss Swinger demonstrating the Swinger stroke style:


Elite Swimmer Visualisations

Swim Smooth's library of elite swimmer visualisations is unique and extensive. Some of these can be found on Youtube and many more in the Swim Smooth Guru (Standard level subscription required).

Here's a selection of five of our favourites:

The phenomenal olympic swimmer Jono Van Hazel - the basis for the Mr Smooth animation and perhaps the smoothest swimmer in the world? Watch out for his beautifully timed symmetrical stroke:

Triathlon World Champion Jodie Swallow, all rhythm and power:

Double Olympic Gold Medallist Rebecca Adlington - simply poetry in motion:

Six time world marathon swimming champion Shelley Taylor Smith demonstrating a phenomenal catch and beautiful two-beat kick:

Triathlon World Champion Tim Don, another fantastically rhythmical stroke full of purpose and agility :

Paul Newsome's voiceover on these videos makes sure that you are focussing on the right things when watching each clip.

Rebecca Adlington in the Swim Smooth Guru

Whilst we are unable to actually be in the pool at the moment, let's harness the power of visualisation to make improvements in our stroke technique.

Swim Smooth!

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