Swimmers, Increase Your Swimming Efficiency - Play Swim Golf
By Mat Luebbers

To learn how to get more out of each stroke, play a game of Golf! This simple swimming drill will help swimmers develop better swimming technique, improved efficiency, and sense of pace. Here's how:

  1. Determine a reasonable distance, number of repeats of that distance, and an interval for each repeat - for example, 9 x 50 yards on 1 minute.

  2. Perform one repeat.

  3. Count your stroke cycles for that repeat - a cycle is each time your left hand (or your right hand, but only one hand) enters the water.

  4. Note your time for the repeat.

  5. Add the two numbers together for your par score - for example, 45 seconds plus 25 strokes = a par of 70.

  6. Perform the set of 9 x 50 yards, starting a new 50 every 1 minute.

  7. Count your stroke cycles for each repeat, adding that number to your time for each repeat.

  8. Compare this number to your par.

  9. Keep track of the difference. For example, on your first 50 you take 28 strokes and have a time of 40 seconds for a score of 68. Compared to a par of 70, you are two under!

  10. Complete all of the repeats.

  11. Total your score for the front nine.

Do the set from time to time to measure your progress. Focus on something different on different repeats - long strokes, fast strokes, high elbows - and note the results. Technique is more important than brute force. Remember to do drill work as part of your practices. Change the interval and watch the results - what do you learn about your technique when you get more or less rest? Can you decrease the rest and still stay efficient?

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