Guest contribution by Pamela Roberts
Courtesy of: YouTube
Courtesy of: YouTube
With the U.S. and U.K. Trials coming to a close, the world championships merely a month away and still a decent amount of free time during the summer, it is expected that some people who see all those different athletes cruising through the water get struck by the idea to give swimming a chance themselves. And, why not? You don't really need that much to swim. You need access to a pool and a suit, cap and goggles and you're good to go.
Then, maybe some of you get struck by the virus and instead of just splashing around or doggie-paddling your way through the laps, you want to get better. So what now? Get a coach, join a team. But sometimes, that is easier said than done. Granted, I don't know the circumstances in other cities or countries, but in my hometown of Berlin, most Masters teams have one training session per week, usually starting at 8 p.m. and I have a job that doesn't have me finished before 8:30 p.m. Having our own personal coach is not something a lot of people can afford.
As usual, the internet provides a solution for that problem. I can't think of anything under the sun that you can't learn by watching videos on YouTube. And having a visual sometimes works better than reading up on things, especially when it comes to sports.
I am - more or less - a breaststroker so naturally, I did watch and got pointed to a lot of videos featuring Brendan Hansen and Rebecca Soni from sites like www.goswim.tv and the YouTube channel ProTips4U (who offer a wide range of videos for other sports as well). YouTube user JimmyDShea has his own 'How to swim' series that breaks the strokes down in an easy to understand way.
GoSwim with Brendan Hansen
And, if all else fails, just look up your favourites or the best swimmers of each stroke and you will find something. And even if you're not getting anything from them, watching 'Ian Thorpe incredible slow motion'
'Ryan Lochte -- Backstroke Technique' are at least aesthetically pleasing.
Another disadvantage of not having a coach is that you maybe want to come up with your own workouts instead of just swimming back and forth for as long as you can. That's where the Speedo Pace Club comes in handy. On top of tutorial videos, they also have plenty of workouts for every training stage and they give you the possibility to log your swims so you can see the distance you cover in your workouts.
However, there is one thing the internet fails to mention (something I'd like to think is logical, though). It is that swimming is a tough sport. With or without a coach, it may take a while for you to see results.
And you'll most likely be in pain in the process. But when you hit that final wall or reach your own personal goals, it will be worth it.
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