Simple Things to Get Faster

Kelton Graham, a senior coach with Club Wolverine, in Ann Arbor, Mich., offers a few simple suggestions to help you swim faster right now:


  • Swim deliberate laps. There is always something to work on, whether it is proper hand entry or tight turns. Focus on those things and avoid swimming mindless laps.
  • Streamline. This may seem trivial, but streamlining, along with the underwater dolphin kicks can be quite a weapon. Some refer to the dolphin kick as the "fifth stroke."
  • Develop effective race strategies. Sometimes swimmers can improve the very next race if they change something in the way the race paces. Analyze your race. Did you go out too fast or too slow?
  • Relax before you swim. Enjoy the meet. Don't worry about the things you can't control. Focus on the things you can control in your lane.
  • Warm up before and cool down after each event.
  • Make sure to discuss your race with your coach before and after each swim.
  • Don't be afraid to change things. If your coach makes a suggestion about how to get better, don't keep swimming the same way just because it worked in the past. Try something different.
  • See what the best are doing and see if there is anything you can apply to your own race. Sometimes just watching others who are better than you can help you find things that you are missing in your own race. Talk it over with your coach and see if it fits you.