How to swim faster

How to swim faster – where should your focus be?

Crowded pools and big squads are common in South Africa and across the world at all levels of swimming participation. Because of this, very little time is generally spent perfecting starting, turning and finishing techniques and very little concentration is given by swimmers when performing these skills. This is a serious oversight and negatively affects race times at all ages and levels.

Technical skills you should be paying attention to.

When race times are broken down into technical skills (starts, turns, and finishes) and free swimming, it becomes evident how important these technical skills are. Free swimming accounts for only 60 to 80% of long course race times and only 20 to 60% of short course race times depending on the race distance swum.

How to swim fasterRace Time = [Start + Turn/s + Finish] + Free swimming

So, you want to swim faster? Focus on the skills, not just the swimming! Every skill executed in training counts. Every start. Every turn. Every finish. Every day!

The difference between average swimmers and the elite.

Good execution of technical skills is usually the difference between average swimmers and the elite. Race analysis has revealed that the average swimmer has an elusive 2-5 seconds hiding in the technical skills. Could this be the difference you need to join the elite?

There are no excuses if you want to be fast!

Amy Bathgate
About the Author
Amy Bathgate is the Operations Manager at VS Sports, playing an integral role in product development, innovation, and design, and heading up a team of enthusiastic analysts working towards transforming the way sport is analyzed, scouted, and experienced. With over a decade of expertise in consulting, biomechanics, and performance analysis across various disciplines and levels, she understands that the little details make a big difference. One of her passions and specialties is swimming, and she assists and drives athletes and coaches to achieve their performance potentials using stroke and race analysis to better their understanding of the complexities of the sport in order to go faster and train and perform more efficiently. Amy is also a Dartfish Certified Instructor, certified in Functional Movement Screening, and a former lecturer at the University of Pretoria.