Why most find swimming exhausting & unenjoyable.
If all you and your swim/triathlon coach know is front crawl, back crawl and frog style swimming, then all you can do is try and force these non-competitive inefficient and ineffective movement patterns to try and ‘go fast’ by trying hard, and then harder and then harder still. Its no wonder that most find swimming exhausting, unenjoyable and depleting: you cannot bring a clunker of a car to a Formula1 race and expect high performance. To be competitive requires having the proper skill set to compete and that starts with learning the competitive version of all the swim strokes.
Problem is…. the overwhelming majority of swim instructors, swim coaches and triathlon coaches have no clue that there are competitive versions of all the strokes, let alone how to teach them.
Which leads to a universal experience….
Junior athletes (and their parents) believe that high performance arises from pushing themselves harder and harder to complete the workouts of their swim/triathlon coach, yet fail to make consistent progress and fail to understand why others do while they don’t. Resulting in the vast majority of junior swimmers quitting the sport when they stop growing (i.e. ages 12-16): the ‘easy’ gains from growing longer arms and legs are gone (which compensated for the lack of stroke skill), and the real training begins which requires competency in the competitive versions of all the strokes.
Masters athletes – both swim club and triathletes – resign themselves to the excuse of ‘old age’ or not having been a junior swimmer to explain their inability to make progress. As a result, they turn to paddle and pull buoy workouts and depend on their wetsuit in open water settings to survive.
There is another way: no matter the age, no matter the skill level or experience, anyone can learn proper Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly technique. Which means that fun-filled swim sessions are a reality for anyone who wants to take their swimming out of survival mode and into competitive mode.
It must be noted that learning proper 2 beat technique in any swim stroke requires a substantial amount of core strength, body awareness and coordination (hence the rapid success of a former dancer such as Penny Oleksiak to Olympic level swimmer and Canada’s most decorated Olympian). Athletes lacking these athletic attributes will require dryland training (i.e. gym training aka strength & conditioning) to develop the base needed for success in the competitive strokes. This is why we believe that no training program is complete without dryland, hence why we offer dryland as part of our programs.