View Full Version : Swim Lessons-Do they Help?

March 9th, 2010, 08:53 AM
I have been swimming about 14 months (about 8 miles a week), and love the exercise that I get. However, I have been at a plateau for at least the past six months and really want to get better. My biggest problem as I see it is that my left arm grabs very little water. I have bought various devices to help with my form (i.e. paddles/forearm fulcrum), but nothing has really seemed to work and I am thinking about investing in swim lessons. Being a new dad, I would like to keep costs to a minimum if possible and wonder if lessons would be a good return on my investment (i.e. will a coach will be able to provide with the proper tips to improve my stroke). Any insight is appreciated.
Chris Phillips

March 9th, 2010, 07:31 PM
will a coach will be able to provide with the proper tips to improve my stroke

Probably. You are new. Better yet as a start, look around for the good swimmers and ask. They will help and it will be free. 8 miles a week is alot so you want to get the right form imprinted right away. You are probably beyond "swimming lessons" if you are doing that kind of yardage. Seek out and swim with better swimmers (for free). Learn the pace clock and swim intervals. Ideally join a Masters group. YOu will know when it is time to do that. It is a natural progression.

Learn to bilateral breathe to help balance your stroke. Swim fast and swim slow, it will expose your technique flaws. Don't swim that boring mundane speed all the time. Use fins to swim faster and expose your arm entry and catch problems. As a new swimmer kick 30-40% of your workout. Seems like a waste, but it is not.

Watch and study video. Think about what you are watching and work on imprinting that into your form. I video taped just about every Beijing race and I study it all the time.

March 9th, 2010, 08:36 PM

Most triathlete need to address their workouts more than their form. How do you swim your 13,000 or so yards? How many days per week? How much interval training?

I am not saying your think this, BUT, there is no panacea. Train properly and you will get better even without lessons. If you are already doing that then I would consider lessons because yes, they help.