Over the past fifteen years, we’ve created thousands of swimming videos. By sharing them on social media – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook – and offering them on our subscription platform, we’ve been able to serve a wide audience, one that includes beginners, age-group and masters competitive swimmers, triathletes, parents, coaches, teachers, and recreational swimmers. We strive to create content that serves everyone within this broad audience – but not everyone all at once in every video!
If you experience GoSwim through our website, you know that we make it easy to find the content that speaks just to you. And you know that the website is where you’ll find our “premium” content featuring dozens of the world’s best swimmers. If you experience us on social media, it’s less likely that you’ll find exactly what you need, every time you click. You might find yourself watching technique that’s way beyond your current skill set…or not challenging enough. You might also find yourself watching a young age-group swimmer or a masters swimmer with good skills but with some stroke flaws that need work. That’s when you need to FOCUS.
Most of our videos, especially our Drills of the Week, will zero in on a specific aspect of stroke technique or a specific body part. THAT’S what you should focus on. And that’s what we hope will be discussed in the comments/discussion section. What often happens is that viewers will pick up on something completely unrelated to the topic of the video, and the comments will lead the discussion away from the focus. If a video focuses on the kick of a young swimmer, for example, we often see comments about the swimmer’s pull…or head position…or breathing.
It’s good to be observant, but it can be counterproductive to your coaching – and to the swimmer’s progress – if you focus on too many things at once or have the mindset that you have to completely fix everything about a swimmer in one session. FOCUS!
Our instructional content will typically give ideas on how to fix ONE THING at a time. That’s because, after 60+ combined years of coaching/teaching experience, and after watching scores of top coaches and teachers during our 2016 tour, we know that focus brings results. In our content, we provide IDEAS and suggestions for change, trying to awaken the swimmer to a new feeling or a new possibility in one part of their stroke. Our swimmers often don’t achieve a total FIX in the course of a 2-minute video. That’s OK! Our aim is to start them down a path that eventually gives them the opportunity and the thought process to fix something and to improve.
There are no quick fixes. There are only paths that can lead to an effective change. The MOST important thing, as a teacher or coach, is to help your swimmers learn to focus on one thing at a time. Rather than teach or correct everything at once, you want to give them small bits of information and maximize the effectiveness of that focus. The ability to focus is something that teachers and coaches can learn…and a skill they can impart to their students.
If you’re working with a swimmer on pointing the toes, comment only on the toe point. If you notice something else going on, make a note and work it at another session. Finish the job of working on the specific task at hand, and see it through to the finish, rather than jumping from subject to subject, which can confuse the athlete, and won’t allow them to really explore the small details that add up to a really big detail, or the overall stroke.
Case in point: At this morning’s practice, we worked on starts, using a progression of learning steps. As we worked on step 2, one swimmer asked about something that would eventually be covered in step 4…. and he wasn’t doing step 2 very well.
Building proper strokes isn’t difficult, but there are steps to take, and it’s incredibly important for the swimmer to take ownership of each step prior to moving to the next. We’ve seen it over and over in our teaching…swimmers who move through steps too quickly or who skip steps because they “already know that one,” are the ones who fail to maximize their swim careers.
Focus on one thing at a time and stay focused on the task. Give yourself and your swimmers an opportunity to really explore the small details of the sport, rather than only thinking about the end result.
Always remember: The MOST important aspect to reaching your potential is patience. The quicker you want to get there, the less chance you ever will.