Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dance with the Water

One of the biggest reasons why I went from a non-swimmer to a pretty good swimmer in the sport of triathlon, is because I studied and understood the concept of swimming. It is also what I think has made me a great teacher of swimming, (yes, teacher, not coach), which my testimonials can attest to. Here is the first in a series of articles I am writing for, which will help to explain the actual concept of swimming. Look for parts 2 and 3 in the coming weeks.

Dance With the Water–Part 1

Here's a question to ponder: What one thing do you need to swim, besides yourself?

Yes, the question is very simple and not a trick question. The answer is water! So many athletes struggle with their swimming because they don't really consider the water.

When poor swimmers show up to the pool or begin to think about their swimming, they only take themselves into account, almost ignoring the water. Ignoring the water is like trying to dance alone to a song meant for couples. Swimming is all about the interaction of the human body and water, so we must better understand the water and what it is telling us before we can better assess our own movements within the act of swimming.

Have you ever been swimming and nothing felt right? You struggle to find your rhythm and your stroke doesn't feel smooth. Then all of sudden, you find your groove and swimming feels so much easier. It's like you can hold the rhythm forever.

Nearly everyone has had this happen to them if they've been swimming for any significant length of time. When this happened to you, did the water change what it was doing? No, of course not. It was doing the same thing the whole time.

What changed in those moments was your perception of and reaction to the cues from the water. The interaction of you and the water suddenly smoothed out. In that moment you were "dancing" with the water...

Read the rest of the article here at

Coach Vance

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