I didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet and learn from someone who pulled herself out of the depths of addiction to become a swimming world champion with a variety of records and achievements (take a peak at Karlyn's impressive bio).
Karlyn's presentation was energetic, yet focused and simple. Focused and simple works well in life and in the water. It is also the basic idea behind this blog. Below I will detail some key concepts from the clinic mixed with my own thoughts on becoming a better and faster swimmer.
"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten." - Anonymous
Increase Self-Awareness ~Feel how you currently swim. Find words to describe these feelings.* ~Look at what you are doing. Take a peek at your hand/arm position on the glide, pull and recovery phase of your stroke. ~If possible use a mirror and/or underwater and above water video to look at your stroke. ~Look at your stroke from head to toe. Note head position, arm pull pattern, elbow depth, rotation/core connection, and kick. Note what needs correction and develop a plan on what to focus on first, pick only one or two focus points at a time. Often when you focus top down, the back half of your body sorts itself out! (You may want to do this with a coach or a knowledgeable swim buddy.)
*This step will be critical as your stroke changes/improves. You will have words and feelings to help compare the old and new.
Practice ~Drills enhance self-awareness of correct technique. ~Drills provide an opportunity to contrast new and old form. Find words to describe new feelings with new movement patterns and compare with old. ~Drills reinforce new and correct movement patterns. Allow yourself ample time to learn proper new movement patterns. ~Consistency in the water is critical.
"Don't count the laps, make the laps count." Unknown
Get Hooked Up! ~Get connected with a swim coach, because having a knowledgable set of eyes can do wonders for correcting form. ~Take video of your stroke. If you don't have underwater video capability, don't give up, there is a lot to be learned from above water video. ~Find quality swimming resources online.
Some of my favorite online resources, click on them to learn more.