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Coach Cassie,  Top Tips

Where is the best place to find technique advice?

Our resident Olympian answers your swimming questions

With so much advice on front crawl technique available

online and in books, should I try to find as much

information as possible or stick to just one source?

This is a question that I get asked a

lot as a coach. The sheer amount of

information that you can find when

googling front crawl technique is

mind-boggling: from scientific articles

on the specifics of drag versus

propulsion, to videos of seemingly

non-swimmers trying to explain the

finer details of the catch phase. When

trying to learn or perfect a new skill it

is important not to get bogged down

by trying to absorb all sources of


There are some very good

swimming technique companies,

who can explain the fundamentals of

technique in a learner-friendly way.

But unfortunately there are other

companies and coaches that are not

so learner-friendly.

I am not saying that I am the only person who knows how to coach

technique. On the contrary, I’m always learning myself. As sport is so

closely linked to science, new and more efficient ways of swimming are

continuously being discovered.

I believe that a good technique

coach should understand not only

the stroke, but the way people learn.

Everybody learns in a different way,

and this should be catered for. Some

people learn better through visual

demonstrations, others through


Finally, it all boils down to

personal preference. If your coach

is succeeding in helping you become

more efficient when swimming, then

stick with them. But don’t be scared

to move coaches if you feel that your

needs are not being met.

"Swimming was my whole life for over 20 years. I poured every ounce of enthusiasm into it. I am so fortunate to have found these new outlets for that enthusiasm." Cassie Patten

Email your questions to: with the subject ‘Coach Cassie’

Cassie Patten

won bronze in

the first ever

Olympic 10km

marathon swim,

in the Beijing

2008 Olympics.

Cassie now coaches and is a frequent commentator at open water events.

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