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
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