Teaching and Learning Fundamentals: Begin with Streamline

I am often asked how relatively important technique is in the sport of swimming compared to training. I believe they are equally important. Without good technique, a swimmer creates a ceiling of potential improvement, in spite of how hard they work. Having good technique without training well does not work either. A swimmer will not be able to sustain the good technique for long nor the speed of fast racing without proper training. Swimmers need both technique and training.

What is important is that good technique be learned early in a swimmer’s career. Every coach should be teaching young swimmers basic fundamentals of good technique. We live in a sport that requires extraordinary attention to detail, yet few are paying attention to that. One of the best places to start teaching fundamentals is with a great streamline.

At our Race Club Camps, it is a bit startling to see how few young swimmers either know how to streamline correctly or care enough to do so. Many of our campers leave the wall with their arms spread apart and their heads looking forward, the so-called Superman position. This week, on our Race Club webisode in Lanes 2-4, you will discover what a dramatic difference a proper streamline can make with a young ten-year old swimmer. After pushing off the wall at the same speed, the difference between the Superman position and the Hyper Streamline position, the best possible streamline a swimmer can make, is dramatic with this young swimmer.

Check out this week’s webisode in Lane 2, 3 or 4….then practice the Hyper Streamline, first on land, then, most importantly, in the water. You will immediately see the difference that this fundamental detail in technique will make in your competitive times.

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.



Related Articles

Improving your Swimming Race Starts off the Blocks

The Three Techniques of a Clean Entry for Swimming Race Starts: When a swimmer’s hands first strike the water on the swimming start, the speed of the swimmer will never reach anywhere near that level again in the race. Whether a swimmer simply falls off the block or has a huge vertical leaping ability, like Caeleb Dressel or Brad Tandy, the vertical speed at hand entry will be similarly near 13-14 mph, thanks to gravity. Both swimmers will also reach the water at exactly the same time. The difference is that Caeleb and Brad will reach the water over 4 meters from the wall.

Mental Toughness: The Mike Burton Story

In our talks on mental training, we often share an inspirational story of one of the many swimmers that we believe are a 10 on the killer instinct scale. One of my favorite stories is of Mike Burton. Many of you have never heard of him, but you should know about him. He was as mentally tough as Michael Phelps, but with a lot less talent.