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Swim Smooth: Improve your Swimming Technique with The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers & Triathletes [NOOK Book]


Transform your technique in the water and become a better swimmer with this remarkable new approach to freestyle swimming, suitable for all levels - beginner, intermediate and advanced, as well as swimming coaches. Aimed at both fitness and competitive swimmers, it explains what makes a successful stroke and how to develop your own swimming style.

The Swim Smooth approach, developed by consultants to the gold medal winning British Triathlon ...

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Swim Smooth: Improve your Swimming Technique with The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers & Triathletes

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Transform your technique in the water and become a better swimmer with this remarkable new approach to freestyle swimming, suitable for all levels - beginner, intermediate and advanced, as well as swimming coaches. Aimed at both fitness and competitive swimmers, it explains what makes a successful stroke and how to develop your own swimming style.

The Swim Smooth approach, developed by consultants to the gold medal winning British Triathlon team, helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your stroke and provides drill and training tips to make the most of your time in the water. It accepts differences in individual swimmers and shows you how to understand the fundamentals of swimming to find a style that works for you.

Technique, fitness training, racing skills and open water swimming are all covered, with photographs and 3D graphics helping you to put theory into practice.

Swim efficiently. Swim fast. Swim Smooth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781119968054
  • Publisher: Fernhurst Books Limited
  • Publication date: 6/15/2012
  • Series: Coach Yourself to Success , #9
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 798,053
  • File size: 40 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Paul Newsome’s childhood, education and career have been dedicated to swimming - coaching, training and racing - along with his other passion, triathlon.
As a typical swim kid at his swimming club, he hammered out tough freestyle and butterfly sets through his teenage years in blissful ignorance of stroke technique work.
At 17 he was introduced to the sport of triathlon and switched to elite triathlon competition. He joined the UK's World Class Potential program at Bath University whilst studying for his Sports Science Degree. Notable training buddies during this time were Simon Lessing, Richard Allen, Richard Stanard, Stuart Hayes and Julie Dibens.
It was during this period of intense training and racing that he became British Universities Triathlon Champion, came 11th at the World Student Games and set his PB for the Olympic Distance at 1:49:52.
After graduating Paul began full time swimming and triathlon coaching in Australia, becoming Head Coach to Western Australia's largest triathlon club. Later he teamed up with Olympic Gold Medallist Bill Kirby at his swim school and in 2004 launched Swim Smooth.
The knowledge, techniques and fitness training that Paul spreads through Swim Smooth were developed through one to one coaching of over 5000 swimmers and many hundreds more in his triathlon and swimming squads.

A former age group triathlete and swimmer, Head Coach Adam Young became a partner in Swim Smooth in 2008 and heads up Swim Smooth's coaching in the UK.
Adam is the brains behind Mr Smooth – the animated swimmer with an ‘ideal’ freestyle stroke.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction to Freestyle Swimming

The Freestyle swim stroke, often called Front Crawl in many parts of the world, is the fastest of the four competitive strokes and also the one best suited to long distance events.

In the elite swimming world it is the only stroke that is raced for distances of 400 m and longer.

Freestyle is unique in that the swimmer has their face in the water for most of the stroke before rotating to the side to breathe very low to the surface. Breathing is a significant challenge when learning freestyle and the struggle to get enough air, without taking on water, is a dominant feature of many beginners’ experiences.

The body rotates along the long axis of the spine during the stroke, which helps the swimmer engage their chest, back and core muscles effectively on every stroke. The lack of vertical movement in comparison to butterfly or breaststroke allows good swimmers to sit very high in the water minimising their drag profile. In comparison to backstroke, freestyle has biomechanical advantages, allowing a better propulsive technique in the water.

For triathlon and open water swimming, freestyle is a much more compact and ‘narrow’ stroke than butterfly and breaststroke making it ideal for swimming in close confines to other swimmers and obviously has significant sighting advantages for holding a straight line between points over swimming on your back in backstroke.

As we will see in this book, the exact freestyle technique used by great swimmers varies depending on the race distance, the race environment (e.g. pool vs. open water) and to some extent personal preference. However, the key elements of a great stroke are common between all these great swimmers.

As coaches and swimmers we have names for each area of the stroke and conventions we use for elements like your swimming speed and the length of your stroke as you swim. Don’t be put off by this, this ‘jargon’ is pretty simple and makes a lot of sense when you get the hang of it. The good news is that, for the large part, the terminology used in this book is common all over the world which means you should be able to understand most things written on the internet about swimming and coaching after reading this section.

First, let’s take a look at each part of the freestyle stroke cycle and the names we use for each in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. Broadly speaking the arm stroke cycle can be split into two halves: below the water the ‘catch’, ‘pull’ and ‘push’ phases create propulsion to push the swimmer forwards; above the water the arm carries over the surface during the ‘recovery’ before returning to the front of the stroke with ‘hand entry’ and ‘extension’.

‘Body rotation’ (or ‘Body Roll’) is also shown in Figure 2.2. This is the rotation movement of the swimmer along the long axis of their spine as they swim, a little like being skewered on a kebab stick (as crude as that sounds!). This roll helps the swimmer generate more power, reduces drag and assists the arms in recovering over the surface. Find out how to develop good rotation in Chapter 11.

‘Body Position’ refers to how high a swimmer sits in the water, particularly the level of the hips and legs. A low-lying body position creates lots of drag as the frontal profile is much larger. You can find outmore about this area of stroke technique in Chapter 8.

‘Bilateral Breathing’ refers to breathing to both sides when you swim, if not in turn then regularly swapping sides. ‘Unilateral Breathing’ means the swimmer only ever breathes to a preferred side, either the left or right. Swim Smooth strongly recommend the ability to be able to breathe equally well to both sides, for the benefits of doing so see Chapter 7 and Key 3: Open Water Adaptation.

‘The Bow Wave’ is the wave formed by your body as you pass through the water; it’s a term taken from boating where the wave shape is seen against a boat’s bow. The bow wave forms as your head passes through the water with a slight rise in the water’s surface in front of the head followed by a dip past the head and neck area, known as the ‘trough’. A good freestyle breathing technique takes advantage of the bow wave as the swimmer can keep their head lower and breathe into the trough by their head. This is known as ‘Bow-Wave Breathing’.

‘Feel For The Water’ is a term used to describe the sensation of the water on your hands and arms as you swim. When a swimmer is feeling the water well they are timing their stroke movements to create good propulsion resulting in a good feeling of connection with the water. We use drills and visualisations to help you develop this in your own stroke, see Chapter 13.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Paul Moss and Giles O’Brien vii

Preface: The 11-Year-Old Girl ix

Acknowledgements xiii


Chapter 1 How to Use This Book 3

Chapter 2 Introduction to Freestyle Swimming 9

Chapter 3 Swimming Equipment 15

Chapter 4 The Three Keys to Better Freestyle Swimming 21


Chapter 5 What Makes an Effi cient Freestyle Stroke? 27

Chapter 6 Stroke Flaws – Cause and Effect 29

Chapter 7 Breathing 31

Chapter 8 Body Position 41

Chapter 9 Leg Kick 45

Chapter 10 Posture and Alignment 53

Chapter 11 Rotation and Arm Recovery 61

Chapter 12 Hand Entry 69

Chapter 13 Catch and Pull-Through 75

Chapter 14 Stroke Rate Development 95

Chapter 15 The Science Behind an Effi cient Freestyle Stroke 101

Chapter 16 Performing Your Own Video Analysis Session 109

Chapter 17 The Swim Types System 117

Chapter 18 The Arnie 127

Chapter 19 The Bambino 131

Chapter 20 The Kicktastic 135

Chapter 21 The Overglider 139

Chapter 22 The Swinger 145

Chapter 23 The Smooth 151


Chapter 24 The Importance of Fitness Training 159

Chapter 25 Balancing the Different Types of Fitness Training 163

Chapter 26 A Simple Skeleton Structure for Your Swimming Month 169

Chapter 27 Finding Your Critical Swim Speed 173

Chapter 28 Pace Awareness in the Pool and Open Water 183

Chapter 29 Dry-Land Conditioning 187

Chapter 30 Prevention and Management of Shoulder Injuries 199

Chapter 31 Pool Skills 213

Chapter 32 Nutrition for Longer Sessions and Races 219


Chapter 33 The Importance of Open Water Skills 225

Chapter 34 Managing Anxiety 227

Chapter 35 Swimming Straighter 229

Chapter 36 Drafting Effectively 233

Chapter 37 Turning Around Buoys 239

Chapter 38 Better Wetsuit Swimming 241

Chapter 39 Adapting Your Stroke to a Variety of Conditions 247


A Swim Smooth Drills 253

B Swim Type Stroke Correction Processes 277

C Training Sessions 297

Index 311

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013


    Well, I haven't gotten it, but I think it looks good.
    Swimmers: You should buy Janet Evens Total Swimming. Read the reviews, too. I wrote one, it's the first one.
    Eat. Sleep. Swim.
    Breaststroke forever!
    -Swimmer Forever

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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