Rich Strauss wrote:
My bottomline: we've all seen "bad swimming." Just like pjorn, we know it when we see it. Advising that person to just HTFU and swim lots is exactly the same as my 10k ball example above.
Actually, it's not at all the same. The exact same analogy was given much earlier in this thread (I forgive you for not reading it though). Your golf ball suggestion is simply an advocation for practicing shitty technique.
The point of Paulo's (and Brett's) advice is NOT just to HTFU and swim lots. It is to HTFU and swim *MORE* while also *USING TOOLS THAT FORCIBLY CORRECT YOUR TECHNIQUE.* There isn't really a direct analogy to golf or piano, because there aren't (that I know) any tools that are as effective for golf as paddles/PB/band are for swimming, largely because you don't hit several thousand drives during a golf game (even if you are really bad...). The fitness requirements of repeatedly swinging a golf club are just not that large. Likewise piano.
Furthermore, in addition to swimming with tools that forcibly correct your technique, the advice is not to swim X amount. Paulo is a good coach, and like all good coaches, he advocates an APPROPRIATE amount of volume. In other words, it's not about hitting 10,000 golf balls. It's simply about hitting MORE golf balls. Fitness is a massively important element of swimming. Swimming more will improve your fitness. Ergo, one of the surest ways to improve as a swimmer is simply to swim more. This follows from my previous tweet that MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.
So, to reiterate:
- it's not about swimming 10k/20k/etc. It's simply about an emphasis on hard work over "technique work." Some people don't need to spend any more time in the pool; they just need to use the time they already spend in the pool more productively by emphasizing fitness-focused sets. Swim harder, farther, faster, whatever. Focus on getter fitter, not "prettier."
- furthermore, it's also not just about swimming hard. There is also the use of the tools to make that hard swimming even more productive. Band/paddles/pull-buoy/etc. all are what Paulo and Joel (and maybe others) call "brute force" tools. If you want to actually make it across the pool with banded ankles, you need to hold the water. Likewise, paddles are great for putting your hand in a proper position and helping you hold the water. Pull buoys help correct and establish body position. You can waste time drilling. OR you can simultaneously work on your fitness AND your technique. This is more of what Sutton was saying than what Paulo was alluding to in his tweet, but it's part of the same overall message.
The contents of Paulo's tweet is not that hard to grasp. And it's nothing like that analogies you have presented.
Based on what you wrote, you clearly recognize the value of hard swimming. I'd wager that you wouldn't see any drop off - and you'd actually see improvement - if you simply replaced your "technique dedicated" periods with longer periods of hard swimming. Of course, the training needs to be appropriate to the skill level of the individual. Shorter sets - both in overall duration and in terms of intervals (50s and 100s instead of 200s and 400s and 800s), of course, but 8 weeks of "all drill work" for a beginner is less helpful than 8 weeks of hard (but appropriate) swimming. That's all Paulo is saying.
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