Build Skills First – Add Power Second

To become the fastest, a swimmer needs a combination of excellent technique, maximum power, and lasting endurance to drive their technique. In a perfect world, swimming technique and power should grow at a consistent rate from month-to-month. Unfortunately, the body of a young swimmer lacks the potential (pre-puberty) to gain power as quickly as desired, whereas their mind is fully capable of learning basic-to-advanced competitive swimming skills. That’s why the learning of swimming technique is the first step on the developmental ladder. As skill levels improve and the swimmer matures, power development in vital areas, including the core, legs, and arms and whole-body flexibility become increasingly important. Ideally, a swimmer should think of building their swimming skills first (starts, strokes, and turns) via better technique, and then add power via age-appropriate dry-land training and increased mindful yardage. Katinka Hosszu did a phenomenal job in combining Olympic-level technique and maximum power to become one of the greatest swimmers of all time. In 2016, she won three Olympic gold medals in the 200-individual medley (2:06.12), the 400-individual medley (4:26.36), and the 100-backstroke (58.45). She also broke the world record in both individual medley events.