If I were to stop you in the middle of a practice and ask, “How many strokes did you take on your last 25?”…Would you know? Chances are you wouldn’t. You might have an idea, but you wouldn’t know for sure. Counting strokes each length in practice and reducing the number to the fewest possible while maintaining the desired speed, is an excellent way to improve your stroke efficiency and a strategy used by many of the swimming greats. In 2013, Kevin Cordes broke the American record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:48.68. In his record-breaking performance, Kevin swam four strokes per 25 for the rest 150-yards. On his seventh 25 and eighth 25, his stroke count rose to five and six respectively. Altogether, Kevin swam 35 strokes for the 200-breaststroke and broke the American record! Do you think his phenomenal achievement happened by accident? No way! It was the result of vigilant stroke counting in practice. Adding this winning strategy to your training regime will improve your stroke efficiency and speed at the same time.
You can learn learn more about counting strokes and other relevant technical skills topics in my latest book, Are You Worth It?, available here.