T Nation

Teach Me To Swim!


Some of you might remember my post a little while ago about becoming a SEAL. Well, I've been hittin' the pool and let's just say my swimming needs a TON of work.

It's pretty bad when you have people who look like they're in their 60's swimming lap after lap and you get tired after going down and back.

Rather than choosing to drown myself because of my shame, I'm here for tips on swimming. I'm sure it has everything to do with my technique because my endurance isn't that bad. I've googled and have found some OK info but nothing like I want. If anybody has any advice, please let me know.


We'll need more info than my endurdance is good and my technique is bad.

Generally, here are a few things most people suck at all most levels:
flutter kick - this is performed from you hips and not from you knees, so you'll want to keep you feet pointed behind you and knees slightly bent and kick with a rolling sort of action. It won't be easy, and you'll need to practise it by itself probably.

Swimming underwater, learn to hold your breathe for as long as possible and swallow to gain a extra couple a seconds when your lungs are screaming. You'll need to practise pressurising your ears, do it by sort of flexing your jaw, hard to describe.

Never pull your arms underneath your torso in the crawl.

Hope this helps



This ain't sounding too good, Brother...

Do you know that you may be required to jump from a helicopter, with hundreds of pounds of equipment, into a freezing ocean?

Or plant explosives beneath the hull of ship with almost zero visibility?

(Just some things to think about...)



I used to notice the same thing when i went to the pool. Men in their 70's could seemingly swim the channel and I was dead after a lap. I read an article somewhere which discussed why this was so. Old people, because of their years of swimming experience, have become very efficient. When you swim, work on making as few bubbles as possible. If doing freestyle, imagine that there is a small hole in front of you, and you have to fit your body through it. Also, make sure you swivel your torso appropriately a little when you swim. What I mean by this is that you want to twist toward the side that is making the stroke. Last, make sure you're breathing every third or fourth stroke. try these tips out, and lay off the power for a few weeks, focusing instead on efficiency. I tried this advice and was up to 50 laps with no break withing about a month of swimming 4-5 times a week!


OK, what kind of info do you need?

When I say my endurance is ok, I mean that my cardiovascular endurance is ok because I can run well. So I know my technique is way off because I get tired easily.

Any online articles or books out there that yall would recommend?


How far do you want to be able to swim?

How quiet do you need to be?

If you do it right you could be up around 3 miles (ocean swimming) in about 3-4 weeks.



There are some books there...and it tells you a little about the grueling swimming and underwater requirements...




Actually I've thought about it a lot over the past year and it sounds pretty good to me.

I'm young, single with no kids, and honestly, I couldn't imagine a better life.

Right now it's either SEALs or Army Special Forces. Either way I'm going to have to be at least somewhat comfortable in the water.

It won't happen until after college and right now I'm just a sophomore, so I've got a lot of time to learn.



It would be well worth your time and money to invest in a GOOD swim coach. When I say good swim coach, I mean someone who specializes in technique and swimming efficiently, not someone who just yells at you to swim more laps. The differences are huge.

When I came back to swimming in high school, I got a total immersion coach who really worked on my technique, and I went from swimming 100's to 1000s.

Good luck



Sounds good to me.

Not sure what you meant about how quiet I'd like to be.