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“Going fast’ and ‘going slow,’ Friends or Foe”

I would like to talk to you about the idea that going slow can actually make you go faster.

Are ‘going fast’ and ‘going slow,’ friends or foe? My belief is they are best friends. The idea here is that when we slow down, higher quality execution can occur. Going slow is the precursor to swimming high quality, fast.

We see this concept executed in every class and practice we offer. We break things down into smaller, easier-to-do parts. With less speed, distance, and stress, we can ask for higher quality.

THEN, once the swimmer can do these smaller parts slowly and with high quality, we challenge them with faster and faster speeds but with special focus on not losing the quality of movement. Quality movements are the name of the game.

As a competitive swimming coach, I would use this concept quite frequently and break down the laps into small parts.

1. Clearly outline a few KEY parts for the swimmer to execute.

2. Ask the swimmer to SLOWLY go a certain distance with flawless execution.

3. Increase speed…BUT as soon as the quality suffers, ask the swimmer to slow down.

4. Repeat this faster-slower dance, lap after lap.

Over time I found that swimmers become more aware of quality moments, value them more, perform the movements EASIER, and can start doing them FASTER and FASTER.

I truly believe there is beauty in going slow. Pay attention to how well can your swimmer do things at a slow pace. Take away the speed, take away the challenges, except for the quality. You can see this being practiced in each program we offer here at Gold Medal Swim School.

See ya around the pool,

Mike Walker