What Are Drills?

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  • #12275
    Admin Mediterra

    What are drills?

    Drills are an activity used…

    • To slow things down in order to expose weak spots in your body control or movement patterns.
    • To isolate a certain area of the stroke so that specific corrections can be made one at a time.
    • To give the brain the ideal conditions it needs to make motor corrections and imprint them deeply.
    • To refocus the swimmer’s attention.
    • To heighten the swimmer’s sensitivity to external and internal feedback.
    • To rest one area of the body/brain so that another can be challenged without distraction or competition for resources.

    Drill work generally requires ‘slower’ swimming (or even barely move along), though that doesn’t always need to be the case, as I will explain later. And going ‘slower’ does not necessarily mean more easy.

    One of the mantras we use is:  “Slow is smooth; smooth is fast.” Or stated another way, “Slow down in order to speed up.” It has multiple layers of meaning.

    While all drills are done with high quality attention, we can do drills (or whole stroke) at:

    1. Slow speed, low physical intensity
    2. Slow speed, higher intensity
    3. Moderate or higher speeds, low intensity
    4. Moderate or higher speeds, higher intensity

    Each combination has a particular purpose and are very effective… when a swimmer or coach knows how to use them.

    People new to mindful training will immediately be introduced to the first, and before long will encounter the second. As we progress in our study and experience we discover the purpose and power of the last two, and how to use all four as a set of training tools.

    Here are at least 4 ways (among many perhaps) to use drills and corresponding focal points into your practice:

    • Drill-only
    • Drills plus a few strokes
    • Whole Stroke Intervals with Drill Tune-Ups
    • Whole Stroke with Focal Points (swimming whole stroke with a ‘drill mindset’)

    In advanced training a swimmer’s training path-to-goal is customized to her individual needs, designed and adjusted according to objective and subjective feedback and measurements taken in each practice, and in periodic baseline test swims.

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