Increasing Complexity Using Challenge Modifiers

Once you find a certain skill challenge becoming relatively easy to control under the easy drill or whole stroke conditions you are working in, you turn up the challenge of the conditions a notch to expand or to further deepen your skill and fitness together.

The most simple changes you can make is with cues:

  • Choose new cues
  • Blend two or three cues togeter (e.g. from holding A to holding AB, from AB to ABC)

In combination with cues, you can adjust challenge level further by (roughly in ascending order of difficulty):

  • Add stroke counting (simply counting).
  • Add SPL control (holding SPL steady).
  • Lengthen the stroke (lower SPL by -1).
  • Add comfortable Tempo (using the beep of a Tempo Trainer – simply keeping time).
  • Change the point in the stroke at which the Tempo beep is synchronized to.
  • Add slower-than-comfortable Tempo.
  • Add faster-than-comfortable Tempo.
  • Add more distance by adding more repetitions or rounds (which means holding attention more often).
  • Add more distance by making each repetition or interval longer (which means holding attention for longer spans of time).
  • Add SPL control and comfortable Tempo control at the same time.
  • Add SPL control and slower-than-normal Tempo control at the same time.
  • Add SPL control and faster-than-normal Tempo control at the same time.
  • Convert passive Rest Intervals into active Rest Intervals (rather than sit at the wall, do a drill or swim gently).
  • Make shorter or remove Rest Intervals.

No matter the current level of neuro-muscular skill and fitness you feel you have, you can take any practice set and modify it in small but powerful ways to take you into a new level of skill and fitness.