Swimming can be a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. There is often a trade off — we can develop an efficient technique while going slow, but it falls apart when we try to pick up the speed.

This drill is designed to help the swimmer maintain efficiency by keeping a low stroke count, whilst also adding speed.

How to…

In a pool, swim a set of 50s. For each 50 count how many strokes you take. Count each arm as one. Then add this number to your time for the 50. So, if you took 26 strokes and took 40 seconds to complete the 50, your score is 66.

On the following 50s, try to get your score as low as possible, either by lowering your stroke count, your time, or both.

Coach’s Tips

  • It’s a good idea to do this drill after a set that has been designed to work on an aspect of your stroke, e.g. your catch or arm recovery. That way, you are working on something specific, while putting a little pressure by speeding up.
  • Most swimmers realize that they can drop their score quickly by using the wall push off. That’s fine because it’s only really good for one or two drops. :o)