Success in swimming - it’s the technique, man

Okay, so you’re pretty darn fast on your legs or on your wheels … but it’s that whole “getting through the water” thing that you need help with.

The swimming part looks easy, and you know you’re in better cardiovascular shape than some of those pasty rough doughboys on the master’s team. You certainly feel like you work harder than they do. So why do they continue to swim circles around you?

It’s the technique, man.

Swimming is all about efficiency. And even though the good swimmers make it look easy, it’s actually a very complex set of kinesthetic movements that simply cannot be mastered overnight.

Steve Williams, swim coach for the Pagosa Lakes Porpoises, is trying to get a master’s swim team started at the recreation center. The program is designed to help adults improve their swimming skills.

I realize there are some obstacles to overcome. The toughest decision to make when considering joining a master’s swimming program is making the commitment to swim. For some, far too many years were spent waking up early to get to mandatory swim practice. Now, as adults, that decision is optional, and very difficult to make at times. Fortunately, there are other times of day to choose from. Coach Williams is offering some evening training times and as the group grows, training schedules will get adjusted.

Another obstacle to overcome may be the Speedo factor. Fact is, most mere mortals have misplaced the hard bodies possessed as young athletes. It is often humbling to don the Speedo, given the excess poundage now spilling over the seams. Two things for one to consider. One, hardly any of us looks now like we did at 20, so you are not alone. Second, and possibly more important, is the hard fact that, realistically, nobody is gawking at you! Self-consciousness should be tucked into the locker with all your clothes.

Now, the hardest part is over. You are again part of an organized swimming program. Getting into the “swim” of things probably won’t be too difficult.

You may relish how much better you feel with time spent in the water. After all, nothing can feel worse than the first week back in the water after a decade or a couple decades-long break.

So, with the new year soon upon us, it is a good time to re-motivate for swimming. No matter what your swimming ability level, if you are interested, I encourage you to call Coach Williams (903-1432) and discuss it with him.