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by Scott Bay

August 12, 2019

Video can help you improve your efficiency and technique

You might remember the old days when your parents would bring a 35-pound VHS camcorder to the pool and videotape every one of your races they could bore the neighbors later on with how good you were.

Fast forward to today. Now everyone has the ability to capture video with a multi-use device that has 5,000 times the computing power of the entire Apollo space program and is only as far away as your pocket: a cellphone.

This device can help improve your swimming tremendously.

Video is a Game Changer

Sure, there are ways to get videotaped professionally, which is a great idea, but now that the ability to record video and share it instantly is simple, just find a friend with a phone. Your friend doesn’t even need swimming experience.

Here are some good, better, and best swimming-video ideas that you can ask your friend to help you with.

  • Good: Your friend can stand on the pool deck and just get multiple strokes from different angles. A few stroke cycles should be adequate to see what your habits are.
  • Better: Some people have waterproof phones, and others have a waterproof case. If your friend could get some underwater shots, that would be great. Once again, make sure you get more than one stroke.
  • Best: Try an Endless Pool with cameras. There will likely be a fee for this, but many places will charge you a smaller one if you get video without a coach’s feedback.

What Do I Do With the Video?

Great question. Just like before, there are good, better, and best practices for this. It’s always a learning experience when you see what you’ve really been doing with your stroke, as compared to what you thought you were doing.

  • Self-evaluate: This is great because you can do it right there on the pool deck. If you have a patient friend with a lot of cellphone storage, your friend can take multiple videos of you as you make adjustments.
  • Show your coach: If you one, you can have your coach look at the video right away and give feedback and provide technique tips.
  • Pay the fee: Many businesses that rent out time in an Endless Pool have packages for coaching and feedback. If you’re self-coached, this may be the best way to go. As with the other two options, after you review the video, make some changes that are suggested or recognized and do the video again.

The Long View

We’re all different. What works for Michael Phelps or your lanemate may not work for you. Look at how a variety of swimmers swim, experiment with what they’re doing, and if it works, stick with it. If it doesn’t work, find something else you can change or experiment with.

If you’re an inexperienced Masters swimmer, your stroke will change as you get stronger. If you’re a seasoned swimmer, your stroke will change as you age. The point is that your technique is something you can and should always experiment with to stay fresh. It’s a process that evolves.

The good news is that we’re not canceling the sport anytime soon, so you’ve got plenty of time.


  • Technique and Training


  • Technology