In 1961, on the very first day of training camp, the Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi stood amongst 38 highly skilled professional athletes holding up a pigskin in his right hand. Assuming nothing, he said: “Gentlemen this is a football.”

Start with the Fundamentals

Lombardi assumed nothing. He wanted to make sure that each of the athletes understood and embraced the elementary principals of the game. Coaching triathletes and endurance swimmers, I have always taken the same approach, assume nothing. Start with the basics: One’s Beliefs regarding their abilities, the ability to Breathe properly, a “feel” for Balance along with Body positioning and Biomechanics.

The Five Additional Bs to Great and Masterful Swimming

“Swimming is really easy, but it’s also really hard. Always go back to the basics, the basics will never fail you.”

Better Movement: To swim better, you need to move better, maximizing your ability to be flexible, agile and stable.

Better Breathing: Poor breathing is a learned habit. Research indicates that a very large percentage of the adult population are dysfunctional breathers. If that is you and you are learning to swim or looking to get stronger and faster, you must learn first how to breathe properly. Dysfunctional breather on the deck, you will be a dysfunctional breather in the water.

Better Awareness: I will always tell athletes: “Own your environment.” Simply know your environment through your senses. Yes, all of them, and quiet your mind to become more kinesthetically connected.

Better is Better: There is a wonderful saying: “More isn’t better, better is better.” I will always stress the importance of doing a shorter distance, technically sound, breathing properly and having mental awareness than falling apart because the time and distance was overwhelming.

Building is Better: Take the time to build efficiently, slowly and safely. Your body mind and soul will thank you.