One of the FASTEST Freestyler’s I’ve ever seen is actually one of my best friends, Allison Schmitt. Allison won Gold in the 200m Freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics and she’s a great example of someone who not only swam fast–but kicks FAST the entire race!
Allison does a few things right with her kick during the race which I’ve highlighted in her analysis below:
1.) She consistently keeps a 6-beat kick
Allison does a great job of keeping the legs moving the entire race. Basically since the buzzer went off, Allison kicked her legs the entire race without giving them a break.
What this proves is how in shape Allison really is, because her legs (and yours) are the biggest muscles in our body. Therefore, they require the most oxygen and energy needed to supply them over time.
2.) She kicks THROUGH her breath every time!
As you can see in the video, Allison does a great job of continuing her kick through the breath! You’ll see this mistake made in a lot of age-groupers who stop the kick when they are breathing. What this does is causing them to slow down and potentially, get their kicks off rhythm with their stroke.
You cannot keep a true 6-beat kick if you miss a kick here and there!
3.) She nails 4-5 dolphin kicks off each wall!
Off every wall, Allison NAILS her dolphin kicks. It’s no wonder Allison is a great dolphin kicker, as she has the same coach as Michael Phelps. Speaking of, Allison is actually great friends with Michael and grew up swimming with him and legendary coach, Bob Bowman.
There is absolutely no hesitation in Allison’s dolphin kicks off the wall–and if you look at that compared to her competitors, no one in the field comes close to her tenacity off the walls!
So if you want to improve your Freestyle races, try improving your kick and going from there!
Until Next Time,