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Coaches Blog

Swim drills are essential to progression

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

We believe swim drills are essential for swim progression in technique, speed, and endurance, and there's general agreement on that statement. However, I recently saw a coach suggest to a group of athletes to eliminate drills from all training. That changes swim training to swim “work” with the intent now focused on just getting max yardage in minimal time regardless of technique improvement. By doing drills, we are focusing on “learning and improving."

Swim drills allow continued development of an athlete’s proprioception. That body awareness is essential for swim improvement. I often introduce swim drills that have no other purpose than to help an athlete to move their body in a new way in the water.

There are NO BAD DRILLS, just maybe drills not appropriate for a swimmer’s ability. This is an important point as it aligns with my true belief that there are NO ABSOLUTES in training. What, when and how drills are implemented is what matters.

Experimenting with drills is not only good, but essential for swim knowledge growth. Try new things. It’s a good thing to experiment!

Swim video is essential for both coach and athlete. Subscribe to, read Gary Hall Sr. blogs, Read Paul Newsome’s articles (Swim Smooth) and watch swim videos. And, if possible, get with your coach to watch videos and discuss them together.

Team MPI coaches are committed excellence in all endurance sports, including swimming. We spend time on deck, with groups, with mentors, and we study film, articles and elite swimmers. We are continually learning and growing our swim knowledge and so can you!

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