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Are you ready to take your swimming to the next level? Imagine gliding through the water with the speed and power of an Olympian. Whether you’re an aspiring competitor, or just looking to improve your technique, understanding the key qualities of the fastest swimmers can transform your swimming journey.

This list is packed with 25 tips from our expert coaches. Discover the traits that set top swimmers apart, and learn how to incorporate them into your training routine.

From perfecting your streamline, to mastering the mental game, this guide covers everything you need to swim faster and smarter.

25 Qualities That Fast Swimmers Share:

1. Ability to Switch Gears

Top swimmers can adjust their speed and intensity on command. Whether it’s cruising at a steady pace or pushing to the max, this ability to change gears is crucial for varying levels of performance.

2. Perfect Streamline

A perfect streamline is essential. This starts with placing one hand over the other, with the top hand’s thumb grabbing the bottom hand. Streamlining reduces drag and maximizes speed off the wall and during dives.

The secret to better underwaters is breath control.

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3. SMART Goals

Setting SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound—is vital. Clear, precise goals guide swimmers toward specific achievements, like improving times in particular events.

4. Positive Environment

Surrounding oneself with positive, like-minded individuals creates a supportive environment that fosters success and motivation.

5. Consistent Routine

A consistent routine helps swimmers perform without overthinking. This includes regular sleep schedules, pre-race rituals, and workout habits.

6. Trust in the Process

Trusting the training plan and your coach is crucial. Confidence in the process and the guidance provided leads to better results and continuous improvement.

7. Identify and Improve Weaknesses

Top swimmers know their strengths and weaknesses. They focus on improving areas like underwater kicks, body position, and breath control.

8. Visualization

Visualization techniques help swimmers mentally prepare for success. Imagining the race and every movement can enhance actual performance.

9. Humility

Being humble in both success and failure is a key trait. Humble swimmers are open to learning and improving, regardless of their achievements.

10. Healthy Eating

Nutrition is paramount. Fast swimmers fuel their bodies with clean, nutritious foods to ensure peak performance.

11. Emphasis on Recovery

Recovery, especially sleep, is as important as training. Consistent sleep patterns and proper rest are crucial for muscle repair and overall performance.

12. Dryland Training

Training out of the water, such as strength training and dryland exercises, helps build muscle and improve overall athleticism.

13. Racing Mindset

Even in practice, adopting a racing mindset and pushing to perform at peak levels prepares swimmers for actual competitions.

14. Embrace Uniqueness

Being unique and staying true to oneself is important. Individuality in training and racing can be a strength.

15. Distance Per Stroke

Improving distance per stroke means traveling farther with each stroke, which is a combination of power and efficiency.

16. Lifelong Learning

Being a student of the sport, always seeking to learn and improve, keeps swimmers ahead of the competition.

17. Ability to Say No

Saying no to distractions and focusing on goals is crucial. This means avoiding unnecessary commitments and staying focused on training.

18. Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude influences performance and spreads positivity to others.

19. Helping Others

Teaching and helping others improve can reinforce your own skills and knowledge, benefiting both parties.

20. Performing Under Pressure

Top swimmers can perform under stress and in high-pressure situations, often through practice and mental toughness.

21. Resiliency

Resiliency helps swimmers overcome challenges and setbacks, pushing through difficult times to achieve success.

22. Passion for the Sport

A deep love for swimming keeps athletes motivated, even through tough training and early mornings.

23. Swim-Specific Skills

Developing specific skills, like flip turns and dolphin kicks, through repetition is essential for top performance.

24. Confidence

Confidence allows swimmers to tackle difficult sets and races with conviction, leading to better outcomes.

25. Purpose-Driven

Having a clear purpose and understanding why they swim drives top swimmers to consistently give their best effort.

By embodying these qualities, swimmers can maximize their potential and achieve faster times in the pool. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced swimmer, integrating these traits into your routine can help you swim faster and enjoy the journey of improvement.

Need Swim Workout Ideas?

Download the MySwimPro app! Get the app on your phone or smartwatch, and get your personalized swim training plan. Every workout is adapted to your speed and skill level, and adjusts as you progress. 

Click here to start your free trial.

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