One thing most any person who was on a swim team will lament is swimming drills. They will tell you tales of torturous coaches who created long drills. They will tell tales of practices which seemed to last all day and left them drained. All will admit in the end the drills made a difference in their ability to swim strong and outlast the competition. These are drills which you can complete yourself with the same stellar results. The important thing to remember is you may not enjoy the drills while you are doing them. Stick with it and you will see undeniable results.
One of the swimming drills which are done by most coaches is the pyramid drill. This drill involves starting with a short sprint of about 50 yards and then building gradually to 500 yards. You then go back down to 50 yards. The trick is to allow only a certain amount of time for each interval as you go up and down. You will notice a difference in your ability to complete the intervals as your strength and skill improves. You will crave the breaks as well as the increased speed this drill will help to create.
This is a drill which is similar in nature to the pyramid drills. The difference in the timed swimming drills is you maintain a certain length of swimming. The amount of total time in which you have to complete the length will remain constant. What will change is the length of the intervals. A normal overall length for these drills is 500 yards. You will start with 25 x 50 yard drills. Increase to 1 x 500 yard drill with either 25 or 50 yard increases. The goal is to increase your endurance by increasing the speed at which you can complete the sections.
Creating drag is one of the swimming drills every coach seems to like to use. This means using kick boards, floaters or weights to create drag and resistance. The object is to complete increasing lengths every time you work out. This will help to develop the strength in upper and lower body strength. You will train your muscles to pull an even heavier load than your body weight. This way when you are swimming without the resistance you will be able to glide through the water. This is also a good opportunity to concentrate on your swim stroke.
Closed Fist Drill
There are many variations on swimming drills which do not occur normally to people. Closed fist drill is a drill which teaches you to use your forearm as a mechanism to pull you through the water. By not being able to use your hand to pull you through the water, you have to use the forearm to pull you. The drill is completed by completing 10 x 25 yard sets. Start out with untimed sets with a one minute rest between. Gradually work in time restrictions with less rest in between swims.