Courtesy of Josh Brown. Follow: @joshbrownisaman
We all have one. That one stroke when we hear its name, or see our name under the event, we give a great big sigh and say, “Coach, why am I doing this?” And in fact, why are we? Well, as a fellow swimmer I have learned that I do have a worst stroke (but I’m not telling what it is!) and I do have to work on it because it’s important to my swimming career for several reasons. Your coach isn’t bluffing when he tells you that you need to work on your weakest stroke. There are lots of benefits behind turning your weakest stroke into an asset.
It makes you more appealing to colleges. Coaches are looking for swimmers with depth, because the more depth you have the more versatile you are in meet line-ups. By improving upon your worst stroke it will add another event in which you could gain a dual meet win. So in one aspect you make yourself much more marketable in the eyes of a recruiting coach….and don’t take that for granted.
It can also dramatically improve your IM thus giving you another solid event under your belt for the college dual season. You can turn an average IM into a record setting IM. That in itself is a great advantage. By bettering one stroke you are potentially improving two events (the 200 and 400 IM), without even needing to really focus on IM work.
It gives you a better chance to be on that “A relay” everyone wants to be on. By improving upon that worst stroke it could potentially give you multiple strokes which you could swim on the relay. Imagine if you had four strong strokes – you could be used anywhere. You never know how your coach might need you to contribute to that relay line up, and your versatility will go a long way. There are some major benefits to turning around your worst stroke and getting it headed in the right direction. So start now while you can and reap the rewards!