Past Clinic: Freestyle Technique and Race Strategy Swim Camp
1400 W Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067
A description of what was covered at this past clinic is below the upcoming clinics.
Upcoming Swim Clinics and Camps
Within 250 miles of Palatine, IL.
Cole Center YMCAInfo
Saline High SchoolInfo
Lincoln High SchoolInfo
Azionaqua Swim ClubInfo
Logansport High SchoolInfo
Adrian High School PoolInfo
Bouws Pool (Outdoor)Info
Merkel Aquatic CenterInfo
Georgetown Country ClubInfo
Hobart High SchoolInfo
Michigan City High SchoolInfo
Waterford Kettering High SchoolInfo
Crawfordsville Aquatic CenterInfo
Pleasant Prairie Rec PlexInfo
Fitter and Faster’s final camps of 2021 in Palatine, IL are on December 27 & 28! Elite Clinician and Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Thoman will be leading two different camps for swimmers based on their age groups.
Comprehensive Freestyle Camp (Ages 11 & under)
-> Day 1: High Performance Freestyle Technique
-> Day 2: Freestyle Racing & Training Skills
Race Strategy & Execution: 100’s & 200’s (Ages 12 & over)
-> Day 1: Fast 100’s
-> Day 2: Fast 200’s
Scroll down for more details on the curriculum! Session sizes are limited to no more than 24 participants to ensure the highest level learning experience!
SAVE when you purchase a 2-day “Bundle” for your swimmer’s age group! Click here for the March and April 2022 swim camps in Palatine, IL
Select a curriculum below
Freestyle is the first stroke we learn. It’s the stroke we swim the most at practice. There are more freestyle races and relays at meets... and it is the fastest stroke to move through the water. As with any other stroke, the more efficient and powerful your technique - the more success you will experience with your practices and freestyle races as your career progresses. Over two days, your swimmer, no matter their level, will improve their freestyle technique, racing and training skills!
- DAY 1: HIGH PERFORMANCE FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE: Cultivating good habits to swim high level freestyle begins as soon as you learn the stroke. Even if your swimmer is already in high school - it’s never too late to begin practicing techniques that will drastically improve their efficiency, power and times. Today, your swimmer will work on techniques to strengthen their bodyline, catch, kick, pull, and breathing pattern.
- Bodyline: A freestyle race is going to be fastest with the proper bodyline. Even the slightest adjustment of the chin, neck, and/or back can make a huge difference. As swimmers mature in the sport and grow physically, their body position shifts and often bad habits are created. Participants will learn and practice proper posture and engagement of their core to have a strong foundation for better technique - creating a full-body connection for more hydrodynamic and efficient strokes.
- Rotation: Freestyle is fastest and most efficient when a swimmer’s body is “rotating” around their spine with each stroke. This part of swimming freestyle has a big effect on maintaining a proper bodyline. Participants will practice activating their core muscles to form a powerful connection from head to toe with every stroke - resulting in faster freestyle.
- Kicking: A swimmer’s kick is the motor behind their freestyle! There are obviously proper and improper ways to kick which we will review at the camp. Just as important, however, is practicing the complexities of how and when swimmers need to “shift gears” in their legs to become stronger and faster racers.
- Pull: The pull in freestyle keeps a swimmer balanced and accelerating forward. Essentially the best swimmers are creating a paddle with every stroke. The clinicians will work with participants to establish an early vertical forearm “the catch”, enabling the swimmer to put immediate pressure back on the water. Properly completing the stroke keeps the swimmer moving forward efficiently and fast.
- DAY 2: FREESTYLE RACING AND TRAINING SKILLS: The technique for swimming a fast freestyle race changes depending on the distance. Learning to prioritize tempo and length of stroke, while maintaining efficiency has a huge impact on maximizing speed for sprints or increasing endurance for distance races.
- Length of Stroke: A long stroke will enable your swimmer to “catch” and hold onto more water to propel them as they swim. Whereas, a short stroke is inefficient and not sustainable for very long. The clinicians will work with participants on this important skill for fast swimming.
- Tempo: Tempo is the rate at which a swimmer is moving their arms and legs. When sprinting short races many swimmers often tend to take too many strokes (“spin their wheels”) and not “hold onto the water”. At this camp we will explore different tempos that suit your swimmer for different distances.
- Pacing/Control: A swimmer’s tempo will change depending on the race that they are swimming. It may also change at different points during the same race! Your elite clinician will teach participants how to manipulate their tempo, speed and energy at different points in a race. This is called Pacing or “Control”.
- Breathing Pattern: Establishing a breathing pattern will help the swimmer stay focused and relaxed during their swim. It will also help them finish the race with enough oxygen to close the race at full speed.
- Speed Set: At the end of this session your swimmer will do a short and fast swim set to practice everything they have learned over the past two days.
DAY 1: FAST 100’S! DAY 2: FAST 200'S!
“How should I swim this race?” How many times have you heard this? Swimmers of all ages and abilities have the same question. There are many different ways to swim a fast 100 and 200 in every stroke. The name of the game is understanding all the different ways to execute the race and seeing what works for you! On Day 1 of this camp the focus will be exclusively on 100’s. On Day 2 the focus will be on the 200's.
- STRATEGIES: At this camp your swimmer will learn various strategies that elite swimmers have executed with top results. Before your camp you will be emailed links to several elite level races of 100 and/or 200 yards/meters across all strokes, along with a brief summary of each. At the camp we will discuss and practice those strategies.
- EASY SPEED: Establishing stroke length with the proper tempo after the breakout is essential to setting up a strong 100 and 200 in any stroke. Going as fast as we can with ease is the key to “easy speed”. We don’t want to kick or pull too hard on the first 25 in the 100 or the first 50 in the 200. This will cause early fatigue. Swimmers will work on techniques to swim as fast as they can in all strokes with “easy speed”.
- CONTROL: Your elite clinician will teach participants how to manipulate their speed and energy at different points in a race.
- FRONT-END & BACK-END SPEED: The first half (front-end) and second half (back-end) of the 100 and 200 can be “broken up” to ensure an effective plan. Some swimmers go out really fast and hang on, while others control the first part of their race, then try to “back-end” the race at full speed. Testing new strategies at this camp will give your swimmer confidence in their next race.
- UNDERWATER KICK COUNT: Figuring out the optimal number of kicks off each wall is essential to a fast 100 and 200. Your underwater strategy is likely to be different in the 100's versus 200’s. A swimmer wants to spend only the absolute necessary amount of time underwater to establish speed with each length. We want to avoid losing our breath and/or taking weak kicks.
- BREATHING PATTERN: Establishing a breathing pattern will help the swimmer stay focused and relaxed on their own swim. It will also help them finish the race with enough oxygen to close the race at full speed.
- ESTABLISHING A PLAN: A racer should have a plan for the race before it is swum! What’s your plan for front-end and back-end speed? How much time will you spend underwater before your first breath? How often will you breath each length?
- TEST THE PLAN IN PRACTICE: Now we test it! Swimmers will do a complete short set at the end of the session to practice racing the plan and stroke under race conditions. We’ll get off the blocks and practice some front end swims, push some back end swims, and race some straight 100’s or 200’s depending on the sessions.
- CONFIDENCE: One of the essential elements to dropping time and swimming fast is being willing to try new strategies when swimming a race. It’s ok to feel nervous and a little bit uncomfortable before your race! Entering a race with a strategy will help your swimmer with their confidence… and that confidence will help propel them to the results they aim to achieve.
SAVE when you purchase a 2-day "Bundle" for your swimmer's age group! Session times for both days: 11 & Under: Check in 9 AM, Clinic 9:15-11:45 AM 12 & Over: Check in 12:30 PM, Clinic 12:45-3:45 PM Suggested Participants: This camp is designed for swimmers with a minimum of one-year of competitive swimming experience all the way up to AAAA times and faster. Swimmers younger than 9 years old are not invited without submitting their times or swimming history to Fitter and Faster.
Swimmers and parents are invited to ask their clinicians questions during a Q&A session. Gain insight into their training regimen, diet and nutrition, and recovery tactics.
WATCH THE CLINICIANS
Observe the clinicians swim at full speed and demonstrate a progression of perfectly executed drills to achieve powerful, efficient and fast swimming.
PUT YOUR SKILLS TO THE TEST
Swimmers will get to practice what they've learned by taking their stroke to your top speed with some of the best swimmers and coaches in the world! They'll work on holding onto their form while challenging themselves.
Take a photo with your clinicians, get autographs, and ALL PARTICIPANTS receive a FREE Fitter and Faster swim cap for the camp.
Size matters so much less when you have great technique... and your clinician is living proof of that. At one point, Nick Thoman was known as the world's greatest short course swimmer in the world. His starts and turns were a weapon - he was shorter than most of his top competition, but HE was the world record holder in the 100 short course meter backstroke AND he is an Olympic gold medalist. Learn to weaponize great technique, no matter your size or strength, to improve at this clinic with Nick Thoman!