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Representing Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics, James Guy won silver in the 4 X 200 freestyle relay and 4 X 100 medley relay. He also placed 4th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:45.49. Yep, he’s fast. And he does a lot of fast swimming in practice.
But James also trains like THIS. He spends a lot of time training at slower-than-race pace, but with super-intense focus on the fine points of technique.
James likes to train smart. So it makes perfect sense that he’s teamed with FINIS, and makes full use of their innovative products to improve his technique.
Each lesson in this course will focus on a different aspect of James’s technique:
what he does with his hands and arms…his breathing…his bodyline…his turns and breakouts…and how he makes full use of equipment to improve his stroke.
In this video clip, James swims three 25s – slow to fast.
At the slowest speed, James’s freestyle has a relaxed quality, but his movements are precise. What we notice right away is the full extension of the arms, the low breath and stable head – and how this creates a horizontal body line.
It’s also hard not to notice James’s HANDS. This is what “feel for the water” looks like. The hands are soft and relaxed, yet they seem alive and super-sensitive as they search for connection with the water.
One more thing to notice at slow speed: James uses a 2-beat kick, with the down-kick coming at the extension of the opposite arm.
As James picks up the pace, he engages the legs a bit more. But what stays the same is his INTENSE focus on driving the arms and fingertips forward. He also maintains a stable and low head position, and keeps one goggle in the water during the breath. All of this contributes to a stunning HBL -- horizontal bodyline -- one of the secrets to James’s speed.
At top speed, James’s legs are fully engaged, with a fast, consistent, 6-beat kick.
But look at what’s still there. Even at top speed, James reaches full extension out front, and the hands are still relaxed and feeling their way into the next catch.
The head is still low and stable. The breath is even more hidden than before. And he maintains a horizontal body line throughout every part of the stroke cycle.
As you watch the other lessons in this course, keep in mind that James is swimming much slower than race pace, but that he’s practicing the technique he wants to be ROCK SOLID when he steps on the blocks.