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In practice, there are times when you need to slow down and work on technique...

... And times when you need to crank it up to race pace.

But no matter how fast or slow you’re swimming, the most important thing is to focus on what you’re doing.

There’s gotta be something in your head during workout. Whether you’re swimming slow or you’re swimming hard, you’ve gotta be focused on what you’re trying to do and not let your mind kind of wander off.

Whatever it is you’re working on -- and it can be technique or rhythm or turns or pace -- you have to stay focused on what you’re supposed to do. Don’t ever just go through the motions. And don’t swim sloppy, even if you’re tired or just swimming easy.

Mental focus is like another form of connecting -- you’re connecting with yourself and how you feel in the water.

In this final section of the video, I’ll just swim...and you can try to pick out the things I’m focusing on.

Am I in balance from front to back...and from side to side?

Is my kick constant and continuous, and does it look like I’m starting it from the hip flexors rather than the knees?

Do I initiate the catch out front and up near the surface?

Where’s my elbow during the catch and pull? Can you tell that I’m trying to keep it high, and trying to grab water with my hand and forearm?

And, most important, am I connecting my catch with my core? Am I swimming with my entire body rather than just my arms or just my legs?

In these next few clips,I’ll start by swimming slow and easy...and then build to race pace.

See if the key elements are there -- no matter how slow or how fast I swim.

As you add these focus points to your own swimming, remember to work on just one thing at a time.

Start slowly, don’t be afraid to experiment, and be patient when you try to change things with your stroke.

The most important thing is learning how to connect -- and that can mean connecting the parts of your stroke, connecting mentally with what you’re doing, and connecting with your teammates and coach.

It’s the connections that make it fun...and that will make you fast.