Competitive Swimming – Tips for Fine Tuning

For anyone participating in competitive swimming, I think it’s time we talk about the T word … Taper. At our club taper is a bad word! We call it fine-tuning.

Everyone always asked me what to do with lessons around the fine-tuning period. I like to keep it stupid simple because the hay is in the barn at this point! We’re not going to magically change your stroke two, three weeks, or even a month out we’re going to fine-tune what we got! No major technique changes!

Competitive swimmers know that major technique changes are meant for after championship season, as you press the reset button and start to look forward to the next championship season.

The SwimEx 600T and the Dartfish video analysis software are a huge help because we can see all those little details that a coach just looking from the pool deck can’t see. That’s the competitive advantage of having a SwimEx 600T right on the pool deck! So, today we worked with our underwater cameras to slow things down make sure we were getting on top of our details! Such as squaring up, finishing off our strokes, good head position, and good technique. Again, no major technique changes.

Here are some quick and simple pointers of each stroke that can be addressed during the fine-tuning period.


  • Reach, square, roll
  • Small steady kick
  • Neutral head position
  • Finish off each stroke


  • Teamwork rotations with your same side shoulders and hips
  • Palm down entering the water
  • Head back gets your kick more involved
  • Tuck your elbow into your body to engage more muscles and more power on your stroke


  • Wide out sweep with arms
  • Small narrow kick make sure to finish each kick!
  • Hands on top of the water
  • Eyeballs at the end of the pool
  • Be an “ice boat” on your glide


  • Lung press, hips up, up kick
  • Chin low to water when breathing
  • Kick up just as hard as you kick down
  • Breathing pattern is every other stroke
  • Finish stroke through the same side hips

Again, major technique changes are meant for after championship season as you press the reset button and start to look forward to the next championship season. We’ll have more videos coming soon on the reset button – stay tuned!

Keep it rolling SwimEx users!

~ Authored by Tyler Santangelo, A.T.R.I.C. Tyler runs the swim science and aquatic therapy programming at NL Aquatic Center in Voorhees, NJ. He also coaches the national team at South Jersey Aquatic Club. Follow Tyler on Instagram.

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