Swimming Principles: Can You Swim Faster . . . Easier?
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on August 31st, 2015

My recent series of posts on Swimming Principles has resonated strongly with readers, drawing an unusually large number of appreciative comments. However one response expressed some skepticism on a topic of interest to many readers: Must you swim hard to swim faster?  Here is an excerpt from that comment. (You may read it in full by scrolling down to the 10th […]

The Truth about Five Common Swimming Myths
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on August 24th, 2015

The primary reason the average swimmer converts only 3 percent of energy into forward motion is that our swimming actions are so strongly influenced by basic self-preservation instincts. Concerns about choking and sinking are so primal that they continue to affect how we swim long after we’ve lost our conscious fear and even after we’ve […]

Swimming Principle #2: Most of what we “know” about swimming is wrong!
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on August 17th, 2015

Swimming Principle #1 is Always focus on saving energy before spending it. This is because a primal instinct for self-preservation transforms us into Energy Wasting Machines in the water. This was confirmed by a DARPA study in 2005 in which experienced lap swimmers wasted 97 percent of energy. Why should long-time swimmers convert only three […]

Swimming Principle #1: Always save energy before spending it.
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on August 7th, 2015

At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Stany Kempompo Ngangola gained a measure of fame for swimming the 100-meter freestyle. Not for his speed, but simply for surviving. Stany was among a small group of athletes—mostly from small underdeveloped nations–who are invited to the Olympics in hopes that the exposure will encourage sports development in their […]

Guest Post: Swimming Principles . . . They Work!
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on August 5th, 2015

I met Patrick Quinn poolside in May 1989. I was attending my first ‘short course’ U.S. Masters Nationals at Mission Bay Aquatic Center in Florida. Patrick and I were both waiting for our heats in the 1000-yard freestyle. I was 38 at the time; Patrick was 58. Today he is 84 and I’m 64, and […]

From First Principles to Core Principles
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 31st, 2015

In my last post I suggested you perform an exercise in meta-consciousness: Bring to a conscious level your belief system about swimming—the ideas (often unconscious) that guide nearly every choice you make—and consider where they originated and whether your experience confirms them as true . . . or calls them into question. I then listed […]

First Principles: Aristotle, Elon Musk . . . and YOU!
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 25th, 2015

Before he was a world-changing entrepreneur at Paypal, Tesla, and SpaceX, Elon Musk studied physics at Stanford University. When he switched from physics to tech startups, he brought along a conviction that “First Principles” thinking—drilling down to the foundations of a problem to view it in an entirely new way—should guide business decisions as well […]

The Most Swimming Fun I’ve Ever Had–in Only 20 Minutes
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 17th, 2015

On July 10, I had the pleasure of experiencing all my favorite aspects of swimming in just a bit over 20 minutes—perhaps the most concentrated swimming enjoyment I’ve had in 50 years. The occasion was the inaugural Mystic Sharkfest. (Several people recoiled when I told them the name of the event: Did it involve swimming […]

How to Make Your Stroke More Efficient in only 10 Minutes
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 9th, 2015

Would you like to make your stroke markedly, noticeably more efficient in as little as 10 minutes. Doing the right drill, in the right way, can achieve stroke transformation faster than any other means. Here’s a summary of ‘first principles’ of maximizing the value and efficacy of stroke drills from my recent series of posts […]

Learning to Swim . . . and Believe
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 6th, 2015

Each day, on Garrison Keillor’s brief daily NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac, he reads a poem. If you’re a regular listener, you may have heard the one I reprint below, about the first day of summer swim lessons for children. I missed it this morning, but fortunately TI enthusiast Cynthia Ford, a law professor at […]