1.     Montgomery County Summer League

After 2 seasons/quarters in my clinic, most of the kids can swim at least 25 meter of free style and backstroke legally so that they are proficient enough to join a summer swim team in their neighborhood or a county or city swim team if their neighborhood doesn’t have a community pool. There are at least 4 county/city summer swim teams (Upper County, Bethesda, Germantown, and Rockville) that any Montgomery county resident can join. For more information, please visit

I strongly encourage you to sign up your child for a summer team. It is a lot of fun for kids to swim the summer team. The summer swim season starts on Memorial weekend and ends at the end of July.

2.     Speed definition

Some swimmers, usually the new ones, can only swim one speed, i.e. same speed for warm-up and for a race of 1 pool length. The following table defines various speeds I use in the clinic (more applicable to the swimmers in the advanced group).

Warm-up/down speed
Slow paced, a swimmer shouldn’t be out of breath after swimming 50m or 100m for warm-up.
Mechanics speed
Slightly faster than the warm-up speed. Swimming at this speed to practice stroke mechanics and drills. This speed will be used often during the clinic.
Aerobic speed
This is the speed you swim during your club team practice. I will ask you to swim this speed for stroke count or after I think you have acquired the skills you have learned.
Swim as fast as you can. I will ask you to swim at this speed for some of the drills such as backstroke spin drill.

3.     Stroke Count

Stroke count is used to measure “distance per stroke”. It applies to all 4 strokes but it is more commonly used to measure distance/stroke in freestyle. One of the goals in this clinic is to improve swimmer’s stroke count (i.e. covers more distance for each stroke). You (or your parents) should count your strokes at practice periodically so you can compare your stroke counts to see if you have made improvements. Make sure your stroke rate is about the same when you do the comparison because you can achieve better stroke counts with slower stroke rate.

The stroke count for you (freestyle in 25y) should be somewhere between 16 and 25. In early 2011, Matt’s stroke count was 19-20 for 25y. Now he is about 4” taller and a little bit stronger and more efficient in his stroke mechanics, his stroke count is about 15-16. 

4.     Stroke Rate

You will need a stop watch to measure your stroke rate so ask your parents to do it for you (download a free stop watch app for your mobile device). Here is one way of measuring Matt’s stroke rate:

Every time Matt's right hand entering water is the starting point of a cycle. Each cycle ends when his right hand entering water the next time. You will measure the time for say 5 cycles. Suppose the time is 8.5 seconds, then his stroke rate is

(8.5*2)/10 = 1.7 second/cycle

you can also just measure the time for each cycle or measure 10 cycles and divide by 10. I am used to count 5 then times 2 then move the decimal point by 1.

5.     Balancing Your Center of Gravity/Buoyancy

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