Slide And Glide Example

A recent comment I received on my post Long Live ‘Slide-And-Glide’ (drill) asked for a video example of this.

I think Shinji’s 9-stroke video gets the idea across.

Shinji SAG
Notice how there is no pause in the stroke. One arm is always moving, and moving steady and smooth, even while stroking at slower tempo. The catch and hold is still strong and steady, not lighter, nor snappier. That firm and steady pressure of the catch at all tempos is a key feature of SAG.

In my early TI self-coaching days I spent a great portion of my practices in SAG and rotated through my long list of focal points. I mixed it up with various distances and repeat patterns and occasional drill work.

Now-a-days, I use SAG most often while swimming along in open-water with my groups of students and need to set a pace in coordination with them.


Add a Tempo Trainer at tempos slower than 1.40 seconds (like repeats at 1.40, 1.50, 1.60, 1.70, 1.80) to really give you time to examine and measure the finer details of your balance and streamline.

You can do a pyramid set like this:

2x 25 (#1 at 1.40, #2 1.50, #3 1.60, #4 1.70, #5 1.80)

Then go back down in reverse, but make the steps in+0.05 seconds, not 0.10.

2x 25 (#1 at 1.75, #2 1.70, #3 1.65, etc)

See if you can return to your starting tempo with a lower stroke count than when you began, without increasing effort level.

Then continue into faster-than-start tempos so see how much faster you can go before returning to your starting stroke count.

1x 25 (#1 at 1.37, #2 1.34, #3 1.31, etc)


Use stroke counting to measure the glide quality.

In Slide-And-Glide this is one way we measure Quality = take fewer strokes (objective measurement) while holding the same tempo (objective), at same effort level (subjective measurement).

Remember, the goal of SAG is not to stroke harder to make up for fewer # of strokes, but to find ways to improve balance and streamline so that you require less power to achieve the same stroke count. Thereby you the develop motor-control (like Shinji in this video) that allows you to hold the same pace with fewer heart beats.  In other words, you swim faster with less effort.

Shinji makes it look effortless because he has practiced in such a way that it has truly become effortless.

Always train to swim on the Path Of Least Resistance and you will find it.


3 responses to “Slide And Glide Example

  1. HI
    Is it just me or when Shinji is kicking in the video is his left foot going down at the same time he is starting his catch and pull stroke? Is this reveresed from what is shown in teaching the 2 beat kick?

    • I don’t believe it is reversed or in error – I’ve never noticed Shinji take an off-rhythm kick in one of his videos (it would be a gross oversight by his video editors!). But if you can point me to the second of the video you think it occurs and I can double check.

      But what you may be noticing is what is happening between the kick foot and the opposite side of the body, or the kick foot and the same side of the body – you’ll see the multi-dimensional nature of kick timing.

      The rotation empowers the catch and hold of water as well, while it empowers the spearing arm extending forward underwater – it’s like a single piston engine powering two systems simultaneously.

      The left foot will press as the left hand will set the catch, or slightly later. But to do it slightly earlier than the catch would be a mistake in timing by applying force earlier than the body is ready to use it. The catch needs to be in place to take advantage of the body rotation. The kick supports the body rotation – this is the dependency relationship of the parts and actions.

      The precise timing of that kick may be altered for different effect, and we might debate about it. My articles describe how I’ve used the timing to support my extension, so I time it slightly later than the Mailslot, somewhere between Mailslot and full extension. When I put on short fins it magnifies the effect to show me how I am directing force through the body. But one could increase the overlap of the catch and Mailslot – making the catch slightly later, and therefore the kick needs to happen slightly later to coincide with the catch. There are all sorts of adjustments that can be made that change the timing of the pieces.

      When I speed up tempo into sprint territory the overlap is shortened (but NEVER removed – one has to train for this skill), the time in for that rotation is compressed, and therefore so is the timing of the kick/rotation/extension/catch. The timing gets even more challenging to get it right on and right on every time.

      • HI
        Thanks for the great reply and details, that will help me a lot as I struggle to master this 2BK.
        The time in the video is between approx 1:02 and 1:06 is what I was studying the timing and getting it correct.

        Watching the video is a big help in understanding the mechanics.

Please add a constructive comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s