Q: When it comes to swimming technique, as a newbie, what is the single most important aspect I should focus on?
The most important thing for swimming is having a strong core in the water and connecting your arm strokes to your core rotation. As a newbie, the only way to know for sure that you are developing this technique— and all the others that are important — is to work with a knowledge- able swim coach.
Direct and immediate feedback will help prevent you from developing any bad habits.
We all know the way to get faster in the water is to swim more.
There is no doubt that getting into the pool more frequently will increase your “feel” for the water, improve your endurance, and, if you do the correct ratio of drills to intensity, your speed.
With the limited hours you have to dedicate to improving swim speed each week, you might think every second should be devoted to building yardage in the pool. To those with this mindset, drills are a waste of time. Of course fitness is important, but good form is even more essential. Swimming may be the most technique-sensitive sport, and the water shows no mercy for those with bad technique.
Specifically, drill work will do the following for your stroke: