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Training Tip of the Day: Improve Your Stroke

Olympic gold medalist reveals a common swim mistake—and how to fix it

"Swimming faster and more efficiently isn't about moving your arms through the water like a windmill. It's not about who can turn their arms over faster. Swimming is a whole lot of feel for the water and not that much movement." To develop a better feel and to stroke more efficiently, try putting paddles on before you take the plunge. "Figure out how to pitch your hand and actually pull water. Think about taking the water in front of you and pulling it. As soon as you reach your belly button, you're going to push the water behind you."

—Melanie Valerio won her Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta games for the 4x10 relay and has since gone on to compete in Ironman competitions

As reported by Marty Munson

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