8 Tips for the 50 Freestyle

8 Tips for the 50 Freestyle

Ah, the 50 free... my FAVORITE. The 50 was my top focus event through college, with my fastest SCY times clocking in at 22 mid. Here are my top 8 tips to make your 50 free as fast as it can be:

  1. Breathe as little as possible. You move your body out of streamline position every time you turn your head to breathe. In order to minimize any hiccup in your stroke, breathe less! If you can limit your breaths to 2,1 or 0 breaths per 50 your tempo will remain uninterrupted. You need to practice breath control in order to build up the lung capacity to breathe less. Work breath control training into your practice routine. 
  2. Find the balance between fast tempo and power per stroke. Everyone's first thought in sprinting is FAST TEMPO. Although fast tempo is important, it is more important that you are pulling water. You will start to slip through the water if you speed your tempo up too much. Find the right balance between fast tempo and strong power per stroke. 
  3. Reaction time off the blocks is EVERYTHING. Make sure you are training your reaction time in practice and dryland. The difference between winning a race and coming in second comes down to hundredths of a second. You do not want to lose a race because your reaction time off the block was a tenth too slow. 
  4. Find the right amount of underwater kicks for YOU. It is so easy to look at fellow swimmers and believe you should do what they do. In reality, everyone's swimming style is different. Some swimmers have stronger underwater kicks than others and that's ok! The key to underwater kicks is to find the sweet spot where you are still producing top level speed and not slowing down. The minute you start slowing down, you've gone too far underwater. Some swimmer's sweet spot is 3 kicks, some 5, some 7 etc. find what is right for YOU. 
  5. Explode through your breakout. After you've found your underwater kick sweet spot, EXPLODE through your breakout. The goal is to get into your stroke rhythm without any hiccup or pause. Drive your legs and pull with intense power in your first stroke to break through the water surface. 
  6. Speed up in and out of your turn. Momentum, momentum, momentum. Do not slow down into the wall. After you flip, plant your feet and push off the wall as hard as you can so you can produce the most power possible. The turn can make or break your race. Use it to your advantage.
  7. Get in a proper warm up. Make sure you are working on tempo drills, power per stroke drills and speed drills before your race. You need to be warm and ready in order to generate the speed and explosiveness needed for a fast 50.
  8. You always have more to give. Remember, you will always have more in your tank than you think. The last part of the race from the flags to the wall is not easy but you have to dig deep and speed up into the finish. 

 Sprint time! Go get 'em



  • Himothy

    Jamal gotta be lying, the world record for 50 meter freestyle is 20.91 seconds, 18 seconds is not possible.

  • Jamal Brown the III

    I swim 18 segund fgreheestlye!

  • Jamal Brown the III

    I swim 18 segund fgreheestlye!

  • Jiajia

    Good tips!

  • Lila Schuyler

    I always come back to look at these tips before a meet. I’m actually on the way to a meet- these tips really help!

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