Articles by Coach Shev

Coach Shev, has been contributing to the development of our great sport since 1990.
We hope you will find his following samples of articles to be stimulating. Your comments are welcome!

Our articles links published in USA, AUS, Germany, UK .......
Self-Hypnosis in Sport

Swimming in the Zone - Tips and Hints on Training Your Mind
Success in any area of performance involves using your mind as well as your body. Your mental
approach to what you are doing includes your belief, attitude, confidence in yourself and your team,
your ability to concentrate well, cope with mistakes and....
http://swimming.about.com/od/sportpsychology/a/swiminthezone.htm (About Swimming)

Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique Practice for Improved Swimming Performance
What is the most effective breathing technique for swimmers? Coach Shev Gul takes a look at diaphragmatic breathing for swimmers and how to achieve it while swimming. Using this breathing method in swim practice could help a swimmer perform better in
http://swimming.about.com/od/swimworkoutsandskills/a/dbt_breathing.htm (About Swimming)
Summary: In this paper Coach Shev Gul will be bringing a breath of fresh air to the subject ... (for an answer,
see below coach Shev Gul`s, article headed, ...
PS- Thanks to my med student daughter, Hanna`s. annual exam tantrums, for stimulating me to write.
Coach Shev Gul takes a look at diaphragmatic breathing for swimmers and how to ... They are written by swim coach Shev Gul, who operates the California ...
Presented By Coach Shev Gul, BSc, ASCA, Fellow Fistc(cc), ASA - London ... Developed by Coach Shev Gul - SM for training and competition-see sg article ...
WSCA--WSCA member Shev Gul has written an article on people who fear water. The "aqua-phobia" article
Guest Coach: Coach Shev Gul · "If you don’t know how to get a free ride from nature, your swimming is not
 built on a balanced foundation." ...
By Coach Shev Gul - London BSc Eng, Asca, Wsca, Fistc(cc), NLP Mp & AL Sportmind Consult. ... Contact: Coach Shev Gul in London. E-mail: gulshev@aol.com ...
Giessener Schwimmverein
Das " Kurz-Lagen " Konzept : Training
Quelle: ASCTA, aus. The Journal for Swimming Research. Vol 16, 2004, Training.

Technique Support - Key Drills (fc)
Swimming Technique Fundamentals Series
         Front Crawl (FC) Technique Essentials
         Back Crawl (BK) Stroke Technique Essentials
         Butterfly (FLY) Stroke Technique Essentials
         Breast Stroke (BR) Technique Essentials
The Breathing Profile - Characteristics of a Swimmer
Breathing Coaching In Sport - A Fresh Perspective
Dances With Water
Stroke Timing Correction
The Art And Science of Swimming
A Summary of Our Stroke Technique Teaching Sequence
Breathing Control Fundamentals - Technique
Intergrating Breathing With Body Roll
Swimming Economy - Momentum
Effective Learning Strategies - Tips and Techniques
          World Swimming Coaches Association - WSCA Newsletter
Performing In The Zone
NLP and A.L. Techniques For Sport
Self-hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Self-Hypnosis in Sport
Reflex/Subconscious Swimming
Short Medley (SM) Concept
Re-learning from the obvious - Swim fundamentals
Pizza arm action - Teaching br stroke pull
Silence is Golden - Feel Development
The ART; Technique, Swimming, Teaching and Coaching
Instant Refuelling - Mind and Body
Armless Strategies
Balance - A Fresh Perspective
The Grab Start - A Check List
Pure Technique vs Physical Kamikaze
Food for Thought
Roll vs Pull
Role of Choreography in teaching swimming technique
Under Our Skins - The future of our sport
Foamless Practices
AQUA PHOBIA - The Anatomy and Effective Treatment
Technique - A National Quest
UK Sport PLC - Prospecting for Gold (A letter-reply from No. 10 !)
A Letter to London Mayor- How to reduce crime through better sport initiatives
To: Tony Blair - The Prime Minister
Sport, Crime and .......
The FA's Missing Link - Football Coaching

Technique Support - Key Drills (fc)

The Key Drills - fc

1. Popov`s Rock & Roll and Glide Tall     (develops roll, breathing timing and balance)
2. Super Slow Skimming                          (develops a relaxed high elbow recovery and balance)
3. Roll Like a Log                                    (develops fixed head position,roll and balance)

These drills will maintain the quality of your fc stroke technique. Always keep practising them in a playful, relaxed and deliberately slow mode. Always keep going back to them, for the rest of your swimming careers.

FC Technique Summary

* Swim with back of the head in line with spine, Long Axis-LA (for perfect balance)
* Eyes looking down (keeps the body tallest and balanced)
* When breathing-in, head relaxed and rolls with body/torso (keeps the head on the LA)
* Always breathe-in with one goggle out of the water
* When breathing on the RHS, top eye as looking toward the 'one o'clock'
* When breathing on the LHS, top eye as looking toward the 'eleven o'clock'
* When breathing-out, as face returns into water, spread the exhalation until next inhalation
* Enter front hand in front of the shoulder line, and 2/3 of the full arm reach (body roll/hip rotation
   timing starts at this point)
* Remember: It is the body roll that makes the arm go/reach forward (imp!)
* The under arm: when hand beneath and in line with eyes, is flexed 90 deg.
   And, from this position, the hand keeps accelerating backward (power phase) as the body roll/hip
   gets out of its way
* On completion of the hand pressing backwards, finger tips should be pointing down i.e, palm looking
* Arm recovery is initiated with elbow, with high elbow leading the recovery until the elbow is in line
   with the shoulder. During the arm recovery hand is kept close to the body (imp!)
* Front entry, high elbow maintained, fingers pointing down with palms looking down
* Maintain a continuos and relaxed long leg kicking action, initiated from the hips
* Always learn to swim with relaxed and light arms

Important !

Swimmers:   Print a copy of this email for your swimming technique development file.

Parents:       Take a copy of the above list with you - when you are observing your child`s training
                   session. Check out the swimmer`s FC technique progress -against the points listed above.
                   And give him/her a feedback when you get back home.

Good luck and keep me posted!


On more drills for smarter and effective training:
Contact Coach Shev Gul. gulshev@aol.com Tel- 020 8886 1119



Front Crawl is the fastest stroke of all four swimming styles; fc, bk, fly, br

The technique essentials in FC are summarised below.

  • A balanced body position must be maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • A good body roll around the Long Axis (LA) must be present.
  • Head position fixed on the Long Axis and eyes looking down.
  • During breathing (inhalation) head rolls with the body.
  • Breathing with one goggle out of the water is a must.
  • A good breathing technique (correct inhalation and exhalation process) and frequency must be maintained – on every 2nd or on every 3rd stroke.
  • Relaxed high elbow arm recovery and flat and relaxed hand entry at all times.
  • From 90 deg. high elbow position, faster under arm action, always.
  • Hip (core power) rotation action starts with the forward hand entry.
  • A narrow, relaxed and continuous leg kicking action initiated from the hips.
  • For a smooth, efficient, effortless and faster FC technique; relaxation, breathing technique, (DBT) stroke timing, stroke range-distance per stroke and rhythm, all play a vital role.

For more info on Swimming Technique Clinics, contact;
Coach Shev Gul, www.swimmtech.com, gulshev@aol.com Tel: 020 8886 1119


Back Crawl (BK) is the third fastest stroke out of the four swimming styles; fc, fly, bk, br.

For a smooth, flowing, efficient and faster BK, the following technique qualities must be learned and mastered.

  • A balanced body position must be maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • A fixed head position is a top priority in BK.
  • Hips are kept high.
  • As in the fc, body rolls around the Long Axia (LA)
  • During each body roll, shoulders must clear the water.
  • Relaxed and straight over arm recovery is followed with little finger leading the entry in to the water.
  • Depth of the arm is a function of the body roll.
  • Accelerating an under arm from 90 deg. bent elbow is essential.
  • Breathing: Inhalation as one arm enters, exhalation as the other arm enters the water.
  • Kicking: from the hips, long and straight legs, a narrow kick, smooth, relaxed and continuous.
  • Learning stroke timing is a must for speed development and fast BK swimming..
  • Relaxation, timing, breathing technique, rhythm, stroke rage – stroke length are key to a faster BK swimming.

For more on BK Stroke Technique, contact:
Coach Shev Gul, gulshev@aol.com, Tel: 020 8886 1119, www.swimmtech.com


Fly stroke is the second fastest swimming style out of the four swimming categories; fc, fly, bk, br.

For a flowing, efficient and faster FLY stroke, the following technical and biomechanical requirements must be present.

  • A balanced body position most be maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • Head is kept in line with spine and eyes are looking down.
  • Body / hips roll around the Short Axis (SA).
  • An undulating body-dolphin movement is maintained.
  • Arms and Legs move simultaneously.
  • High elbow principles are maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • High hips position is maintained
  • Breathing is executed with face-eyes looking down.
  • A controlled inhalation and exhalation technique is vital for efficiency.
  • Kicking: 1st kick, as hands enters the water. 2nd kick, as hands approach hips.
  • Breathing on every 2nd stroke is the preferred pattern.
  • Good timing, relaxation, stroke range-stroke length, rhythm and breathing control technique (DBT) must be maintained, for a faster Fly stroke development.

For more on Fly stroke technique, contact:
Coach Shev, gulshev@aol.com, Tel: 020 8886 1119, www.swimmtech.com


BR stroke is the slowest swiming style out of the four; fc, fly, bk, br.

For a flowing, efficient and faster BR stroke, the following technical and biomechanical requirements must be present.

  • A balanced body position is maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • Head is kept in line with spine.
  • As in Fly stroke, body rolls around the Short Axis (SA).
  • An undulating body movement is present.
  • High elbow principle is maintained throughout the stroke cycle.
  • High hips and high knees position - close to surface is maintained.
  • Fast arm action is executed in front of the chest, with elbows close to the water surface.
  • Breathing on every stroke, with face and eyes looking down.
  • A controlled – timing and duration of inhalation and exhalation action is maintained.
  • Arms and legs move simultaneously.
  • A strong kick and fast arm action is the key for a faster BR stroke.
  • Kicking: with feet turned out is directed backwards and out, with toes pointing downward. Toes-soles touching on completion of kicking.
  • Timing, relaxation, stroke range- stroke length, rhythm, controlled breathing technique (DBT) and good undulation must be mastered well for an economical and faster BR speed development.

For more on BR stroke technique, contact:
Coach Shev Gul. gulshev@aol.com Tel-020 8886 1119 www.swimmtech.com

The Breathing Profile - Characteristics of a Swimmer

Finding about a swimmer's breathing profile would be an invalubale info resource and an educational exercise for both the coach and the swimmers too.

For Breathing Control Technique coaching and to swim faster contact:

Coach Shev Gul
E-mail: gulshev@aol.com
Tel- 020 8886 1119

Re-learning from the obvious - Swim fundamentals

To: ASCA-WSCA Editor
Dec 07, Coach Shev Gul

Re: Some new light through the old window

Our sport could be re-energized and brightened up a bit, by coaches and sport scientist having another look at the 'obvious' !

Here below are couple of examples:

  1. Kicking off the Kick Board !

    Since balance is such a precious and precision linked concept-reference point, in the acquisition of stroke technique excellence, why do we continue encouraging our swimmers, teachers and coaches to throw spanner in to the balance mechanism, with the use of Kick Board.

    Is it not time that we have a break from using the Kick Board, especially at the grassroots level (6 - 11) of our sport ?

    Please, lets encourage some debate in this area !

    Lets shine some " new light through the old window".

  2. Balance & Timing

    Having naturally (in a natural way-without the Kick Board) learned, tasted and felt the meaning and the importance of the balance concept first, here below is another example (obvious!), how it becomes a 'natural feeder' for the mastering the timing concept in swimming too - correct stroke technique acquisition process;

    Floatation (Eureka!)

    Weight of object in the water (Wt obj) = Weight of the water displaced (Wt h2o)


    Center of Gravity of the object in the water (CG obj ) = Buoyancy Force (BF h2o)

    Perfect Balance: When CG obj in line with the BF h2o

    The Tool: Keeping the head centred on the Long Axis
    (i.e., the weight of our head, Wt head).


    Precision in movement must be the golden goal to aim for

    Timing in; breathing, body roll, hand/arm recovery, hand entry, momentum exchange-transfer, kicking....

I look forward to asca valued comments.

Kind regards


Pizza arm action - Teaching br stroke pull

To: Editor - American Swimming Magazine
Fm: Coach Shev Gul - London, 10. 07

The power of metaphors in teaching swimming skills and technique

A metaphor suitable for all abilities and ages.

One of the most fastest, and natural way for the skill, understanding and knowledge acquisition to take place is through the creative use of metaphors (A.L. fundamental).

In teaching swimming skills-technique; from nappy, competitive, olympic to senior citizens level, I have always sought to find out the most effective communication- linguistic strategies, which learners can lock-on instantly to.

What stimulated me to share these few lines with ASCA/WSCA was; when the 3 1/2 years young little Sophie's mum, came over to me on the pool deck and said " Shev, you have got the message across to our daughter Sophie so well that; in the house, on the way to the nursery, in the supper market, in the car and everywhere we go, she just can't get enough practising her br stroke pizza arm action"...

" Hands round the pizza, and chop it/slice it "....

For some time, I've been using the 'pizza' metaphor in teaching and correcting the br stroke arm action to every ability group-level with some instant connection and success.

And here is the recipe;

Dry land practise:

Line up the swimmers along the wall facing pool.

Get them to extend their straight arms, in front of them and shoulder level

Leaving their elbows fixed, and parallel to the ground, ask them to drop their wrists and their lower hands slightly pointing to the floor.

Leaving the elbows high and in a fixed position, get the swimmers to move their hands and their lower arms outward in a circle, at mid chest level, around a body-wide imagery pizza which is positioned - horizontal in front of their tummy.

As the palms meet in front of their chest/tummy, ask them now to 'chop/slice their pizza' outward really fast, sharp and in a straight line.

After slicing the family size pizza into two halves, allow the long arms to rest for a second, (very important) before the hands and the lower arms resume again the continuous the " hands round the pizza, and chop/slice it fast" action.

Now take your pizza to the pool:

Push and glide in a streamlined position, nose pointing down-balanced body, arms extended in front, and no kicking. Continue the " hands around the pizza, and chop it " action in the pool. Making sure the swimmers rest their arms for a sec. after each chopping/ slicing action. Take a breath after making-executing the three pizza arm actions, and rpt.

When ready, integrate the ' pizza ' arm action with correct br breathing and leg action technique-timing.

Make time to taste the pizza underwater too:

And, finally top up your pizza arm action with some tasty underwater practices.

Slip down underwater, approx 4ft deep, and take 4 to 5 underwater pizza arm actions before refuelling the lungs with some fresh O2, and keep repeating the cycle till you reach the other end of the pool.

Enjoy your very fast, and tasty br pizza take-away; swimming!

Coach Shev Gul - London

Thanking ASCA for the inspiration and the light....

Silence is Golden - Feel Development

To: ASCA-WSCA Editor
Fm: Coach Shev Gul Sept 07

Feel development - swimming

" If only, teachers and coaches encouraged swimmers to try to taste swimming quietly, and introduced 'silent swimming' sets in their workouts......

we would develop athletes with a better feel for the water, and better feel for their movement through the water..... "

Silence is gold!


The ART; Technique, Swimming, Teaching and Coaching

To: ASCA-WSCA Editor
Feb 07, Coach Shev Gul

Techinque in Sport

Why promotion of more awareness of ' technique ' in sport is so important.

" Art is Long. Life is Short " Art:           Something we define as being beautiful.

Technique:          The Art and the method of doing something skilfully.

Swimming:          Is an Art

Teaching:            Is an Art

Coaching:           Is an Art

By making the ' technique' the corner stone and the foundation of the knowledge base;

we make the sport more stimulating, interesting, a better understanding of the meaning of art-sport, better understanding of mind-body connection, provide a vehicle for self expression, increase the retention in sport, learn how to become stronger, grow higher and perform better, develop creative and thinking athletes, teachers and coaches, give a better reference point- meaning to the sport........

" Technique is, a perfected skill in the execution of a bodily movement.... not something finished yet, but the result of a certain skilled observation "

.... Shev Gul

Think technique, See technique, Hear technique,
Feel technique, Perform technique

Shev Gul - London

I congratulate WSCA/ASCA with their visionary 'global coaches participation' call.

This will make our sport a world leader among other sports -
accessibility, democracy, participation, in decision making.

It will take our great sport to new knowledge levels -
sharing ideas, concepts, experiences.

It will promote more world coaches involvement in the development
of the world swimming sport.

It will facilitate an organic growth in individuals - coaches development
and in the evolution of the sport.

It will continue to lead the world of sports in coach education, development
and leadership development.

It will help to bring an end to the ' prescriptive teaching and coaching '
philosophy era - we need freed thinking athletes and coaches..............

Instant Refuelling - Mind and Body

To: ASCA - WSCA Editor
May 05, Coach Shev Gul

Helping swimming athletes to recover even faster between the heats
and competitions.

Simple and natural methods are usually the best answer!

Hope you find the following steps useful for your athletes instant recovery.

" When the breath is dominated, mind is subdued." .............Hatha Yoga

" Better breathing technique, promotes better mind calming, body relaxation, higher energy levels, faster healing and helps one become more physically and mentally centred." ...................N. Zi

" 40% of the O2 inhaled is consummed by the brain- the CPU and the CC"

Here below the correct steps again:

First, Learning the technique

Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit down. And imagine your breathing is from
your core centre (below your belly bottom).

  1. Exhale the residue air in your body-lungs.
    Notice how your stomach go inward, toward your spine.

  2. Then, inhale slowly via your nose to the count of four.
    As you inhale, notice how your stomach rises (pushed outward by your flattening diaphragm).

  3. Hold your breath to the count of two.

  4. Then, slowly exhale via your mouth strongly (pursed lips) to the count of six.
    Notice how your stomach goes inward.

  5. Hold your breath again to the count of two.

  6. Again, exhale the residue air till your stomach goes inward even further.

Repeat the above steps and cycle six times, as often as possible. Until the technique
becomes automatic.

And now, you have started and learned breathing via your belly instead your chest
(shallow and inefficient breathing).

Breathing like this all the time, will make you always; feel fresher, relaxed, energised, long lasting
in your mental and physical engagements-work, and will prolong life and offer protection against
stress and will promote faster healing-recovery from illness too.

Re: For Elite Athletes - Instant Recovery:

Go straight into the above 'four' - inhaling (nose), and to the 'six' - exhaling (mouth) sequence.
Repeat 6 times...

Thanks for taking part.



For More info on A-Z Breathing Mechanics and Technique - better performance

See: http://swimmtech.com/1a.htm

To: Tony Blair - The Prime Minister

UK Sports Plc, Prospecting For Gold!

From: Coach Shev Gul, BSc, Fellow GB ASA Fistc(cc), ASCA-USA, MP NLP & AL Sportsmind Consultant
www.swimmtech.com, Tel- 00 44 208 886 1119, gulshev@aol.com

Dear Tony Blair

"Sport (Art) is Long. Politics (Life) is Short"!.............................................. (sg)

Just as some of our top international companies like Barclays and British Airways have hired foreign Chief Executives, many of our leading national sport bodies such as Football, Rugby, Cricket, Rowing, Swimming etc. have followed suit by hiring top foreign coaches.

But unlike the Chief Executives of these top international companies, our imported coaches are not brought in to revamp or to restructure sport in this country. It seems that they are not empowered to bring in fundamental, effective and lasting change from grassroots level to the very top. What is needed is radical changes to the outdated management and coaching practices and to change the deep-rooted culture and mentality of our sport systems- which is the reason for our under performing sportsmen and sportswomen (Ref; Swimming Times, Aug. 2000, Technique A National Quest - The Missing Link!, and in www.swimmtech.com -Articles Page).

Since these imported captains of our national sports are not hired and are not empowered to completely overhaul our under performing national sports systems in the UK, we are simply deluding ourselves and misdirecting our resources by running after `quick-fix` remedies.

It is time to stop avoiding the real issues of our sport.

The real issues confronting UK Sports Plc are:

* The outdated sport management styles

* The old and limited sport teachers and coaches training programmes

* Lack of visionary sport leaders (scholars, scientists, coaches like; Doc Counsilman
F Carlile, C Colwin, E Maglischo, J Leonard etc..of the world swimming sport).

Can we name any UK sports coaches which have come up with original and ground braking ideas and concepts, which have helped to the development of their respective sports, and have been adapted and used as a reference by the teachers, coaches and the athletes of the world sport community? Any worthy name-contributor-from the UK Swimming Sport during the last half century? Any names in the `World Swimming Hall of Fame`?

* A shallow scientific know-how and knowledge base (application)

* A deep-rooted culture which is resistant to the new changes and afraid to embrace progress.

* A funding relying on the lottery hand outs (Only a few years ago, our National Athletics Sports Body was headed/allowed for bankruptcy !).

What we need is a national strategy for sport. The present system is fragmented, politically motivated and left to individual entrepreneurs whose main interest is profit (Man United!).

Now that we have the 2012 Olympics, there is a good case for a strong separate Government Department and perhaps even a permanent `think tank` for GB sport.

"The true value and the benefits of sport to the nation as a whole need to be reassessed and seen totally from a different and fresher perspective - Some New Light Through Old Windows is urgently needed."

e.g, UK Sport (Swimming) is built on a wobbly foundation

When it comes to swimming in this country, - yes we have engaged Bill Sweetenham from Australia to `prospect for gold`!. But his remit is to tap the rich seams of our talented 13-14 year olds. He could be lucky next time round, although GB has not won any swimming gold medals in the last three Olympics!

But this does not address the long term needs of UK swimming. Many of our other national sports such as soccer and cricket (where are the gold medals, FA? and where are the overdue Ashes?) are up against the same problem.

What is needed is a Supremo to overhaul swimming from grassroots level. The very foundation of swimming in the UK needs to be overhauled if we are to build long term and lasting change.

We have to start rebuilding from the base

Swimming in the UK is presently built on weak foundations, and its future structure and its future prospects will remain wobbly unless we tackle the fundamental issues such as Core Skills and Correct Technique Acquisition for the competitive swimming population under the age of 12/13 year old - the very base and future foundation of the swimming sport in UK.

In UK , we have adapted a `retrain `philosophy instead of `retain `philosophy - in the case of, `early development of core skills and stroke technique perfection ` for the age group, 7 to 12/13 years old (ref; B. Sweetenham, 01.09. 03 - Stroke Technicians for UK Swimming).

I trust that you will find the foregoing update on the current and the future position of UK Sport in general interesting, and hope it will give you some positive `food for thought`, for your future decisions relating to the sport in UK.

" Art-Sport is Long. Life-Politics is Short" ..............................(sg)

Look forward to your valued comments!

Coach Shev Gul - London

Tel- 020 8886 1119

Sport, Crime and .......

To: ASCA-WSCA Editor
Aug 07, Coach Shev Gul

A letter to our world leaders-politicians:

Change the world-minds through better investment into sport....

"You will never get a criminal, robber, drug dealer, terrorist or a murderer from a person who was given an opportunity to be involved in sport, become an athlete, and to belong to a socially stimulating sport club scene...."

By Coach Shev Gul, How to reduce crime - A Letter to the London Mayor, Dec 06.

Change the world-minds through better investment into sport....


The FA's Missing Link - Football Coaching

To: P.Hayward and M.Lawton - Daily Mail
Articles dd 26th March 07, pages 86 & 87
Please forward to FA, S. McClaren, Sport Minister.....

Re: The Missing Link

" The Art-Coaching is Long. Life-Politics is Short ".................sg

" Just like teaching, coaching is an art. You either have it or you do not "

" The current way of coaching has killed the spirit of natural desire for self expression in the players. And it has been taken away-killed by the managers and the FA who are in the wrong profession (run by the people who lack an in-depth understanding of the art and science of the bodily movement sports - football, and the human motivation) "

* Modern coaches need to be/have;

1st. Artist,
2nd. Scientist,
3rd. NLP-Mind Sciences Practitioner
4th. A strong sense of identity and presence - vision, experience, values, beliefs and principles
5th. Sport dynamics-politics.

It is time to be ' honest ' with ourselves......

" Art-Coaching is long. Life-Politics is Short "

Coach Shev Gul - London

BSc, WSCA, NLP MP, A.L. Fellow IOS(cc) ASA GB, Sports Mind Consultant

Breathing Coaching In Sport - A Fresh Perspective

Swimming - Running - Cycling

By Coach Shev Gul - London, March 06. Water World Swim, WWS , USA Newsletter


In this paper Coach Shev Gul will be bringing a breath of fresh air to the subject of most effective breathing technique in sport generally, and why the coaching and the medical community continue taking the breathing action for granted? The difference between the ineffective shallow ‘chest breathing’ and the natural diaphragmatic breathing ‘deep breathing’ technique, And since our infant days, how we have lost this nature given ability ` nature`s gift`.

He will be looking in some details (swimming and running contex), at the method of effective breathing technique development, progressive practices and drills designed and developed by Coach Shev Gul for dry land and pool training - workouts. Also he will be touching on some tips; how athletes can instantly refresh and recharge their batteries between the workout repeat sets and before, during and after a race-competition.

He reminds us again that ,

“ Relaxation at high speeds is the most important factor in winning the workouts, races and the Olympic gold medals” JW, GT - Popov.

And ,the only way to achieve it is, by re-learning and re-educating ourselves, our coaches, and our athletes, how to breathe properly, correctly and more efficiently; through the natural Diaphragmatic Breathing ‘deep breathing’ Technique, which will enable athletes to perform even better in training, in races and in their recovery.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique - DBT

In sport performance, there is a strong and a natural link between the following four areas of human mind-body system.

Effective Breathing -Technique
Internal State
High Performance

Proper and correct breathing technique is central to the ancient practices of Yoga, Qi Gong, Ayunveda and other meditation disciplines. Diaphragmatic ‘deep breathing’ awareness and practices is an important part of training for martial arts practitioners, musicians, vocalists, public speakers, dancers, as well as for the sport athletes too.

All our bodily actions; talking, singing, playing wind instruments, the outward force-power application with our arms and legs; hitting, kicking, pulling, stretching pushing, lifting, throwing etc., is done during the exhalation phase of our breathing process (a martial arts fundamental, for maximum work-power creation and application).

In swimming too, in all four strokes, main work is done during exhalation phase of our breathing process which, must be executed properly, correctly and fully during the swimmer`s arm stroke cycle.

Breathing (correctly exhaling and inhaling) correctly is critical in maintaining the level of oxygen for energy, keeping the correct pH levels in body, and enough carbon dioxide for bodily functions…

Why coaches continue to take breathing for granted?

Because we take breathing for granted, the information on the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing technique (DBT) is not widespread in today`s medical community! Illness and pathology, not wellness - better mindbody performance of an individual or a sport person - are not the priority of most healthcare practitioners!
In addition, things that are free and can`t be patented (like breathing) do not attract funding for research. So, little finds its way into popular medical and sport science research journals. And that`s why, it has escaped the sport research scientific community`s close attention. And, our Olympic coaches pay little or no attention to this `free` bodily function-subject too! (as I have personally discovered during my consultations with numerous top Olympic coaches at various sport conventions).

Shallow ‘Chest Breathing’

Unfortunately we continue living our lives and raising our athletes on a poor diet of shallow ‘chest breathing’ habits.

The good news is that the poor and ineffective breathing habits can be reversed. Among infants, correct breathing comes naturally. Observe a baby as it breathes to see its belly rise and fall with each breath. As we grow older we are thought to ‘suck in that gut’ and ‘puff out that chest’ as we try to look slimmer!

Such resistance to the natural breathing posture will restrict oxygen intake, which can lead to numerous physical as well as emotional problems.

Shallow ‘chest breathing’ invites problems by delivering less air per breath into the lungs. Less air per breath leads to higher number of breaths, putting in motion a series of physiological changes that constrict blood vessels. An imbalance between the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the lungs delivers less oxygen to the brain, the heart and the rest of the body.

Shallow ‘chest breathing’, promotes early fatigue in athletes, effects their rhythm and timing and, as their stroke technique falls apart, inevitably they start losing speed….

Learning the natural Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique is the answer!

Effective breathing technique has a dramatic effect on an athlete`s physiology, his/her internal state (relaxation) and on his/her ultimate performance.

Through the Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique (DBT), one learns how to control the inhalation and the exhalation process of the breathing action.

Proper and correct breathing technique = more energy for the body, more food for the working muscles and better metabolic action at the cellular level.

With natural Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique, our brain (human body`s biggest O2 guzzler!), is supplied and nourished with more oxygen. And, a brain with plenty oxygen will operate and control the physiological functions of the body more efficiently. This will result in the formation of a positive internal state - a relaxed state being induced into the athlete which, in turn will promote a superior performance to be achieved.

Progressive Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique Practises - Dry Land

First, with the help of a trained breathing coach, one has to re-learn again how to use and control the diaphragm movement correctly.

The key to a DB technique is,

On inhalation:   Quick and large volume of the air is to be taken in
On Exhalation:   A prolonged and evenly discharge of the air is maintained throughout the cycle of the                           motion being executed. (arm cycle-swimming)

A puffing action at the end of the exhalation phase, will enable the athlete to completely empty his/her air tank - lungs.

Note here; the amount of air being inhaled is always a function of the amount of the air being exhaled.

The DB technique must be learned and developed on the dry land first.
For the breathing process is a naturally occurring, automatic and reflex action.

Therefore, during exercise and sport performance, one does not and should never be thinking about their breathing action.

Below are some progressive DB technique development practices:

Walking Practises

Learning the DB technique first through walking action, is the best way to familiarise the mind and body system, with the timing and the rhythm aspect of the Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique-process.

Unilateral practices.

  1. Breathing in on every second step-stride. LHS and RHS practises. Just before the back feet is about to be lifted off the ground, a quick and large amount of air is taken in (via mouth).

    As the same foot moves forward and is about to touch the ground, A long, continuous and even exhalation action via mouth (with a puff at the end) is executed.

    Repeat 10 x 6 step-stride cycle

  2. Breathing in on every fourth step-stride. LHS and RHS practise

Bilateral practises.

As above, but breathing in on every 3rd, and 5th step-stride.

Treadmill - Gym Practises

The next phase of progressive dry land practices can be effectively achieved on a treadmill in the gym.

Starting on 3-4 km/hr treadmill speed, and then progressing on to 5, 6, 7 and up to 8 km/hr speeds, the DB technique is practised and consolidated further.

Using Arms (for swimming) - Dry Land Practises

Now, we are moving the practices to the arms (swimming specific).
Simulating -choreographing- arm action corresponding to all four strokes used in swimming, one can further consolidate the learning of Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique.(full details on the sequence of the drills can be obtained from coach Shev Gul, gulshev@aol.com).

In The Pool (for swimming) -fc

The progressive pool practice that can be used by coaches to teach DB technique to their swimmers and athletes can be summarised as follows:

  1. Holding on the rail - one arm
    The swimmer`s body on it`s side, extended arm/hand on the rail, face down, the upper arm resting on top hip, legs kicking to maintain floatation.

    Swimmer performs -practices DB technique sequence as taught by the coach, trained in the correct breathing method (DBT).

    Repeat: 6 times on LHS and RHS each.

  2. Push and Glide (BLV) Swimmer pushes and glides from the wall, in Body Long Vessel (BLV) position.

    DB control action is practised with one arm action, over a distance of 10 yards.

    Repeat: 6 times practising on RHS and LHS each.

  3. Super Slow Swimming
    The next phase of DBT drills are performed while swimming in super slow mode (SSS). Until swimmer becomes fully competent with the technique.

  4. Normal and High Pace Swimming
    Finally, swimmer starts incorporating his newly learned DB technique skills in fast swimming modes, until it becomes a reflex action.

Fly, Br, Bk Strokes DB Technique practises.

For full details on the suitable progressive practices for the remaining three strokes, contact Coach Shev, gulshev@aol.com

DBT for sport and general mind-body calming/relaxation - for life!

Breathing coaching for calming the mind and body for:

* Before performance

* After performance - recovery

* Instant relaxation - for life !

is different to that one for exercise and high performance-races.

For more info on the instant mind-body calming techniques, contact Coach Shev Gul: gulshev@aol.com

For further information on Effective Breathing in Sport,

Contact: Coach Shev Gul - London

BSc, ASCA, WSCA, FIOS(cc), NLP Mp, AL, Sportsmind Consultant

E-mail: gulshev@aol.com
Web: www.swimmtech.com

77a Derwent Rd
Palmers Green
London, N13 4QA

Thanking ASCA for its leadership and educational programme support extended to its member coaches.

Dances With Water - Nature

By Coach Shev Gul

Shev Gul
Shev Gul
To swim faster, we need to learn how to ‘dance even faster.’ How? Have a closer look at mother nature and you will see the answer. Take a free ride on mother nature’s rhythm train – if you want to get there faster. Pause, listen, feel the pulse, then flow away in harmony with mother nature if you want to reach your destination more relaxed and enlightened!

A training philosophy designed around development of our sensor/neuromechanical skills is the way forward for our sport. We have to teach our swimmers, from a very early age, how to dance with the water, just as we train gymnasts, dancers, and martial artists to dance with gravity. Swimming should be taught as an art in the same way.

In all movement arts, movement is broken down to its smallest precision components, then mastered around body balance by deliberately developing an inner awareness for naturally flowing and rhythmic body movement. Simple, progressive, mindful body movement practice is a key to becoming a great ‘dancer in the water’ and eventually an Olympic champion with superb swimming technique.

As our sport is continuously evolving, we may reap rich rewards if we studied sensor/neuro skills principles and started seeing swimming as an art/sport discipline. We urgently need to develop stroke artists to teach and coach swimming technique. The current desertion levels in our sport are running at nearly 80%. We can arrest this decline by teaching our swimmers at an early age how to dance with water, bringing more fun and enjoyment into our sport without compromising its great competitive spirit.

Perhaps a new Councilman or Maglischo can point the way by writing a new swimming coaches’ handbook about the sensor/neuro aspects of development. A book of this sort can help us ‘dance even faster’ and help move our sport into the fresh waters where MIND, BODY, and NATURE all swim in great harmony at last.

Shev Gul has been teaching and coaching triathletes, novice and advanced swimmers and Masters in London since 1990. He says "If you don’t know how to get a free ride from nature, your swimming is not built on a balanced foundation."

Back top.

By Coach Shev Gul - London, 17th March 05.


Stroke timing improvement for competitive swimmers

In sport, correct timing of the movement is everything.....

Balance, streamlining, body roll/undulation, stroke range, rhythm and relaxation are the stroke fundamentals and qualities we admire in elite swimmers.

Swimmers with great technique also exhibit an excellent tempo, rhythm and timing in their movements.

Technique deficiency or poor technique in competitive swimmers, can be associated with lack of correct stroke timing.

Competitive club swimmers whose progress (PBs) appear to have stalled or `hit the wall ` due to poor technique, can benefit greatly by getting their Stroke Timing reassessed by a qualified and experienced stroke technique specialist coach - i.e, a stroke technician.

Stroke technique deficiency can be put right by studying and analysing the Stroke Timing Characteristics (STC) of the swimmer.

A competitive swimmer with poor Stroke Timing Characteristics will never be able to maintain a good swimming momentum and speed.

In swimming, speed is maintained by preventing and minimising the deceleration of the swimming speed during each stroke cycle. And, this is possible to achieve only with a correct Stroke Timing technique.

Coach Shev Gul has helped many competitive club, national and international swimmers to regain their winning habits, improve PBs and their confidences by closely observing, studying, analysing and correcting the Stroke Timing aspects of their swimming technique.

Below is a brief summary of timing concept relating to all four strokes in swimming.

FC Timing

Arms -

  • As one hand finishes stroking, the other hand has already commenced the pressing/propelling action.
  • As the hand is about to enter the water, the under water arm has resumed a 90 deg position and the hand is apprx beneith the swimmers eye/face line.

Breathe -

  • As the hand enters the water, the head is rolled (with body) to opposite direction for the inhalation.

BK Timing

Arms -

  • As the hand enters water, for a split second, both arms are submerged beneath the surface.
  • The recovery arm reaches up to the entry slightly faster than the opposite hand completing the pull/push.
  • When the recovery arm is above the shoulder line, the under water arm is flexed approx. 90 deg and the hand`s position is in line with the recovery arm.

Breathe -

  • Inhale through the mouth with the first stroke.Exhale through the mouth with the second stroke.

FLY Timing

Kick -

  • First down beat kick occurs as the hands enter.
  • Second down beat kick occurs when the hands are approx. beneath the waist-during push phase.

Breathe -

  • Swimmer inhales split second before hands exit the water.

Head -

  • Face re-enter water split seconds before the hands enter.

BRS Timing - (wave type)

Kick -

  • To maintain a good BRS stroke rhythm (pull-lunge-kick) and the upper body`s forward charge-momentum, kicking starts when the forward lunge is approx. 3/4 through.

Breathe -

  • Breathe-inhalation taken during the in sweep of hands.

Head -

  • Head begins raising up with the start of in sweep.
  • Head re-enters water split second after arm extension.

For Stroke Timing Correction Consultations/Clinics,
contact : coach Shev Gul on tel: 020 8 886 1119.
Email: gulshev@aol.com website: www.swimmtech.com

Sept. 03
By: Coach Shev Gul London


Your intent: To be relaxed, just curious and in a playful learning mode.


The essential balance drills are summarised below. Print a copy for your pool sessions.

1. Kicking in prone position with head in line with spine.

Arms by hips - relaxed. Kicking continuously, movement starts from the hip with
loose ankles. Heels boiling the water!

Objective: When we have the head in the right position (in line with spine), body
will be balanced naturally in the water. And this translates in kicking with less
effort - energy cost reduced.

2. Kicking on back with head in line with spine.

Objective: As in item 1.

3. Rolling like a log

With head fixed, body on side, face looking up - toward ceiling. Roll entire body
around its Long Axis from shoulder to shoulder. Kicking continuously - narrow
but lively kick.

Objective: Teaches you to roll entire body during the stroke cycle, while maintaining
the body balance.
Body roll is vital for swimming power, economy, rhythm and speed.

4. Body balance on side

a) Arms by hips, push and glide on side, looking down and head in line with spine.
b) Ditto, but looking up toward ceiling. Short distances repeats - 10 yards.

Repeat (a) and (b) on the other side too.
Solid, narrow and continuos kicking - always!

Objective: Learning to balance the body on its side.

5. Body Long Vessel (BLV)

As in drill no.3, but with one arm extended. Bring shoulder toward side of the
face/cheek (not face toward shoulder). Keeping the head on the Long Axis - in
line with spine. Repeat the above drill sequence.
Kicking strong, narrow and continuous - Always!

6. Archer`s Arm - Zipping Up and Down

Start body position as in drill no.5, looking up first. Next, turn the head to be looking down. From this position, initiate the recovery of the top arm with elbow leading the way. Thumb brushing along your front top side. With hand, wrist and lower arm all in a straight line. Bring your elbow very gently to a position above your shoulder (Shark Fin position). Then return the arm gently back to its original position.
Take a breath by looking up. Then, look down and keep repeating the above drill sequence.

Objective: Teaching high elbow lead arm recovery, while maintaining a balanced
body position.


Practice always in a relaxed and playful mode.

Over 10 yds.
With a quality kicking action - continuous, lively, relaxed, narrow...

1. BLV (Body Long Vessel).... 5 LHS and 5 RHS repeats

2. Kayak Arm - Freeze Action.... 5 LHS, and 5 RHS, with a 90 deg. under arm
Relaxed over arm high elbow recovery.

3. Hip Rotation/Body Roll..... Take your 1st stroke and glide.
This is your first tasting of engaging
your core power-from Kayak Arm position.
5 LHS and 5 RHS repeats.

4. Take two Strokes and Glide... Execute as above.
Noticing the hip rotation/body roll.
Fast under arm. Enjoy/taste the long glide!
5 LHS and 5 RHS repeats.

5. Continuous Swim...... Breathing on every 2nd stroke.
Relaxed over arm. Fast under arm, 90 deg.
Good hip/body roll.
5 LHS and 5 RHS.

Head steady/fixed , but rolling with torso-body.
Breathing Technique: To be covered in the Phase III drills.


Also learn about the Diaphragm Breathing Technique.

For details see Shev`s website - The Articles Pages.


For details see our website - Articles Pages.


See Shev for details.


Incl. correct threshold and training speeds calculations. i.e. End1, End2, End3
You will learn how to maintain your learnt efficient stroke technique at a higher
speeds too. See below, the Stroke Length (SL) concept.

See Shev for details.


Distance covered per stroke is your ultimate goal in swimming fast, efficient and economical. i.e. How to keep your stroke rate down while swimming at a faster pace/speed.

See Shev for details.

Shev Gul

Tel: 020 8886 1119

PS - See our Feedback pages (www.swimmtech.com) to read on how our students
have benefited from our unique method of stroke technique teaching sequence.
Call now to find out more on: Tel. 020 8886 1119 or email us: gulshev@aol.com

Back top.

The Art And Science of Swimming

For Swimmers, Teachers and Coaches

Presented By Coach Shev Gul, BSc, ASCA, Fellow Fistc(cc), ASA - London

Aim: To share learning, exchange experiences, pass-on knowledge, and technical know-how.

(Seminar room)

"Thanking Asca for the inspiration and the light"………..

Heros & Mentors,

Doc Counsilman, F. Carlile, M. Schubert, E. Maglischo, C. Colwin, J Leonard, R. Dilts, G Lozanov…

Quotations (see sg website for some)

Designed to function on the land!…..

What are we really doing in the water?……..

80% of human body made out of water!…..


Based on,

a. Force Creation (resistance promotion!) - 100 years legacy!

b. Resistance Elimination (improved technique)

(video presentation)

Popov`s & Phelp`s Training


"Only Effective And Brain Compatible Teaching-Learning Will Stick!"………..sg

Fun, Multi Sensory, Whole Body, Natural Way……VAKOG

Respecting the Human Brains` Learning Process-Sequence….

a. Subconscious …………………………a. Incompetence
b. Conscious ………………………………b. Incompetence
c. Conscious .………………………………c. Competence
d. Subconscious (reflex) ……………d. Competence

Stroke Technique - Bio Mechanical Fundamentals

· Balance (cb & cg)
· Streamlining (body arrow)
· Roll (glide tall)
· Pulse (ride tall)
· High Elbow (kayak arm)
· Breathing (diaphragmatic and on LA)
· Stroke Length (dps)
· Relaxation (performing in the Zone - breathing rhythm)
· Sportsmind (mental skills)


Developed by Coach Shev Gul - SM for training and competition-see sg article

SM-Short Medley Concept (by sg)

FC , BK Long Axis Strokes
FLY, BRS Short Axis Strokes


"If we could say it, we wouldn`t have to dance it"

"Best way to explain is to do it"

"Brain is an image processor not a word processor"

" If it does not move, it won`t groove"

For all four strokes.- poolside

(Pool Demo)


"If you don`t know how to get a free ride from water, your swimming is not
built on a balanced foundation"…………………….. sg-dances with water,TI.03

Fc, Bk, Fly, Brs

Phases: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII (see sg website for some)

All Stroke Technique skills built around the "Balance" concept.

See article; "Dances With Water".....sg


"Breath control fundamentals more important than mechanics and frequency of breathing"…..sg

"Like singers and musicians, swimmers should be thought first about breath control technique…cc

"Ghost-like glide swimming only possible with an efficient breathing technique"………………….cc

* In swimming relaxation = efficient breathing technique (is this what Popov talks about?)

* Respiratory System muscles (Do you know about the muscles involved)?

* Diaphragmatic Breathing V Inter-Coastal Breathing (Do you know the difference)?

* Breathing -exhalation and inhalation- for Fc, Bk, Fly, and BrS

* Olympic champions, Phelps and Thomson breathe on every stroke

* Balance, Streamlining, Body Roll/Pulsing, Arm Timing, SL and Effective
Propulsion; all depend on good breathing technique -breath control

* How to make breathing action in swimming automatic-like reflex land breathing

* Special practices for breath capacity and breath control development

* Breathing techniques for different speeds and paces


"Stimulating and meaningful drills make perfect strokes"…………..sg

Different drills for different ability/stroke groups


"Prescriptive teaching and coaching will never stay- stick"…………sg

a. It is all about,

Empowering swimmers
Passing on the toolbox
Helping knowledge ownership

b. Training Program Priorities

Technique (1st) - Resistance Elimination (v, r2, e3)
Body Strength - Core Power
Energy Metabolism Systems - Aerobic, Aneorobic, ATP-CP
Muscular Strength (ST, FT)
Dry Land - Flexibility
Sportsmind Skills
Social, Family, Personal, Leisure, Life Style

c. Axis Based Training - Technique Development (sg)

d. Stroke Timing Characteristics (STC) (sg)

e. Monitoring (T-30)

f. Evaluation

g. Consolidate Learning (experience, knowledge, wisdom, revaluate, redesign)

h. Share, Exchange Experience and Pass-on the Knowledge Flame….


Methods and Techniques

"How to learn is more important than what to learn"……………A.L fundamental

· Learning Planning
· Mind-Body Preparation
· Learning Techniques- Hot Tips!
· Making Learning Permanent
· Revision Techniques (goodbye to exam blues!)


Adaptation, Adaptation, Adaptation, adaptation ………..

Planning for the training of energy-metabolic systems

Aerobic O2 Capacity&Endurance - End1, Threshold, End2
Lactic Acid Anaerobic Capacity&Endurance - Power- Spr1, Spr2, Spr3)

Motor Nerve
Muscle Fibre - ST, FT


"The races are won and lost in training sessions "…………………sg

Intelligent and Creative Training Planning

Seconds (time is precious!)


"In sport, sportsmind skills will always have the cutting Edge"……………sg

"Show the athletes how to win their inner game too"………………………. ...sg

"Sport sparks and stimulates creativity, RB/LB in harmony"………………….sg

NLP and A.L. Methods and Techniques

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Sport
Accelerated Learning in Sport

Relaxation and Mind Calming Techniques
Mental Rehearsal Techniques
Self Motivation Strategies
Cocentration and Focusing
Goal Achievement Strategies
Desired Performance Script
Mental Toughness-Thinking Strategies
Emotional State Mastery
Coping with Distractions and Anxiety
Post Performance Strategies


Education, Education, Education….

Learning, Learning, Learning……..

Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Sharing……

Empowering, Empowering, Empowering……………..


How does it look like?

A-Z Designing Swimming Excellence Programmes for Clubs

Note- The above is an outline only of each section to be covered in greater depth

By Coach Shev Gul,
BSc, ASA, Fellow Fistc(cc), ASCA, Nlp-Mp

London, 05.
Tel. 00 44 020 8886 1119

Similar workshop presentation done for UNILEVER Plc- Liverpool HQ

The Art And Science of Swimming


"Breath control fundamentals more important than mechanics and frequency of breathing"…..sg

"Like singers and musicians, swimmers should be thought first about breath control technique…cc

"Ghost-like glide swimming only possible with an efficient breathing technique"………………….cc

* In swimming relaxation = efficient breathing technique (is this what Popov talks about?)

* Respiratory System muscles (Do you know about the muscles involved)?

* Diaphragmatic Breathing V Inter-Coastal Breathing (Do you know the difference)?

* Breathing -exhalation and inhalation- for Fc, Bk, Fly, and BrS

* Olympic champions, Phelps and Thomson breathe on every stroke

* Balance, Streamlining, Body Roll/Pulsing, Arm Timing, SL and Effective
Propulsion; all depend on good breathing technique -breath control

* How to make breathing action in swimming automatic-like reflex land breathing

* Special practices for breath capacity and breath control development

* Breathing techniques for different speeds and paces

For more info and clinics on Breath Control Fundamentals

Contact: Coach Shev Gul, Tel- 00 44 20 8886 1119
gulshev@aol.com, www.swimmtech.com

(Core Power) - fc

Here is a brief summary of tips and drills on, how to incorporate the breathing technique into ones body roll (core power).

Normally, if the swimmer is totally streamlined and has mastered the essential balance drills well, one does not need to worry about their breathing technique too much.
As the body travels through the water with head leading the way, a bow wave is created naturally around the swimmers face. As long as the head remains on the Long Axis (LA) position, there is enough air space generated in front of the swimmers` face/mouth for the air to be take in - without having one, to crane their head up ( note again, the importance of having learned and mastered the body balance concept here !).

So, during the learning process, what steps/drills will accelerate the mastering and integration of the body roll and breathing during the full stroke cycle?

Practising the following drills sequence will do the trick!

Body Long Vessel:

Push and glide with body on its side , head looking down, one arm extended in front, entire body streamlined like an arrow. Legs; kicking continuous, narrow, strong and relaxed-movement initiated from the hips, with loose ankles.

Kayak Arm Action:

From the above body position , recover the top arm with elbow leading the way in a relaxed manner. And bring the elbow to a position above the ear - wrist/hand following from behind and recovering close to the body. Imitating an Archer`s Arm shape, the upper arm with its high elbow apprx above the ear, is poised for a relaxed entry and charging forward. Hand, wrist and lower arm all on a straight line (like a big wooden spoon!), in front of the shoulder, with relaxed flat hand facing down in a position just passed the head ( visualise Popov`s hand entry!).
As the upper arm takes the `Archer`s Arm` position, the other arm in the water/under the body, naturally takes an apprx 90 Deg. elbow position beneath the swimmers eye level/face ( the weight of recovering and raised upper arm guides the arm under the water to take this shape and position naturally). Both arms are now, as in the `kayak pull ` position ( practice this kayak arm action in front of a mirror).
Note, how both arms have taken up a high elbow position, poised for most efficient and economical pulling action to take place.. Which creates a good leverage and natural simultaneous two arm action ( recall Popov`s drills).

Hip Rotation/Body Roll:

As the lower hip commences its powerful rotation action, at the same time, the under arm follows the hip as fast as possible until it is extended back. ( this fast hip/arm action is very vital for timing, rhythm and speed. And it must be done fast, even when practising in a Supper Slow Swimming mode-SSS.

This powerful hip rotation/body roll action, assissted by the fast lower arm completing its final phase, will send the upper arm charging forward, in front of the shoulder, parallel to the Long Axis, close to the surface and in a relaxed mode with palm facing down. The hand should be so relaxed that one can feel the fingers vibrating as the flow of water passes through them.


During the powerful hip rotation/body roll, the head which is fixed on the body Long Axis, just rolls naturally with the entire body. Without the need to lift the head when taking a breath (as explained above).This is how one achieves swimming with only one goggle out of the water !...And later on to the `Sneaky Breathing` technique!

A tip here: Increasing your leg kick, will help you to maintain the head on the Long Axis, and will prevent you sinking under the water as you get ready to take a breath. And make sure to exhale completely as the face/torso rolls back into water.

Repeat the above ` kayak arm action` drills over a short distance first i.e. 10 m.
Focusing only on one side of the `kayak arm action` at a time ( say first 10 m, paying attention only to the arm which is under the body and to the powerful hip initiation action). Then, focus on to the other side/arm and hip - on the way back to the wall.

The above drills will speed up the body roll/breathing integration process fast.
And also will pave the way to the development of ones bilateral brearthing technique.

These drills are very vital, if one is to develop an effortless and economical fc swimming style.

Happy Rolls !


Back top.

Swimming Economy - Momentum

How to improve and maintain ` the economy of movement` in swimming.
(a fresh perspective to swimming dynamics). By Coach Shev Gul
UK Swimming Magazine, Page 28, July 02.

The forward momentum created by leg action and rhythmic rotation of torso (hips, back, shoulders) during the stroke cycle, can be kept/locked inside swimmers wheel of motion - the harmonic and cyclic forward movement of the body. With this insight, we could considerably improve swimmers/athletes efficiency of movement in the water. The power and energy contained within this wheel of momentum of the stroke cycle, can be utilized more productively.


By paying more attention and being more aware of the ` timing of momentum exchange` i.e. transfer and recycling of core body power, from one arm to the other arm, during the full stroke cycle (For a closer look on the transfer of momentum concept, see the end piece/example below). Getting into a full swimming rhythm (through body roll), as soon as the stroke cycle is initiated, is a vital component of a good swimming technique. And, developing an inner awareness on how great a harmonic and rhythmic swimming movement feels is a key to a swimming excellence too.
Really, what swimmers and athletes ought to be striving to achieve is, a fuel/energy efficient mind - body system in the water. And, the best way to achieve this economy is, through a good body balance, (knowing how to get a `free ride` from the nature-water), maintaining an arrow-like streamlined body and holding an excellent technique throughout the duration of swimming.
We have to explain to our swimmers/athletes that, developing a great timing of the momentum transfer/exchange - during the full stroke cycle, must be their number one goal.
Paying attention and knowing how to harness the impetus gained from the rhythmic motion/momentum of the body can help us; to swim even faster. Learn to be more relaxed and can help to the development of a much better connected mind-body system in the water.
Teaching our kids/swimmers how to `dance with water ` at the very early age, can pave the way to producing the next generation of champion water artists and athletes who are totally in-tune with the rhythm of nature-water. Lets help and show to our swimmers and athletes, how they can ride better on this swimming train, which is flowing away effortlessly on its own `wheels of momentum` with a great rhythm and harmony..........................


Excellence is best learned through observation. By studying in detail how excellence is performed/produced by the top artists - Olympic/World champions. An excellent example to the balance, rhythm and timing in swimming, can be also observed in the ordinary, ` Human Walking` action. A closer look/study at how we all do it so well, would reveal to us, a rhythmic and cyclic motion at its best (poetry in motion!). One can also notice, how the momentum exchange/transfer takes place, from one leg to the other leg during the full leg cycle. An excellent example to the timing of forward energy transfer within the ` walking wheel of motion`.
And, there it is, the answer to how our body in the water, should be moving during the full stroke cycle i.e. balanced, in time and rhythmic/cyclic. This is the most beautiful and effective example that a teacher/coach can use to demonstrate the above ref point to his/her swimmers and athletes. It is simple, easy to connect, natural, can be observed, and most importantly, can be felt kinesthetically i.e. how a balanced, in-tune and rhythmic movement in the water should look and feel like. SG

Back top

Effective Learning Strategies - Tips and Techniques

Dedicated to all those early rising swimmers, pupils, athletes (and coaches)
who also have to find some quality time for their academic excellence too………….sg

By Coach Shev Gul, www.swimmtech.com, London, Apr 05

"How to Learn Is More Important Than What to Learn"

(Natural way learning, A.L. fundamental)


  • Make a list of the key topics to be covered
  • Work out how many days can you allocate to your studies. Say, 15 or 30 days…
  • Distribute these topics throughout the number of days available for your studies
  • Make a draft distribution initially, and leave it aside for a day or two
  • Make adjustments to the roughly prepared plan. Single out priority topics etc.
  • Now you have a `plan of learning` action which will boost your confidence and
    make you in control. Then proceed with the fine-tuning of your study plan
  • Make an hourly study plan corresponding to each day
  • Build in your daily study plan, a quality time for relaxation, play and laughter
    (is the best medicine!)


Mind Calming and Relaxation Techniques prior to commencing learning/study.

  • Yoga Breathing
  • Paying attention to your body`s natural rhythm - breathing

You may find the following self-talk helpful;

"With each breath I take I can become more aware of the natural rhythms of
my body and the feelings of comfort that follow."

(repeat 3 times slowly)

Recalling a happy learning experience

  • Relive again the full VAKOG of that past happy memory
  • See it, Hear it , Feel it -by slipping inside that old memory
  • Do a self affirmation talk - reminding yourself "how a capable learner you are"
  • And "learning is going to be easy and enjoyable again"
  • You are ready - motivated and stimulated for another meaningful learning experience.


Learning is most effective and sticks-stays with us- best when it is done in a way
that is compatible to our brain`s natural way of learning and processing information i.e,

  • When it is learned in a relaxed and playful mode
  • Through curiosity (the way a child learns - total immersion)
  • By using our multi sensory channels (VAKOG)
  • VAKOG- Our Visual, Audial, Kineasthetic, Smell and Taste-sensory channels
  • In a fun-creative way (say, through collaboration).


How can we ensure that our study and learning experience will serve us well (i.e., that
we will be able to recall and remember it effortlessly) when it comes to our judgment
day of Exams, Tests, Races and Competitions -

lets rename them as being our moments of; "celebration of our learning, self-
discipline, purposeful preparation and hard work" efforts.

Our learning can be made permanent and meaningful when;

  • After each 30 min of study we take 5-10 min of break

    Make yourself a hot chocalate drink, play with your brother or sister, give a
    cuddle to your mum and dad; tell them how much you love them,
    listen your favourite group`s CD (mine is Beach Boys-Good Vibrations,
    Surfing!), play with your pets (not spiders and snakes!), share a joke, look at
    your holiday pictures, polish and count your swimming medals and awards etc..
  • Spend 2 min reviewing that material you have covered half an hour ago.
  • Keep repeating the above study /learning pattern for the duration of your
    allocated study time. Making mini notes, mind maps and sketches as you
    study the topic/material. Make them colorful, outrages and standing out!
  • After the study period, relax by listening some baroque music or have a power
    nap of 5-10 min (yes, do not be embarrassed to have a mini sleep during
    the day time too!). Your CPU will be grateful and will reward you for that!
  • Before going to bed, spend ½ hour reviewing your mini-micro notes,
    mind maps and sketches….make them interesting, eye catching, funny.
  • Treat yourself to a good and uninterrupted 8 hours sleep (yes, eight hours!)
  • During our sleep-time, our previous day`s learnings are consolidated i.e.,
    All the previous days activities and experiences are sorted out, coded processed
    and filled away in our short and long term memory bank vaults….
  • First thing in the morning, spend another ½ hour only reviewing your micro-mini
    notes, mind maps, sketches etc, on the material studied the previous day
  • Your short and long term memory banks have been nourished again
  • Keep the above resourceful learning pattern/sequence for every day, every week
    and every month of your studies.

· Revision-

A week or a few days prior to your exam, test, competition and race, just going through your mini notes, mind maps, sketches etc, will help you perform even better.

You are confident, self-assured and ready to celebrate your learnings i.e., exams, tests, races and competitions will be rewarding for you.

You can say goodbye to exam blues too.....

It is true;

"when we see our studies and revisions as just another curious intention to discover and to find out about the subject-topic matter, we notice our concerns about the future exams just dissolves naturally"

· Well done and good luck!

By Coach Shev Gul - London

BSc, Fellow ASA Club Coach Fistc(cc), ASCA, A.L.& Nlp Practitioner

For more information on A.L.-Accelerated Learning Methods & Techniques,
advice and consultancy by the trained A.L. practitioner Coach Shev Gul, contact:

Tel -00 44 20 8886 1119

ps- Thanking to my medic student daughter, Hanna`s annual exam tantrums, for stimulating me to write the above notes!….

Performing In The Zone

UK Swimming Magazine July03

By Coach Shev Gul

Success in any area of performance involves using your mind as well as your body.
Preparing yourself in physical skills takes care of your Outer Game. And,
preparing yourself mentally to perform well is the essence of your Inner
Game (T Gallwey).
The Inner Game has to do with your mental approach to what you are doing.
This includes your belief, attitude, confidence in yourself and your team, your
ability to concentrate well, cope with mistakes and pressure, and so on.
When your Outer Game and Inner Game are working together, action flow
with kind of effortless excellence that is called, performing/playing in The Zone.
When in `The Zone,` one experiences the following:

1. Performance comes without effort and without having to think about it.
2. A feeling of confidence and absence of anxiety and self-doubt.
3. No fear of failure and self-consciousness about achieving your goals.
4. Focusing on performing beautifully and excellently.

Physical practice is what builds the skills of your Outer Game and puts
them into `muscle memory` so you do not have to think about it during the
game. Similarly certain mental exercises can help you to improve your
Inner Game.
The following are some principles and practices that one can use to develop
their Inner Game (Mental Skills). Give them a go!

A. Action on the Outside, Relaxed on the Inside

You will find the following steps useful to practice before you start your
competition or performance:

1. Take four deep Yoga breathes (deep from your tummy) and centre yourself.
2. Now, imagine you are bridge over a flowing river, and liken your thoughts
to leaves floating in the water - you watch them float by, but do not involve
yourself in these thoughts.
3. Then, feel a sense of power and and strength in your body and focus your
attention outside of yourself, on whatever is most useful.
4. Your `minbody` is ready to perform successfully.

B. Visualising Success and Mental Rehearsal.

Visualisation is used by athletes and sports coaches to help improve
performance. It is our ability to practice a process or activity in our minds.

1. Chose a skill you want to improve.
2. Think of a good role model for that skill. e.g., a star athlete (Popov),
your coach or another player in your team.
Picture how the movement/action is done in your mind as if you are an
observer watching it on a movie screen.
3. Step into your mental picture as you are the star athlete (Popov) and
imagine you are doing the action exactly as you pictured it.
See, Hear and Feel the whole thing.
4. Future pace. Imagine yourself performing the movement/action successfully
in the future.
5. Then, do a self-talk (affirmation), that you are now empowered with all the
resources you need to reproduce a successful performance now or a time
in the future.

C. Anchoring your Inner Resources

Anchors or triggers can help you quickly get in touch with your inner
resources when you need them. It is a natural process of association which
help you recall positive experiences.

1. Identify an inner resource that would help you improve your ` Outer Game`.
e.g., determination, motivation, confidence, focus, calmness etc.
2. Remember a time when you experienced that resource very strongly.
3. Find something to use as an anchor to trigger that resource (object,
mental picture, keyword etc).
4.Step into the resourceful experience. See what you saw, Hear
what you heard, Feel what you felt as clearly as you can.
5. Break state. Focus your attention to something else.
6. Now, turn your attention on your anchor. You should immediately get the
resourceful feeling back. If you do not, repeat step 4 a few more times.

D. Focusing on Feedback instead of Setback

Good athletes learn from their setbacks, but do not get obsessed about them.
The following two suggestions can help you see things from a positive

1. Think of your mistakes like you are watching yourself on a movie screen,
looking at at yourself as if you are a good coach giving yourself a constructive/
positive feedback.

2. When you recall your good performances, put yourself into the picture and
relive the experience as if you are right there doing it.

(Thanking R Dilts for the inspiration).

Comments welcome!

Coach Shev Gul
Asca, Fistc(cc)

Tel- 0208 886 1119

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NLP and A.L. Techniques For Sport


"In sport, sportsmind skills will always have the cutting Edge"...........sg

"Show the athletes how to win their inner game too"...........................sg

"Sport sparks and stimulates creativity, RB/LB in harmony"..............sg

NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming in Sport
A.L.- Accelerated Learning Methods in Sport

Relaxation and Mind Calming Techniques

Mental rehearsal and Visualisation Techniques

Sport Hypnotherapy and Self Hypnosis Skills

Self Motivation Strategies

Cocentration and Focusing

Goal Achievement Strategies

Desired Performance Script

Mental Toughness-Thinking Strategies

Emotional State Mastery

Coping with Distractions and Anxiety

Post Performance Strategies

Erasing Past Negative Experiences-Memories

Changing Personal History

Erasing Limiting Decisions and Self Beliefs

Resolving Internal Conflicts

Changing Unwanted Behaviours and Habits

Phobia Cure


By Coach Shev Gul - London, Dec 06

Improve your focusing power, performance and well-being

What is Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be defined as a process which relies on communication and making desired behavioural changes using the subconscious mind.

When we are under hypnosis, a state of relaxation and receptivity is achieved which facilitates a direct access to our subconscious mind for the desired reprogramming and change works to be carried out, either by ourselves (self-hypnosis) or by a qualified practitioner (hypnotherapy).

Focusing power

Through self-hypnosis one learns to focus all the relevant mind-body faculties on the accomplishment and achievement of a single goal.

Perhaps the bestway to describe the focusing aspect of hypnosis is, to compare it to a magnifying glass that can concentrate harmless sun rays so strongly into a narrow focal point that they burn a hole through a piece of paper.

A natural phenomenon

Hypnosis-trance is a naturally occurring phenomenon. We can see this in children and adults; when they are totally absorbed and lost in watching an emotionally captivating movie, listening to stories about legends and heroes, when we are in the presence of a natural wonder (the grand canyon, the pyramids), a magnificent animal (a lion, a dolphin), star gazing, admiring a master piece of art work, soaking in a breath taking musical or dance performance, reliving our happy childhood memories, or when we are just day dreaming.

There are four stages to the self-hypnosis process. These steps can be learned easily with the help of a trained and qualified practitioner.

1. Fixation, 2. Relaxation, 3. Receptivity, 4. Repetitive Suggestion.
Followed up with regular autosuggestion.

The myth

Like many of us, I have been always a bit sceptical (and scared too!), about the power and the effect of hypnosis on human beings. Probably it was the perception and the influence gained through watching, reading and listening stories being told about the stage hypnosis acts performed by those mesmerising magicians!

It was only when I did a professional development course (Master NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming and the Hypnosis-Hypnotherapy certificate, ITS - London, 2002), that I've managed to free myself from these wrong perceptions, and the limiting beliefs which I've been holding all my life about the natural hypnosis phenomenon.

But the truth is, the stage type hypnosis, has got nothing to do with the main purpose and the objectives of the hypnosis-hypnotherapy practised by the neuro sciences trained practitioners, and as it is practised in the medical profession.

Under a hypnosis-trance, we cannot induce new behaviours into a person which are against the grain of their core belief systems. For example; one cannot plant suggestion to a person under hypnosis, say; to rob a bank!, to run completely naked down the Oxford Street-London!, to steal their neighbour's car, or cat!

The truth

But through hypnosis; we can control a physical pain, perform better in our work, in sport and change our attitudes to exams, tests and interviews. We can eliminate fears, worries, anxieties, stress, cope better with an illness, negative emotions, limiting beliefs, habits, negative memories, experiences, and become a more confident and successful person, and so on.

How it works

When hypnosis is induced we enter into an altered state of consciousness, where our cognitive conscious process is temporarily suspended. This enables us to have direct access to our subconscious mind - to the real driver of our bus!.

Having gained access to our most powerful, and infinitely capable subconscious mind (which is responsible for running all of our past, present and future learning, memories, experiences, behaviours, thoughts and the smooth running of our magnificent brain, the bio-computer, and our most complex mindbody system), we can make the new learning to be faster, permanent and carry out the necessary behavioural changes-i.e., reprogramming of our minds, so that we can act, behave, perform, achieve and live our lives more fulfilling, resourceful and in a much more healthier way.

Summary-The benefits of hypnosis

Self-Hypnosis skills

Individuals, sport-athletes, art-performers and for anybody wanting to improve their lives.

Use this powerful focusing skill to draw out and develop your mental and physical capabilities.

Self-Hypnosis is a priceless life skill, and is more effective than group hypnosis in preparing individuals for a better performance, a healthier existence and a more successful working life.

Hypnotherapy Treatment
  • Stress Management
  • Pain control
  • Anxiety Management
  • Behaviour Change
  • Coping with Illness
  • Loss Management
  • Negative Emotions
  • Loss
  • Disappointments
  • Tests
  • Exams
  • Interviews
  • Self Confidence
  • Performance
  • Public Speaking

Contact : Mr S. Gul BSc, NLP MP - Master Practitioner
Tel: 00 44 208 886 1119
gulshev@aol.com or info@mindbodyresources.com
Web: www.mindbodyresources.com

Reflex/Subconscious Swimming

A popular set by Coach Shev for a taste of reflex swimming - fc

Your intent to be: Totally relaxed and a playful approach to practices/drills.
An effortless, easy/lazy and gentle movements at all times.

Non negotiable: Quality kicking. Continuous, long legs, relaxed, lively, narrow...


1. Supper Skimming

Development of a smooth, high elbow leading, with over arm recovering close to
the body and skimming the surface of the water with super relaxed finger tips.
1xL Breathing on every 2nd stroke, LHS
1xL Breathing on every 2nd stroke, RHS
2xL Bi breathing every 3rd stroke

2. Popov`s High Elbow Roll and Glide Drill

Remember how it is done on the video. Totally relaxed, breathing on the body
roll. BLV- Body Long Vessel position and counting to six between each roll.
Over arm recovery again in skimming mode. 2xL.

Mastering this drill in a totally relaxed manner is your ticket to a superb


Repeat of above set with normal stroke, almost skimming but maintaining the
easy/lazy and a flowing movement.


SSS (Super Slow Swimming) - Momentum Transfer

Focus: Feel the momentum transfer from one arm to the other arm during each
stroke cycle.
1xL, noticing and listening how, R hand/arm takes over the momentum
from the L hand/arm-commencing its exit/recovery.
1xL, noticing and sensing how L hand/arm receives the momentum from
the R hand/arm-starting its exit/recovery.


Subconscious Swimming - Reflex Mode

Just letting go. Becoming `one` with the water.
Swimming in an auto mode. Floating like a foam/cork.
No internal dialogue.

Your other then conscious mind (OTC) is ready to do the swimming for you.
Just the way it enables you to walk, run, cycle, drive, eat, write, talk,
breathe etc........
And thats how the elite athletes do it - in an auto/reflex mode!

Continue nourishing your technique with frequent mental imagery practices too.

Sweet Rolls!


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Short Medley (SM) Concept


Vol.16 2004, Training, ASCA & USA Swim.Sport Medicine Committee



Introducing a new swimming training and competition category to our sport.

A. Short Medley (SM) – LA category – FC/BC

B. Short Medley (SM) – SA category – FLY/BS

Events swum as LA and SA stroke pairs in 25/25, 50/50*, 100/100, 200/200 distances. (*) See the below considerations for the 50/50 energy delivery system.

These new swimming events would bring some fresh excitement to our sport and new challenges for the competitive athletes. By incorporating more drills and practices with the emphasis on the similar axis stroke grouping (FC/BC-LA, FLY/BS-SA) teaching stroke technique process would be made more streamlined, more focused, axis specific, accelerated learning, naturally progressive and more correctly taught.

In addition, the muscle memory ingraining and co-ordination transfer would flow naturally from one stroke to the next (these areas well covered at ASCA World Clinics 1999 and 2000).

In order to provide the above benefits to our swimmers, coaches could consider the following points (as suggested by T. Laughlin in response to my article SG/07/01).

a) Teach drills so that common – axis strokes compliment each other.

b) Give more sets in which swimmers alternate FC/BC in the same set and FLY/BS in the same set.

c) Have informal team trials or district competitions offering short medley (SM) events in these distances.

A national and international postal competition in the short medley events would be an attractive proposition to be considered.

Can you imagine how exciting and challenging it would be if a competitive swim meet was based mainly around short medley, standard IM and relay medley events? I personally think that medley exclusive swim meets would contribute a great deal to the development of our sport.


Summary of training/swimming development benefits and tri- energy system considerations:

Age Group swimmers’ training based around the common-axis strokes approach will speed up the correct stroke technique acquisition process. Short medley (SM) events can contribute a great deal to that process. Also, SM categories can be used to enhance 10-14 year olds Age Group training programs by including it as a substitute to 100m sprint events. At this distance, the three energy systems (ATP, anaerobic and aerobic) overlap. In the 10-14 age group the anaerobic component of the energy delivery system is not yet fully developed. Therefore, there is really no logic in our coaches continuously trying to over stress and over stretch to its extreme limits an energy system, which is still in its biological development phase.

By delaying the use of 100m events for 10-14 year olds, we may even hit the gold! … i.e. by finding a partial answer to the early burning syndrome associated with our sport. For example, the tri-energy system training associated with 100m events can be replaced with 25/25 FC/BC, 25/25 FLY/BS, the SM common- axis stroke events. 100/100 and 200/200 are other aerobic based SM combinations. The 50/50 SM event (100m event) can still be used (with short intervals between each 50) instead of 100m in sprint training.

I would like to thank J. Leonard and T. Laughlin for responding to my original proposal on the short medley concept and for encouraging me to summarise my thoughts with this article. I look forward to hear ASCA members/coaches valued opinions and their help to fine-tune the above covered short medley concept so that our swimmers and our sport can benefit fully.

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Armless Strategies

UK Swimming Magazine Page24, Aug 02

" Secrets to learning can be found, in the use of whole body" - Socrates

Aim: Swimming Technique Development
Objective: To elicit the use of whole body approach in teaching / coaching swimming.

Learning about how to tap into the power within, through the body roll and pulsing, can help shift the century old emphasis from, the` arm power swimming` to the ` core body power` swimming.
So far, we have been applying the `core body `concept mainly at the elite levels. We may not be doing enough, for this important concept to filter down to the grass-roots of our sport - the age group level.

One way our teachers / coaches can contribute to the development of the whole body awareness approach in teaching swimming technique is, by deliberately `disarming` the swimmers, i.e., initially, by not emphasising and by not focusing on the use of arms, as a priority item, in the technique teaching sequence.

In this way, we can promote and accelerate the correct and sequential learning process more effectively in swimmers and athletes. The ` whole body awareness first, principle`, ought to be applied throughout the every step of the ` four pillars` of a swimming technique excellence program; a. Balance, b. Body Roll / Pulse, c. Rhythm, d. Relaxation. The whole body (mindbody) system concept will serve our sport better than the, now out of date, `arm power` approach, which we still continue promoting and prescribing so liberally to our swimmers. We do have sufficient evidence to say confidently, that the role of arms in the swimming excellence formula, should be seen in the context of and as: `the forward momentum transmitters - power exchange facilitators ( not, as some kind of mechanical ` pulling` component). In my several letter of exchanges with the great man, Maglischo, who responded to one of my articles to ASCA, headed `ROLL vs PULL` SG/07/01, in which, I argued that, the time has come for the word ` to pull` to be dropped from our teaching/coaching vocabulary. Because, the word ` to pull` will always promote an image of `force and exertion ` in the swimmers minds. A wrong signal! But, we do know very well that the power, speed and the economy in swimming, does not come through the application of the force and the exertion (the arms). Instead, max speed and rhythm is achieved by the fusion of relaxation and core body power concepts ( see, Swimming As Martial Art Form, ASCA vol 02/01).

So, why do we still continue giving confusing and incorrect swimming technique instructions ( to pull) to our swimmers? Which promotes and programs our swimmers to struggle, instead of eliciting relaxation and artistic expression. We have to free the minds of our swimmers and athletes from these negative and progress hindering images and instructions - imposed by our old fashioned (die hard) teachers and coaches. The body roll and pulsing, generates and promotes the rhythmic, cyclic,and the harmonic movements, which can be observed in a performance of swimming of excellence.

In summary: Developing and applying armless swimming strategies in teaching swimming technique, can encourage and foster a more effective and more natural, learning process to take place in swimmers. Technique excellence in swimming will be only reached through the application of, the whole body, core body and the mindbody systems in full............

Happy Rolls
Coach Shev Gul
Asca, Fistc(cc)

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A Question Of Balance

Watermarks Page 4, Jan 02

Balance is foundation (mother) of all substances and states. Pause, and take a good note of it...
It is at the heart of our lives and existences. And, it is at the core of our universe and our own physical world-nature. Take` the balance` out of the equation, and we would be switching off the
`the pulse` of our lives and we would be looking at a nature- minus rhythm.... Our own planet earth is driven by balancing systems to .i.e. our weather systems, seasons, all life cycles, earth quakes, diseases, motions, movements etc are all a product of balancing forces in action. we are kept alive by our own balanced `mind and body` system. Which, interacts and is in balance-harmony with its physical surroundings-nature. Balance is in every thing that we do. We design balanced training programs, we strive for a balanced diet, and for a well balanced life style ( work, rest and leisure, in a balanced proportion/ratio). During our early years of growth, we have learned first, how to crawl,walk and as our balance evolved/developed we have mastered the running, gymnastics, dancing, athletics, skating, cycling, climbing, lifting, playing tennis swimming etc...

That brings me to` the balance` concept in our sport-swimming. For the past century our swimming sport has been fed on a one dimensional-`physical (arm) power` diet.
Swimming must be learned and taught in a `3D way` context (mind, body and nature-water).
Our leading coaches ( N. Thornton, G. Touretski, R. Quick, D. Frost, M.Shubert, B Sweetenham and many others), they have all paid attention to the importance of `the balance`concept in our sport. And, most recently the `TI way` with their ` fish like ` swimming campaign, has helped ` the balance` concept to reach every level of our swimming population, teachers and coaches. `The balance concept' has given our stagnant (science v speculation ) sport, a new life and a fresh perspective. With it, our sport is more confident more dynamic and our swimmers have a solid reference point i.e. a direction, meaning and purpose. Without mastering `the balance`concept first, our swimming would look spineless, mechanical and out of tune-time. And, we would continue directing our swimmers to swim `up the hill`..... Learn how to balance your body in water ( LA, SA ) better and you will develop a greater inner- awareness and you will understand more about the 3D way swimming (mind, body and nature-water all in harmony).
You will need this tool if you really want to improve/fine tune your technique. Balance concept helped me peep into the secrets of Popov`s technique ( Balance, Rhythm, Range and Relaxation all in harmony).` The balance` concept has been and will always be a foundation to my teaching and coaching philosophy too. I am very grateful to ASCA for making it possible for me - to make the above connections on `the balance` concept in our sport...........SG

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Watermarks Page 8, Dec 01

A. Balance - On the ` take your marks` position, is your centre of gravity (CG) in line with the front of the block.

Shifting the CG - On the starting signal, do you pull down and move your CG past the point of balance?

C. Is forward motion initiated through the hips?

D. Body Uncoiling - Are the arms extended forward fast?

E. Body Extension - Is the body fully opened up before feet/toes commence to thrust off the block?

F. Streamlining Arms - Are the upper arms squeezing the head behind the ears?

G. Head Position - Is the head ducked down as feet thrust powerfully backwards?

H. Head and Spine - Are the head and spine in line? - On the same LA ( Long Axis).

J. Entry - Is the whole body like a needle on entry, disappearing through the same narrow hole?

K. And with no splash!

Hopefully we are now ready to begin imitating Popov`s grab start! SG

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Aug 02

In 5-10 years time most of our swimmers will be able to swim in the intelligent, technical, economical and flowing styles of great Popov and Thorpedo. Thanks to our new bread of dynamic, progressive and highly knowledgeable teachers and coaches, who are well informed on the operation and the training aspects of ` mindbody` system of their athletes.

Along the only criterion currently used for choosing a winner (time), it won't be long before we start setting up a technical committee appointed to judge/select the `true winners` in our sport i.e, winning based on a ` highest technical merit and the artistic-natural expression`.

Since swimming is seen as an art sport, it would be very timely that we started thinking about laying down some principles on the ` technical merit and the artistic- natural expression` aspects of a swimming competition.

What could be considered as a criterion for ` technical merit and natural artistic expression`?
It must elicit a swimming where all movement of body components (whole body) has been executed as close as possible to its natural range of motions, which, it has been created/designed for (biomechanically) by the nature. With this approach we would be producing swimming champions whose body movements are aligned/compatible with the natural range of motions i.e,  The Pure Technique.........SG

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Food for thought

Some popular coaching quotes from Coach Shev:

" Approach learning in a playful mode and with a child - like curiosity"

"Your well formed outcome is to learn how to swim;
Gracefully, Effortlessly, Economically, Mindfully and Naturally, just like a fish"

" The three Ps for a peak performance; Positive attitude, Patience, Practices"

" Only mindful/purposful practices makes it perfect"

" Key to a free ride lies in discovering your `sweet spot` " (TI)

"Kicking is for propulsion not for a balancing act"


"Have you tasted swimming down hill yet?" (TI)

" Fine tuning of technique is a lifelong habit"

"key to performing in the `zone` is relaxation"

" Make your next practice drill even more relaxed than the last one"

"Mental practice/imagery is vital to technique learning"

"Balance, Rhythm, Range, Relaxation and Imagery skills are your keys to technique excellence"

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Swimming Times Magazine Aug 2001

The UK`s current international standing in swimming (Sydney Olympics!), football, hockey, tennis etc. is a strong evidence of our general decline in these popular sports.

It is also very clear that the teaching and coaching philosophy in these sports have evolved around goals and objectives without a key missing link - The Technique. A fusion of, the art of the human body movement and the in-depth technical/technique know-how.

Technique has been -and still is- "the weakest link"! And thats why time and time again, we are easily brushed aside and counted out at the international competitive events.

We really need to be telling our swimmers, teachers and coaches loudly and clearly to; think technique, dream technique, eat technique, drink technique, swim technique, teach technique, coach technique, practice technique,perform and compete technique.....

Our current swimming publications in UK are not adequate enough to serve the technical technique needs of our swimmers, teachers and coaches. They must open up their doors to the new ideas, achievements and contributions of successfultop international swimming coaches and sport scientists more frequently.

The Rodale Swimming Publications of the USA, is an excellent example of how this can be done. They regularly publish tips on swimming technique, by inviting distinguished international coaches and experts to write about their valued experiences and advice on swimming technique related topics.The articles by regular contributors such as Richard Quick, Mark Shubert, John Leonard, Bill Sweetenham, Wyne Goldsmith, Cecil Colwin, Terry Laughlin etc, are very educating and stimulating to read.

What a breath of fresh air and excitement, Terry Laughlin`s recent article in the Swimming Times, on `Stroke Length` (SL) concept, has brought to the UK swimming coaches. I wonder, how many of our teachers/coaches in the UK, would know the true meaning of this `stroke fundamental ` concept? His landmark workshop in Leicester on, `Fish-Like` swimming technique was a great gift to the participating teachers and coaches too.

The message coming from the participating delegates is this; the UK swimming teachers and coaches are ready to take on board the internationally tested and applied ideas and concepts on swimming technique.

With a more dynamic leadership providing them with the right tools and know-how i.e., openness to new ideas, more quality education, more access to lectures, seminars and workshops presented by top international coaches, scientists and Olympic swimmers, we can raise the technical/technique know-how levels our UK swimming coaches to the international levels......

Swimming Times Magazine Aug 2001

Coach Shev Gul - London
Tel-O20 8886 1119

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FOAMLESS PRACTICES - for beginners

UK Swimming Magazine Nov 2002

Just like a parent witnessing their baby take his/her first steps to walking, swimming teachers/coaches can taste the same feelings and excitment when they see their pupil commence floating away in the water. I find being part of this magical moment very rewarding and fulfilling too...

Getting Beginners Water Mobile Even Quicker

Getting beginners to become water mobile in a shortest possible time must be a swimming teacher`s top aim. By actually delaying the introduction of learning aids (floats etc)
learners can be made water mobile much sooner. With the following (foamless) progressive practices one could achieve this within 1-2 sessions.

After making learners feel totally relaxed and having loosened them from their fears, the following steps will ensure for an accelerated learning to take place.

All practices to be repeated six times. With plenty of positive feedbacks.

* Teacher by the poolside, class in the shallow end. Learners` hands on the railing, knees on the floor, demo breath control.

* Knees apart (for balance) encourage learners to touch the water with their foreheads. Eyes shut or open.

* As above but blowing bubbles/exhaling into water with eyes open.

* Hands on their hips, face in the water, eyes open, exhale gently.

* Hands back on the rail, arms extended, legs stretched back, feet close, top of toes resting on the floor, holding breath with eyes open.

*· Recover legs - Body position as above, pull knees-in fast toward the tummy and return feet onto floor.

* Body floating - Hands on the rail, keeping chin on the chest, face in the water, holding breath and watch relaxed legs/feet rise to the surface. Learners get their first taste of floating.

*· Encourage to recover legs from body floating/horizontal position.

* Teacher gently holding learners` lower arm, encourage to let both hands off the rail and recover legs.

*· Repeat the above with teacher maintaining contact only with his/her finger tips touching the swimmer`s lower arm. Recover legs.

*· Hands off the rail - From body floating position, encourage learner to let go both hands off. Recover legs.

*· Let go both hands from the rail by pushing/trusting arms off the rail. Float with feet leading backwards and recover legs.

* Class move back 2m and float unaided in prone position with arms stretched in front. Back of head in-line with spine.

* Commence kicking - Repeat above with fc leg action. And repeat over longer distances followed with a good leg recovery.

*· Learners for the first time have become water mobile without any swimming aids !….

*· For a good body balance position, teach swimmers to keep the head always in-line with their spines. A stroke fundamental.......

UK Swimming Magazine Nov 2002

By Coach Shev Gul - UK Swimming 02, email: gulshev@aol.com

AQUA PHOBIA - The Anatomy and Effective Treatment

A presentation-paper by: Coach Shev Gul - London, June 06

What is Aqua Phobia?
A fear of water.
A non resourceful state, negative feeling, an unwanted reaction, a pattern of behaviour experienced by an individual, which prevents them from learning a water skill or freely entering a mass-volume water environment such as, pool, sea, lake or river.

Water Phobia Origins:
Fear of water can be acquired as a result of any of the following direct or indirect learning experiences, as well as through the medium of subconscious learning process.

a)    Direct Learning Experience

A kinaesthetic origin and personally experienced through once body; doing it, feeling it, physically experiencing it.

b)    Indirect Learning Experiences

  1. Visual modality origin; through witnessing an incident, seeing a film (Titanic, Crocs and Sharks Wild Life Documentaries!), dreams;

  2. Auditory modality origin; through reading, talking about it, hearing (The film music-Jaws,) story telling.

c)    Subconscious Learning

Learning to fear water environment has manifested itself subconsciously; through negative early childhood experiences, our dreams, secondary gains, positive intentions (protective) - the needs of the part responsible for our negative feelings and behaviour; in the presence of larger mass-volume of water (pools, lakes, seas, oceans).

Treatments and Interventions:

Fear of water can be of mild intensity (lacking confidence), or it could manifest itself as a crippling and very intense negative state and condition (Chronic Water Phobia).

After establishing the possible origins of a person's aqua phobia, and modelling and constructing the sucture -components- of their fearful behaviour (the internal representation), a trained NLP practitioner can facilitate for the aqua phobia to be permanently dissolved quickly.

Through the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP: Brain and Mind Technologies Study); behavior change facilitating techniques such as; Sub Modality Change, Swish Pattern, Fast Phobia Cure, Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy, are the most successfully and effectively employed techniques (Ref: The Magic in Action; NLP Change Technologies; Richard Bandler, John Grinder, Milton H Erickson M.D, Robert Dilts - USA, ITS - UK)

Acknowledging that the expressed fear is true, and that it is our mind-body's natural defensive mechanism, whose positive intentions are to protect urselves against; experiencing and reliving again the unwanted past negative events (phobia experience) which created the fear of water - aqua phobia condition.


In the Light Aqua Phobia (lacking water confidence) cases, by just empowering the client with the necessary knowledge and scientific information and the facts, through explanations and active demonstrations, is sufficient to facilitate a positive behavioural change to take place.

It is true;

"Lack of relevant knowledge and the necessary information and facts on a subject, will always breed in; the unknown, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and phobia to manifest itself into us"..........SG

e.g., Can you imagine what our reaction would be; if we were asked to enter and find an object and explore the contents of a pitch -dark basement storage room or a deserted century old barn, on a farm for the first time !

Empowering Through Knowledge and Information - Eureka!, Eureka!

  • Inform client that the human beings are naturally born floaters; our natural buoyancy, our density approx with the water and, the presence of cavities in our bones, the air sacks in our lungs, the sinuses, the fat tissues throughout our body etc.

  • Demonstrate how, when we relax, and go completely still for a few seconds, holding our breath, slumped face down and with arms hanging by side, feet/legs dangling down, one will always end up in a floating and suspended position, near the water surface (buoyancy law-Eureka!).

Archimedes Principle - Eureka!, Eureka!:

For an object to float in a liquid medium (water); the weight of the displaced volume of the water must be equal to the weight of the object.

  • Reinforce and demonstrate again, when we jump in, or drop ourselves into the water (intentionally or accidentally), water will always push and lift us upward toward the surface -provided we stay relaxed and perform lazy and gentle limb movements.

  • Explain and demonstrate that it is impossible for us to remain under the water (buoyancy law). Unless we have tied ourselves-feet to a concrete block!

  • Explain and comfort the learner about the fact that, human beings; when they are in a totally relaxed state, can stay underwater without taking any breath for approx 160 to 180 + sec. So, holding their breath while face down or head under the water for 5-10 sec; will be a "child's play"-fun and a "cool" thing to do!

Deep-End (plenty water!) Practices !:

After empowering the learner with the necessary info, facts and the specific knowledge; about the governing natural - physical buoyancy laws, relating to objects immersed in the water environment, and going through the above summarised demonstrations with the learner; now it is time to take the aqua phobic person, for some deep-end (plenty water!) fun practices.

Such as; starting with relaxed, lazy and gentle movements, while the learner is holding on with one hand/finger only, very lightly, onto the rail or the pool edge. Until the learner is ready to take his hand/finger off the rail, and starts experiencing and tasting the 'magic in action' and the Eureka! i.e.,

Floating freely and confidently and gently moving around in the water, for the first time in their lives- without any fear!

"Forever goodbye to water blues, which was all the time 'in the mind' to start with!"


People suffering from a Chronic Aqua Phobia will require cognitive interventions prior putting them through the above ref method - I.

One of the quickest and most effective way to facilitate a permanent change, is the method and techniques offered by the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) interventions. Pioneered by two M.D, Richard Bandler and John Grinder 30-40 years ago, in California, USA.

There are several very effective and well tried and tested NLP techniques at hand, depending on the severity of the aqua phobia condition.

Fast Phobia Cure, Sub Modality Restructuring, Swish Pattern, Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy, are the most effective and widely used interventions-behaviour change facilitating techniques.

With these very powerful NLP behaviour change techniques, one can be cured permanently of this dilapidating condition as short as in, 30-60 minutes.

And how does it work?

All our past resourceful, non resourceful learning and experiences and memories, are internally stored and encoded through our internal sensory representational systems-modalities, known as; V, Ad/t, K, O, G (the Rep operator system). i.e.,Visiual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Smell and Taste based internal rep systems - the encoding.

A trained and qualified NLP practitioner, has the ability to decode, detect and construct a model-the structure of that past learning, experience and the memory; in this case the structure-model of the aqua phobia condition itself.

Once the client's 'model-structure' of his/her aqua phobia is known, then the practitioner helps the client to acquire, to access-add, and to utilize the client's own limitless existing resources from within (via the above mentioned NLP techniques), which directs the patient toward a permanent and more resourceful change process to take place-by the client himself, with his own already available and existing inexhaustibly rich inner resources.

"All the resources that we need to make behavioral changes are already there-inside us"

"Our conscious resources are limited. Where as, our subconscious resources are limitless-infinite"

                            Milton. H. Erickson, M.D. - USA

For more on Aqua Phobia condition and Effective Treatment:

Contact: Coach Shev Gul - London

Tel- 020 8886 1119, E-mail:
gulshev@aol.com, Web: www.swimmtech.com

UK Sports PLC - Prospecting for Gold
(A letter-reply from Prime Minister)

From: Department for Culture, Media and Sport

26 Sept 2005

Dear Mr Gul

Thank you for your letter of 15 August to the Prime Minister about restructuring sport in the UK and the need for a better national strategy for sport.

You mention in your letter the need for 'radical changes to the outdated management and coaching practices and to change the deep-rooted culture and mentality of our sport systems'.

It may interest you to know that the Government is already taking a number of steps to change the way sport is played and taught in the UK. These are as follows:

* New Competition Framework

* The Coaching Project

* National Strategy for School Sport

.......................................................................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................................

For the rest of the text (and the original letter sent to Tony Blair PM) contact;

Coach Shev Gul, gulshev@aol.com ).

A Letter to London Mayor- How to reduce crime through better sport initiatives

14 Dec 06

Dear Mr. Livingstone,

Re: How to reduce crime through better sport initiatives - Safer London

         The high profile murder trial of the young lawyer this past week has brought home to us the need to channel the energies of disadvantaged young people into other more worthwhile activities such as sport. While we recognise that the two young men who committed the horrific murder do not represent the majority of young people in London, the increase in gun, knife crime and antisocial behaviour is a very worrying trend indeed.

         With the 2012 Olympics just round the corner, I am sure you will be as worried as we are about London's reputation. We would not want the world to perceive London as a crime ridden city with young thugs lurking round every street corner.

         As an internationally active sports educator, sport developer and swimming coach working in Enfield, I have tried to do my little bit (via Enfield council) by offering my services free so that disadvantaged youngsters -and adults, can either learn or improve their swimming. I live and work in an area (Edmonton-Enfield), which has a very diverse ethnic mix, and this is reflected in the diversity of those whom I teach to swim. But much more needs to be done for them. The ethnic groups are generally not well off, so sport is regarded more of a luxury rather than a means to general well being.

And the future prospects of those emotionally very vulnerable kids, coming from the single parent family background must be very concerning and alarming to you too.

         I am sure I am not the only one who would be prepared to make this sacrifice of time and resources for the future wellbeing of our youngsters. So it is with this in mind that I would ask you as our Mayor to consider setting up some scheme to encourage young people to participate in sport and other worthwhile activities either for free or at greatly subsidised rates.

         The London Olympics is an exciting prospect for all of us who love sport and what better way of enthusing our young people than by the showing them what the Olympic ideal is all about through sport.

         Politicians of all persuasions talk about tackling crime and the causes of crime.

But for simple folk like us, we think one of the most effective means of doing this is by channelling the energies of youngsters into sport. Sport promotes creativity, improves academic achievements, it gives a taste of a more fulfilling life style, it teaches our kids to learn how to respect and take care of their own mind & body, and learn social skills; such as to respect and get on well with other people. And, above all sport gives our kids a focus, a goal and a routine in life - it takes off the boredom out of their next days agenda!

You will never get a criminal, robber, drug dealer, terrorist or a murderer from a person who was given an opportunity to be involved in sport, become an athlete and to belong to a socially stimulating sport club scene.

It is, as simple and as clear as that!.

Given your reputation for championing the cause of the disadvantaged in London, I would urge you to help us by setting up such a scheme whereby our young people, especially those from ethnic minorities and the single parent families can be actively encouraged to engage in sport.

         I will be happy to meet you or your colleagues to talk about this.

         I am also enclosing a news item from a paper describing what I am doing already and, what contributions I have been making to the development of the swimming sport around the world;

to help people and communities with their Change, Growth and Well-Being.

(see our ref two sites:
www.swimmtech.com and www.mindbodyresources.com)

Yours sincerely,

Coach Shev Gul - Enfield
BSc, NLP MP, WSCA, ASCA, Fellow FIOS(CC) ASA GB, A.L. Accelerated Learning Consultant Practitioner

For Seminars, Workshops, Tuition, Coaching

Contact : Mr S. Gul BSc, NLP MP - Master Practitioner
Tel: 00 44 208 886 1119
gulshev@aol.com or info@mindbodyresources.com
Web: www.mindbodyresources.com


(Offer of free service to my local community - Enfield Council)

Enfield Gazzete, Oct 06

Attn. Michael Rye - Enfield Council Leader

cc Michael Lavender - Deputy Leader

Re: " Use Them or Lose Them" - Enfield Leisure Centres ?
        Front page news article, The Gazette, 12th Oct 06

Naturally, like any other member of our Enfield community, I'm very saddened and concerned, at the challenging times facing our Enfield Leisure Centre outlets and the Enfield Council - services provider.

Here is my contribution to your-council's call " Use Them or Lose Them ". i.e.,

On encouraging more use of our leisure centres - swimming pool facilities

Free Service Offer

As an sport teacher, coach, educator and active sport developer, I would be gladly offer my free services say, two hrs a week to run;

' water confidence and water-phobia clinics '

particularly geared for, and targeting our leisure centres-shy adult population.

As a borough coach for the past 12 years, I've observed the following:

For Healthier and Happier Communities - Better usage of Leisure Centres

* We need to promote the leisure-swimming pool facilities better, particularly among our Turkish, Greek, Asian and the new Eastern European communities.

* Dr Surgeries, Super Markets, Transport Firms, Shopping Centres, DHSS, Clubs, Banks, Businesses, Schools, Media and Societies etc, these channels in the borough, can be better used to promote more awareness and opportunities.

* A more pro actively promoting the importance of regular exercise - balanced life style for one's better health and well being.

* The more our teenagers are encouraged to spend their times at Leisure Centres (swimming pools) the less crime in the borough, and better school & academic results.

* The more of the adult population is encouraged to spend their times in the Leisure Centres (swimming pools), the less pressure on Dr Surgeries and DHSS, and a more happier and productive population.

* More actively asking UK government departments, EU, World Health, Funds, Charities, Global Corporate etc, to support council's

' Healthier and Happier Communities ' - through sport- initiatives.

* And so on.........

Please find below, a brief bio & resume on my/our contribution to the individual and public well being, and as an educator; to the development of teachers, coaches and the sport- swimming, at the borough, national and the international levels.

Yours faithfully

Coach Shev Gul

Tel - 0208 886 1119
BSc, ASCA, WSCA, GB ASA FIOS(cc), NLP Master Practitioner & A.L. Consultant

77A Derwent Rd
Palmers Green
London N13 4QA

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