Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal
If it's someone who is only going to swim a couple of days a week and doesn't want to exert a lot then probably technique. If it's someone who wants to go their absolute fastest that they are capable of then I would take a swimmer who is willing to swim with more intensity with respect to who swims a race faster overall. Take swimmer A and swimmer B never swam a day in their life and B is the Masters swimmer 4 days a week I'd take that one in a race after year 1. The amount of strength and flexibility gained by the fitness will allow B to continue to evolve their technical skills and proficiency over time it's not a fixed game where if they are not a drag bullet on day 1 that's all they get. Plus they are much fitter. I do believe technique is important, but if I had to get coached as a new swimmer knowing what I know now I would tell myself to hold off on trying to fit a cooker cutter mold of technique until my body came up to par with some swim strength and flexibility. The arm mechanics of our new squad swimmers go through huge transformations in that first year and it's not an accident it takes time in the water and fitness to get there. Little by little our new TI guy is finding this out. He's already keeping up with his lane now, significantly faster SR and has gone to a 6 beat kick. Have not paid attention to his arm mechanics, but he was talking with one of the coaches the other day about elbow position and entry point.
I know what I have seen in my little sphere of swim life, but I guess if we could get a look at the cadre of Gerry's swimmers and see the times they are posting that would be the true test of how his methodology works out against the clock. Edit I just went to his tower26 web site and read his history and beliefs in the water. So, I can see you and I will disagree on this one as I am pretty much a cooker cutter of his mantras and approach. No worries not a right or a wrong just a differing set of views. As long as people are in the water having fun that's all I care about!
These pages of testimonials are pretty powerful that he is doing something right in his training approach, more right than wrong: