That title is the greatest line from one of the greatest movies of all time, Repo Man. And it kind of applies to swimming in a round-a-bout way. The more you think, the worse your stroke is.
In all facets of my life, I believe that the less moving parts involved, the better the outcome. Less is more. Consider a baseball swing...if you plant your front foot, extend your arms, watch the ball and keep your back elbow high before the swing, you can hit the ball. Once you start adding little twists and complications, the swing can go haywire in an instant.
I have to keep reminding myself of this with my swim stroke. I absolutely cannot do everything right when I'm swimming. If I have to think about keeping my legs straight and feet pointed AND worry about a high elbow and clean hand entry AND watch the bottom of the pool and keep half of my goggle submerged during a breath, I'm going to drown. So I'm worrying about one thing at a time, hoping to get that to be second nature before moving on to the next concern.
I am very far from any of it feeling natural but I know it's possible. I ask Chopstick what she thinks about while swimming and she doesn't know. She just swims because her coach has gotten all of the mechanics to be second nature as he slowly refines it bit by bit. If an 8 year old can get there, a 41 year old should be able to pull it off too. And have a simple stroke that makes me faster than Shaq.
This post brought to you through the generous support of the Tillerman Less is More Foundation.