Connection is an important concept for swimming faster, but not often discussed. Simply put connection is all of the motions in a stroke flowing smoothly together to maximize the production and delivery of power to create forward momentum.
What does that mean to your stroke? When we develop our stroke mechanics it is common to do drills which work a specific portion of the full motion. These skills are important, but you can’t stop there. You have to work on blending each skill into the next. You can start by doing several skills together in a combo drill. Start with two drills that are consecutive parts of any stroke, once you can do each independently run them together. Then add a third, extending your drill, one skill at a time, until it is a complete stroke.
While building this multi-skill combo drills there is one more thing to build in to help create connection. When we start with drills, they are generally to work on range of motion. Once you have the range of motion in a relaxed stroke, you need to add power and acceleration to all of the underwater parts of the stroke. Your muscles need to learn to work the motions smoothly and with power, only then will you reach your best potential speed.