World Aquatics Championships 2017

Don’t be afraid, find a target and just relax - top tips for amateur swimmers

Editor’s Note: Mark Foster is one of the most successful British swimmers of all time and a six-time world champion. Now retired, he’s writing for CNN during the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

Story highlights

Mark Foster likens swimming to meditation

His first tip is to go back to lessons at your local club

Foster divulges starter drills to help get you up to speed

CNN  — 

There’s often a fear factor for people returning to swimming.

It’s a bit like going to the gym for the first time; you think everyone is going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But in my experience of the pool, there’s a genuine respect for people willing to give it a go.

And for that reason, the best piece of advice I could give someone about improving their technique is to join a club program.

Most of us had lessons in the past – as kids growing up – but it’s worth having lessons if you’re starting back.

It’s a bit like golf; you might be practicing bad habits and not getting better in the pool.

Have a lesson to iron those things out. You don’t need to have them every day but the pointers will help.

Singapore's Joseph Schooling celebrates after the Men's 100m Butterfly Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016.   / AFP / Martin BUREAU        (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Joseph Schooling: Singapore's swimming hope
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