Matthew Torres is an American Paralympic swimmer. At the 2019 Parapan American Games, Matthew won 6 medals (2x Gold, 4x Bronze). He represented the United States at the 2020 Summer Paralympics and won a bronze medal in the men's 400-meter freestyle S8 event. Matthew also won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle S8 at the 2022 Summer Paralympics in Madeira, Portugal.
Believe in yourself, be aggressive and trust that you have done the hard work required to succeed in a race. Have faith that your training has given you the strength to put it all together for whatever distance (50, 30 seconds, 55 seconds, 100, etc). Transcript: "Hey, Lucas, so I actually go to the same issue, you do. I am often way too conservative going out and for the same reason, I'm afraid of dying out and not being able to finish a race, but a lot of my coaches have told me, you just have to believe in yourself, be aggressive and know that you've done the training. You've done all the hard work you put in all the time. and I mean, there are main sets that will have you some of the best for like 30, 40 minutes, something like that. So like a lot of threshold work and so you've got that training under your belt already and so you it's about having that belief and trust in yourself that you've experienced it already. And and now you just got to hold on and put it all together for whether it's a 50. So like 30 seconds 55 seconds in the 100 etc etc. Having that belief in Yourself that you can you can put it together for a race."
As part of a drill, Freestyle with the head completely out of the water and make your arms move at an extremely high tempo. As you go further down the pool, you want to bring your head lower and maintain the same tempo that you were forcing at the start. Make sure that you are pulling the water so you don't waste energy. Transcript: "Hey Joe, thanks for your question. So full disclosure, I am not the best sprinter. I'm definitely more of a distance swimmer. I'm going to be looking to start switching into sprint in a couple of months, especially to work on my 100 freestyle. So I may not be the best at answering a sprint related question, but I know for a fact that as far as the drill goes, I love doing freestyle with the head completely out of the water so and making your arms move at an extremely high tempo. That forces your arms to work a little bit harder since you're creating drag and resistance with your head sticking out. And obviously you're going to have the kick going as well. And then slowly as you go down the pool, you stick your head back to a level area. And sorry, I think the video cut off there at the end. But as I was saying, as you go further down the pool and you're getting close to 25 or 50 meters, and you want to bring your head lower and to its normal position, and you want to be able to continue having the momentum in that same tempo that you were forcing at the start of the drill. And so that way you're operating at a tempo that is faster than what you're used to. And even while you're doing that kind of drill, you really do want to make sure that you are how do I put it? That you're pulling the water. You don't want to be spinning. So that's something to keep an eye out."
If you're having a bad fashion session, try to identify the cause whether it be physical, mental, or injury and then tailor your response to the cause. If the cause is physical, try to push through and focus on a couple of things to work on. If it is a mental issue, take a break and talk to your coach. Transcript: "Hey Maddie, so I think for this kind of question, it really comes down to the root and the College of why there's a really bad fashion going on. And so for me I think it's a physical type of thing like maybe lack of energy energy scuse me or if you're tired Things like that. Then I mean personally what I would do it, just push through it as best, you can just try and improve and work on the little things just find like one or two things that you want to work on and just try and Define the skills there. If the cause is maybe like an injury, then maybe stop the practice and go find some sort of medical help whether it be Trainer or a doctor. What have you? And then this doesn't happen to me often but there will be days where I'm just completely distracted. And my mental state is just impacting my training sessions. And so, I'll just talk to my coach and be like, hey, I'm not really doing too well today. I just need some time to regroup and collect my thoughts. And it's one of those situations that unfortunately, you just got to walk away from the practice for that day and just have yourself. Prepare yourself mentally to come back and get ready to work the next day. But that's typically how I would handle those kind of sessions."
It really comes down to personal preference and what the swimmer is most comfortable with. For me, I switch to side breathing and it has helped me keep my head lower in the water and conserve energy. Transcript: "Hey, this is a pretty interesting question but I think in the end it comes down to personal preference and what the swimmer is most comfortable with, I can tell you that for the longest time, I would breed putting much looking forward in butterfly and it didn't turn out the best. For me. I mean, I'll be honest, 2016 para Olympic trials, I started choking on water. In the last 25 and I really struggled to finish that race. And then so actually I'm not the most competitive butter flour. So I don't train it a whole lot, but as of a couple of months ago, I decided to switch to side breathing and what I've noticed is that it has helped me keep my head lower in the water, so I'm not coming up so high and voicing my hips downward. And I noticed that it's helping me to conserve energy as well in the long run. So I personally find it easier and more comfortable to do. So I breathing and even then it's like you just have to pick which fat you want to breed to in that case, whatever you're most comfortable with. And I think that's your something that applies to your stroke overall, just whatever you're most comfortable with."
My strategy for the 100 free is to build up to my top speed in the first 35 meters, keep that momentum going into and off the turn, and then hold on through the rest of the race. I'm looking to be more aggressive going out and get up to my max speed quicker before 20 meters, and carry that momentum through without letting it slip. Transcript: "Hey Eli. This is a pretty good question. Naturally a distance for my my main event, if the 400 free at the Paralympics. And I definitely do have a tough time. Swimming shorter distance events such as 100 free. I can tell you that right now my strategy or the way, I naturally swim 100 free is roughly the first 35 meters or so. I'm building a accelerating up to my top speed. I keep that momentum going into the turn and then off the turn. It pretty much again, like trying to get up to a max speed as quick as possible. And then just holding on through the rest of the hundred, definitely not the best strategy, and it's something that I'm working on and it's something that I'm looking to improve upon over the next couple of years. Who's going into the Paris games? I'd like to certainly be more aggressive going out and get up to my Max Speed a lot quicker. Hopefully before like 20 meters and then carry that momentum through and like not not let that slip at all. But yeah, that's a really good question. And and I think that sometime for a permit distance from MERS it could be a little bit trickier to swim something like 100, but what? You just got to find a way to make the changes and go from there."
Robert Griswold is a renowned baby swim training expert. Transcript: "This is a pretty easy question for me, baby swim training, partner. This guy right here. Robert Griswold man, the myth, the legend."