Learning to be a balanced swimmer can be a lifelong task. Balance will not only help you in the water but help you build stability and strength outside of the water as well. Having great Freestyle is based on a solid body line, but sometimes swimmers mask their instabilities in the water by using their arms or legs to support them.
Swimming is a fantastic sport for people who suffer from injuries like knee pain and back problems. It's one of the few sports that don't require significant strain on your various muscle groups or joints. It's one you can do well into your golden years. But what do you do when swimming caused your injury? Some swimmers believe they need to stop swimming due to injuries, but this isn't true. Even with shoulder problems or issues with legs, ankles or back, you can modify your workouts to fit. This will benefit you in the long run because you will stay fit, continue to have good feel of the water and actually help reduce your recovery time.
Learning out to maintain that momentum is something that takes time and needs to be a formed habit. Think of it like a car, if you are driving consistently at a 100 km/h for a long period of time, then your car will use less fuel to get you there, but if you are slowing down and then speeding up, you are going to use more fuel that way. Your body is the same way during a race. If you can find a consistent rhythm and pace that works for you, you'll use less fuel meaning you have more to give at the end of a race for that potential touch out or record breaking touch.
You've put in hours and hours of training to prepare your body for a big competition. This only gets you partially ready though. You can be in the best physical shape but if your mental game is off. There are ways of being as mentally prepared as your physical body. In fact, there are five ways that used to help me during my swimming days and ones I recommend to all my swimmers.