Monday, February 1, 2010

Product Review: The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD

Around two months ago I decided that my swimming needed some major work.  I had read Total Immersion and watched many Total Immersion videos but was still not able to really figure out the freestyle swim stroke.  I would practice and practice but just could not get any faster.  That was when I came across The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD by Coach Kevin Koskella located at his website  I am going to go over the entire video and point out the pros and cons.

The DVD - Technical:

The production value of the DVD is first class.  The video is professional and offers many different views and angles. One of the things I liked when compared to other videos is that Kevin did not over-emphasize slow motion shots.  Some other videos I have seen seem to only show SloMo angles and being that I am a visual learner it really helps to see in real time as well. 

The audio is also very well done.  The background music is not over powering and when Kevin speaks it actually matches up with the view you are seeing.  Other videos struggle at this! 

The DVD is easy to follow and is scripted in a clear and concise manor that makes viewing particular segments simple and the 36 minute run length keeps the content on point.

Overall Rating for Technical:  5 out of 5

The DVD - Content:

Kevin begins with an intro called Learn to Laugh at the Water!  It might sound cheesy but it does instill some confidence from the get go.

The DVD is broke down into 3 main categories:  1) Drills; 2) Workouts; and 3) Open Water and Racing Strategies. 
For me the Drills category was the most beneficial aspect of the DVD.  I am not going to go into each specific drill but each one of them served a purpose to help you with perfecting your stroke.  I have been incorporating these drills into my workouts and have seen a decent improvement in my overall swim technique and fitness.

The Workout category was a help as well.  I used to go to the pool and just swim laps.  This section explains how to put together a warm up, main workout, and cool down program.  I never really had an idea of how to do this and now I go to the pool with a plan. 

The Open Water and Racing Strategies section was the least beneficial to me.  It did a very good job of explaining the Open Water Swim start at a triathlon and how important it is to practice OWS.  Now if I would have watched this DVD before my first triathlon this may have been the most beneficial category of the entire DVD. 

Overall Rating of Content:  4.5 out of 5


The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD  is an excellent learning tool for those of us trying to navigate our way through the underwater jungle of the freestyle swim stroke.  As a newbie Triathlete this DVD is a must and is the next best thing to having an expensive real live coach!  I had so much anxiety going into my first Tri that I wish that I would have known about this DVD before because it would have helped alleviate much of that anxiety.

As was mentioned above the Drills were by far the best portion of the DVD.  I have viewed this section easily 10 times and each time I realize something new to help my stroke.  I honestly believe this is an invaluable tool for both beginners to learn a new technique and old pros to sharpen their skills. It has helped me become more efficient with my stroke which in turn has allowed me to go faster in the water!

Now you are probably wondering how much this thing costs? Well, it is only $37.  About half as much as a real coach for a 30 minute lesson! 

Overall Rating of The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD:  5 out of 5



  1. Excellent review! Ok, so it begs the question... did you get faster as a result of this video?

    Anyway, your review convinced me to get the video. Even if I don't do another triathlon, I would still like to continue swimming. I hear it is a good workout of old broken down folks like me.

  2. Jeff, thanks for your review on those DVD's. I will check them out for sure.

  3. Boomer - yes it did make me faster. I am not setting any records but am much more relaxed and efficient with my freestyle stroke.

  4. KC - I got another Product Review coming up in the next couple of days -- for endurance athletes a hydration product!

  5. I also have gotten the DVD and used it to work on drills. I also reviewed a cuple of weeks ago and gave it high marks! There are certain drills that I do every swim session in either my warmup or cooldowns. Some of the techniques make alot more sense seeing them in action, and I loved the underwater shots of the video.

  6. Very thorough review, Jeff. Good work!