How to Improve my 50m Freestyle Time?

How to Improve my 50m Freestyle Time?


Hi Gary,

I am just asking if just say I am already 17yrs old and I am doing a 27.5 for 50m freestyle long course. Is it possible for me to do a 25 sec next year. Just let me know if I’m raising false hopes.




Hi Brandon,

The easy answer is yes.  A drop of 2 seconds over 50 metres freestyle is very possible for a 17 year boy.  Your body will be continuing to grow and your increased strength and power will assist you to swim faster than you ever have before.

You will need to work with your coach to ensure your training program gives you the best opportunity

Your ability to improve will depend on continually improving your technique, the continued development of upper body strength and your ability to transfer any strength gains into the pool when swimming freestyle.

With your training, it is important to continue the development of your aerobic fitness as most sprinters will only take between 1 and 5 breaths in a 50m freestyle.

You also need to work on your upper body strength by doing some pull work.  I have found using a band around my feet and sprinting for 15 to 25 metres as a useful way to improve this.

Train hard and let me know how you go.



The Swimming Expert

17 Responses to “How to Improve my 50m Freestyle Time?”

  1. Emily says:

    Hi I am a 14 soon to be 15 year old sophomore. I have to fastest 50m Freestyle time in my class. I swim a 31.32 but my goal is to get it to at least 29 seconds. I work extremely hard going to every practice and just working my butt off. Ive been told that I tend to dive too deep off of the blocks and flip too early at the wall. I think that is what is making it hard for me to improve my time. How can I fix that? Like anything i can practice that can help me learn to flip closer and not dive so deep?

    Best regards


    • Gary says:

      Hi Emily,
      Yes, practicising these two skills will help you a lot.
      I would also recommend getting someone to video you when you are doing a dive or turn and then have a look at it yourself.
      This will assist you to better understand what you are currently doing.
      As you practice these skills, video yourself again to visually see how much you have improved.

    • Gavvo says:

      I am 15 and my fastest time in a 50 meter short coarse is a 23.41 and the best way to improve your time is to parctice technique and just get really strong

  2. Jagpreet Singh says:

    Hi Garry Sir,

    I am 18. My best time in 50m free is 27. I need some tips so that i can clock atleat 25 or below,and I clock 37 in 50m breast stroke,please give me some tips to improve my breast stroke and clock 33 or below. Please help me sir.


    Jagpreet Singh

  3. Gail says:

    Hi im 13 and my my most recent time that i got was from a competition a few days a go was 36.61 for 50m freestyle do you think that that is ok for my age
    i am going to train hard and not give up
    do you think it is too late to try to train for the olympics???

    • Gary says:

      Hi Gail, Yes, that time is fine for your age.
      If you have goals to swim really fast when you are older, you will need to increase your training and commitment to bring your time down so that eventually you are swimming under 30 seconds.
      Good luck

  4. Tristyn says:

    Hi, I am 14 years old and I am trying to make section cuts in the 50 freestyle. The time I need to make is 26.99 or lower. I am currently at a 27.54 and I was wondering if there ante any tips you have for stroke technique. This is short course

    • Gary says:

      Hi Tristyn,
      The key tips for freestyle technique over 50m is to ensure you are getting a clean catch on the water out in front and really holding onto the water as you pull your body over and past your hand on each stroke. Your hand should be accelerating through the water so that the second half of your pull is faster than the first half. When you do this, make sure you retain a good hold on the water.
      The other keys to improving a 50m 50 freestyle short course is to accelerate in and out of the turn. Your first two strokes out of the turn should be very powerful. A fast start and finish in any race is a given.
      Good luck.
      The Swimming Expert

  5. Sean says:

    Hi Garry,
    I am 14 years old and have a time of 30.33 for my 50 freestyle, I need to drop my time quickly to a 29.00 what’s the best way to do that.

    Thanks sean

    • Gary says:

      Hi Sean,
      There are a couple of things you can do Sean.
      Each time you swim, make sure that you are improving something, whether it is your start, finish, underwater butterfly kicks or freestyle swimming.
      A short term focus on improving your dive, including exploding off the blocks, entering the water through one hole, maintaining a totally streamlined position underwater and doing up to 8 very fast dolphin kicks will give you a great start.
      As you feel your body slowing down, you should be about to break the water surface and you should take at least 6 very strong strokes before taking your first breath.
      At your age, you should be able to breath at least every 6 strokes however you will need to practice this in training if you wish to do it in a race.
      Ask your coach to see if there are any improvements you can make to your underwater technique and practice doing no breathing from the flags into the wall at the end of the race.
      Please let me know how you go.
      The Swimming Expert

  6. bob duncan says:

    Im almost 11. My time is 51 sec. I really want to get 33 seconds for my freestyle. I want like a full proof plan ( if possible) . Please hhhhhhhhhhhelp

    • Gary says:

      Hi Bob,
      To drop your time over 18 seconds for 50m will take some time and a commitment from you to do what your coach is asking you to do.
      There is no such thing as a full proof plan in swimming so my advice is to speak to your coach, share with them what your goals are and then work out a plan together to get your 50m time under 50sec then under 45sec and so on.
      There are some good hints on freestyle that will help you at so I suggest showing one of your parents this page and they could get it for you.
      The Swimming Expert

  7. Adam says:

    Hi im 30 in need of advice.
    I quit swimming at 22 achieving 24.1 fc/ 26 .3 fly / 29.1 brst and 28.4 bk on 50′s lc. Ive just started getting back in the pool. Is it achieveable to get even faster despite my age as ive been told im too old to even get near my times let alone that ive been out the pool for 8yrs?

    • Gary says:

      Hi Adam, Having been out of the water for 8 years it will take some time to bring your times down close to your previous personal best times.
      Yes, it is definitely achievable to swim as fast and even faster than your times at 22 years. At 30 you have the opportunity to develop a stronger body and will probably be smarter about what you do in practice.
      Once again, it will take time.
      Regards Gary

  8. Adam says:

    Also I forgot to mention will my height make it even harder to go even faster as im training myself as im only 5ft 5! My turns are quick but im running out of ideas of how to go faster as I push myself til I have a sickly feeling as im a strong believer in no pain no gain training??

    • Gary says:

      Hi Adam, I don’t believe your height will make any difference as you would have been a similar height when you were 22 years.


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