Swim frequently
Try to swim at least three swims a week. Swimmers seem to improve faster and easier when they swim more frequently as opposed to only doing a few longer workouts each week.

Swim with good technique
Maintain the best possible technique at all speeds during a workout.

Develop an exercise plan
Incorporate cardio drills and exercises to help you stay tuned up, increase your speed and develop a better technique.

Challenge yourself
One or two times a week increase the intensity of your work out. Make sure you don’t overexert yourself. If you feel too fatigued, take a rest.

(Then) Take it easy
Each workout does not need to be an intense one. Remember to have fun. When you stop enjoying yourself, practice becomes more difficult.

Streamline your technique
You should always do things the same way. Once you begin to do things the techniques the same way, they will become automatic. You should use the same technique to leave the wall, swim and turn the same way each time.

Wear a swimsuit made for competitive swimming
If you want to become a competitive swimmer, wear completive swimsuits.

Videotape your swimming
Watching the videotape will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.

Cross train
Cross training is using two or more types of exercise in successive workouts. For example, a swimmer may also surf, run or do yoga once a week. Cross training is a great way to condition different muscle groups, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom that develops after months of the same exercise routines

Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet will increase the speed of muscle repair and limit muscle fatigue.

Do use flippers occasionally
Flippers can help you achieve a better body position and you will learn what that position feels like while moving. When the flippers are off, you can try to recreate that position by feel.