On this site, there are reviews of many good (and some not so good) books that focus on improving technique. The most common method is to use photos and drawings showing sequences of “correct” techniques. But some of these are not that clear, and others may be just plain wrong (link to Wrong or just Weird examples). Professor Brent S. Rushall, San Diego State University, has written about this in great detail in his Swimming Science Bulletin, No. 33:
“Cartoons have been accepted as being representative of actual movement patterns. This form of representation still persists today (see Maglischo, 2003). Few, if any, question the reliability and accuracy of the illustrations. Almost all depictions trace the path of the finger tips; implicitly suggesting that the hand extremity was the best anatomical feature to orient one’s understanding and teaching of swimming movements.”
Click here to see Rushall’s full article in a new window.