The easiest way to train elite level swimmer/athlete is to teach proper technique while they are young. This follows them throughout their entire life. They are young, flexible and willing soak up learning like a sponge. For masters swimmers, myself included, we are not flexible, no one is getting any younger and we are set in our ways. This was supposed to be motivational article, now I just depressed myself.
The point I am trying to make is to have a young mindset when it comes to learning technique in swimming. If we make our goal the ability to learn the best technique possible, with a singular focus, everything else will fall into place. Your strokes will improve and your times will drop, even as you get older. If you think work harder, time is not escapable. Keep an open mind, forget what your part time high school coach taught you 20 years ago (unless they were amazing) and focus on the technique details to swim well, not the number of yards you do in a practice.
All of this and I have not given one technique tip in this post. So here it is:
Still Hands. The more your move your hands when you reach, the more resistance and wasted motion. When your reach forward to the wall, stretching through your armpit to your hip and on the freestyle pull anchoring your arm and throwing water to the wall behind you with no side to side hand movement. Reach strait forward, pull strait back staying on your blue line. Sounds childlike, which is a good way to think sometimes, when we are focusing on the basics.