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I just returned from a symposium on training for power and speed, and there was also debate on warmup and when to stretch. The old thought was to do static stretching (stretch and hold for a certain time) before doing the sport/exercise but this has been shown to decrease nerve activity, which is what we do not want just before exercise. Instead do this sort of stretching AFTER the workout, and always warmup before you do this sort of stretching if you want to stretch at other times.
So before a workout, do a dynamic warmup, where you do controlled movements that will be used in the workout...sort of a very slow progression to the exercise. For swimming this can be simply a very easy swimming pace.
Swimming is great for overall training. However, move to more running as we dont play football in a pool. Training must be as similar to the sport as possible to be most effective