Hi Alasdair! Here are my notes from the pool deck for our session on April 12th. I’ve made some additional notes now that I’ve seen the video
– The first thing I see is you have a great body position in the water, your head is nice and low, your shoulders are nice and low and your hips are right at the water’s surface. Nice!
– What we need to work on is tightening up your kick a little bit. Your feet are kicking too wide and too low in the water (see video @ 25s) so we need to get your feet kicking closer together (imagine they’re in a shoebox). That will help tighten up everything.
– We also need to work on your catch. Your hands are currently flopping in the water and we need them to enter the water strong and aggressive. Check out the video @ 1.09s and you’ll see that your elbows and hands are entering the water together. You want your hands/fingertips entering first and your elbow following after.
– Also, if you bend your elbow before you start to pull back and focus on swimming with a high elbow, you’ll pull more water. You’re currently swimming with arms too straight (see video @ 49s). Bending your elbow and getting it up to the water’s surfaces is going to make a big difference in how well you move through the water.
– Your head is moving around too much so we need to work on keeping it still.
– One last thing we can work on is your hands are “crossing the line”, which means they’re crossing the centre line of the body. If you get the hands entering the water outside of that centre line you’ll be able to rotate and pull much more efficiently. Try having your hands enter the water right between your ear and shoulder. This will also help get you hands in the water ahead of your elbows.
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
Sculling (to get used to swimming “wider” and with a higher elbow)
With your elbows and shoulders all aligned at shoulder level, move your hands, fingertips down, in small, quick circular or figure-eight movements. These small littles circles will propel you forward. Do one length of the pool, swim the next length and feel the benefit of the drill, then repeat. Ideally done with a snorkel.
Elbow Bend Drill (to get used to swimming “wider” and with a higher elbow)
To catch more water, make the first part of your pull the dropped elbow. Swimming with one arm only while the other stays outstretched in front of you, reach your swimming hand out in front of you, then bend the elbow and move your hand 90-degrees so your fingertips go from pointing in front of you to pointing to the bottom of the pool while keeping the elbow high, then pull through with good body rotation.
Swimming From The Hips
Swim with a strong, engaged core while swimming “from the hips”. Think of having good posture in the water, just as you would if sitting at a desk. Shoulders back, chest out, bellybutton back. This will also help you improve your rotation.
Kick off the wall with both feet with you hands outstretched. Kick kick kick hard with small, tight kicks from the hips (not knees). Kick till exhaustion then easy regular swim to the wall.
Great swimming today. Feel free to pull me aside at any time on the pool deck to talk specifically about your swim stroke.