Hi Barry! Here are my notes from the pool deck for our session on June 21.
– Very first things I noticed is your left hand is “crossing the line” as it enters the water (see the video @ 0.08s), which means it’s crossing the centre line of the body. If you get both hands entering the water outside of that centre line you’ll be able to rotate and pull much more efficiently, especially on your right, non-breathing side.
– Kicking has a really good rhythm but it needs to be tightened up (look at video @ 1.04). Imagine your feet are kicking inside a shoebox. They should be kicking in those tiny, tight movements.
– Knees are too low in the water which sets off a chain reaction; because the knees are too low, your hips are too low which is causing you to swim with your head and shoulders too high out of the water. All these elements create a lot of drag, slow you down, and make your swimming harder!
– Right hand is coming out of the water too soon, but your left-hand exit is great.
– As you breathe to the left, your head is coming out of the water too much (see video @ 0.25s). There is a small pocket of air created as you swim and turn your head to breathe, so all you need to do is get your head out of the water a little bit. Lifting your head so high creates even more drag!
– Body rotates really well to the left as you breathe but rotating to the right is basically nonexistent. Look at the video @ 0.50s and you can see how your body remains pancake flat as you swim on the right, but turns all the way around as you swim on the left.
– Can see the weakness in your hips because they’re falling so far below the water surface. As your hips get stronger your swim stroke will improve.
– Again @ 0.50s you can see how straight your arms are as they pull back. The elbows should be pulling back as close to the water’s surface as possible because this will help you catch and pull more water. You can work on this even with weak hips with a pull buoy.
Here is your video from our session:
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
Sculling (to address crossing the line)
This will also help you learn to swim wider and “outside the line”. 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.
Heads Up Drill (also to address crossing the line)
To improve where and how your hands enter the water, swim with your head above the water so you can see how and where your hands enter. Swim wide with thumbs and fingers entering together and in-line. Try to have your hands enter the water right between your ear and shoulder. Make sure you don’t enter the water thumbs-first.
Elbow Bend Drill (to swim with a higher elbow and 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.
Great swimming today. Feel free to pull me aside at any time on the pool deck to talk specifically about your swim stroke. Let me know how your recovery comes along!