Hi Clark! Here are my notes from the pool deck for our session on April 26th. I’ve made some additional notes now that I’ve seen the video
– The very first thing I notice is that you have a long, powerful swim stroke. Lots of upper body strength so we need to work on having you take advantage of that strength.
– Another thing that’s easy to spot is that 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 and that’s one thing we can do right away to help take advantage of your strength.
– Right now all of your rotation is coming from the shoulders. Your hips are barely doing anything! Throwing better rotation into the stroke will help you pull more water.
– We could have you work on pulling with a higher elbow and getting away from swimming with a straight arm (see video @ 50s). Swimming with a higher elbow is going to allow you to take advantage of that upper body strength.
– Kicking looks pretty good but one thing I’m going to have you work on is tightening up the kick a little bit and imagine that your feet are inside of a shoebox. That’s how tight the feet kicking should be. Right now you’re doing a little bit of a scissor kick (see video @ 40s and 1.35). You have great rhythm with your kicking but it just needs to be tweaked a bit.
Here is your video from our session:
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
Sculling (to get used to swimming “wider” and to fix the “crossing the line” issue)
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 (to fix the “crossing the line” issue)
To improve where your hands enter in the water (to get them outside of that centre line), swim with your head above the water so you can see where your hands enter the water. 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.
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 (to improve rotation)
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.
Torpedo Kick (to help tighten up the kicks)
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.