Hi James! 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
– Immediately I can see that you have a great swim stroke nice long reach evenly balanced good rhythm with your kicking.
– One thing that’s also 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.
– Hand entry position could be improved as well. Right now you’re entering the water thumb first (see video @ 1.00) which is exaggerating the same issue that happen when you cross the line. Entering thumb first forces the hands to pull more under the body when they should be going wider to the outside of the body.
– We can also see in the video that your fingertips point up as they reach out in front of you under the water. That’s like swimming with the brakes on! Fingertips should be pointing to the bottom of the pool.
– From the pool deck it looks like you’re pulling with two straight of an arm (and we can confirm this with the under water footage). One thing I want you to work on is swimming with a higher elbow so you’re able to catch and pull more water and rotate more purposely.
– One small improvement you might be able to make a little bit and imagine that your feet are kicking inside a shoe box. Tighten up the kicking just a little 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 (also to help 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.
Torpedo Kick (to tighten up the kicking a little bit)
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.