Hi John! 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
– You have a great long reach with your swim stroke. One thing you are doing that needs to be improved 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.
– Further exaggerating the “crossing the line” issue is you is that your hands are entering the water thumb first (see the video @ 50s). Imagine your hands as a rudder; if your hands are entering thumbs first, the angle of your hands is going to drive your hands underneath your body when you should be trying to pull with your hands to the outside of the body with a high elbow.
– You are one of those people that would benefit from the rotation and core drills we’ve been working on this month. Right now there’s a bit of a disconnect between your shoulders and your hips. Your shoulders are going in one direction while your hips are going the other (good examples are in the underwater footage also @ 50s) and so if you can tighten up at four and connect the two of them you’re going to move the water more efficiently.
– You already have high elbow pull, but one thing I’ll have you work on is making sure your hand catches up with your elbow before pulling past your shoulder. This keeps the elbow close to the water’s surface and allows you to catch and pull more water.
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
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.
Great swimming today. Feel free to pull me aside at any time on the pool deck to talk specifically about your swim stroke.