Hi Phaedra! 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
– You have wonderful swimming mechanics. Reach looks good, rotation looks good, pull and catch look good.
– What I can see immediately though is that you need to start swimming more powerfully! You’re moving wonderfully through the motions of a good swim stroke but you need to start putting that technique to good use.
– You could tighten up your feet a little bit just by focusing on rubbing the toes together and imagining that your shoes are inside a shoe box. Check out the video @ 25s and you can see how your feet are kicking fairly wide. Imagine your feet are kicking inside a shoebox.
– Another thing you’re going to want to work on is rotating from the hips rather than using the shoulders to drive the rotation of the swim stroke.
– One area that is going to really help you is learning to swim with a higher elbow. You’re currently swimming with arms too straight (see video @ 52s). If you bend your elbows more as you start to pull back and focus on swimming with a high elbow right at the water’s surface, you’ll pull more water. Imagine swimming as if you’re “rolling over a barrel” so that your hands and arms are pulling so much water that your shoulders are lifted to the surface. Use the visual we practiced at the edge of the pool: use both palms to push down and back as if you’re getting out of the pool
– Your right-hand is also entering the water facing the side of the pool when all fingers should be parallel to the bottom of the pool. Straightening out the fingers and having them enter the water properly will also help you catch and pull more water.
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
Sculling (to get used to swimming with higher elbows)
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.
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.
Closed Fist Drill
Swim a couple lengths of the pool with your fists clenched (or swim with a tennis ball). This will show you what swimming is like without using your hand as a paddle. Get those elbows nice and high and pull strong all the way through to really feel the water hitting your forearm.
Swimming Over A Barrel
Imagine swimming over an imaginary barrel in the water, so that you’re reaching out and bending your elbow down over the barrel (fingertips down). Once your arm has bent from the elbow over that imaginary barrel, pull back with your elbow high at the water’s surface.
Great swimming today. Feel free to pull me aside at any time on the pool deck to talk specifically about your swim stroke.