Hi Regan! Here are my notes from the pool deck for our session on June 21.
– The very first thing I noticed was that you have a nice long, wonderful, fluid swim stroke. You’re a great swimmer, but we can make a few refinements.
– First thing to improve is your thumbs are entering the water first. You can see this in the bird’s eye video @ 0.08s and again @ 0.24s.
– Under the water @ 0.48s (and again @ 1.11 with your left hand) we can see that your fingertips are pointing up to the water surface. Fingertips should always be pointing down. Swimming with fingers up is like swimming with the brakes on!
– Left hand is coming into the water too late. Watch the video @ 0.08 to see how much later your left hand is entering than your right. The swim stroke finishes under the water’s surface and you reach and extend (with fingers pointing down) and get ready to pull back with a high elbow and good rotation. Look at the difference again @ 0.22s. Right hand is entering the water just as it should be.
– Pretty good kick but it could be tightened up a little bit. Imagine your shoes are kicking inside a shoe box!
– Good rotation but there could be more coming from the hips. Right now it’s the shoulders that are leading the rotation. Work on your swim posture!
– Elbow position is pretty good but it could be slightly higher and wider as you pull back. Again – these are refinements. You’re a great swimmer!
Here is your video from our session:
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
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. Focusing on this alone with help improve your stroke overall.
Sculling (to swim with a slightly higher elbow and catch more water)
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.
Elbow Bend Drill (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 Over A Barrel (to catch more water)
Imagine swimming over a 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, Regan. Feel free to pull me aside at any time on the pool deck to talk specifically about your swim stroke. Keep up the good work!