Hi Sarah! Here are my notes from the pool deck for our session on May 31.
– Very first things I noticed is your hands are “crossing the line” as they enter the water (see the video @ 0.02s), 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.
– You can also see from this bird’s eye view and from the side view @ 0.18s that your thumbs entering the water first, 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.
– You have great body position while swimming; your shoulders, hips and knees are all right at the water’s service.
– Head is a little bit too high as you look down (again – see video @ 0.18s). Just try tucking your chin in a little bit while you swim.
– You have good body rotation, but it could be improved. Right now it’s all coming from the shoulders (see video @ 0.54s and you can see how the shoulders lead the rotation). All the rotation should be led by the hips.
– Your elbow is pulling back too low in the water. Look at the video @ 0.48s and you can see how straight your arms are. The elbows should be pulling back as close to the water’s surface as possible because this will help you catch and pull more water.
Here is your video from our session:
Here are some drills that would be good for you:
Sculling (to address crossing the line)
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.
Heads Up Drill (also to address crossing the line)
To improve where and how your hands enter the water, swim with your head above the water so you can see how and where your hands enter. 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. Make sure you don’t enter the water thumbs-first.
Elbow Bend Drill (to swim with a higher elbow and 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.