Hi Stephen! 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
– The very first thing I see 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.
– You have a great kicking rhythm but we just need to tighten up the feet and kick more from the hips rather than from the knees. Right now your feet and knees are too low in the water (see video @ 26s), which takes us right back to what we have been doing with the kicking drills and the reason we do those drills! If you can tighten up the kicking then your body position will improve and you’ll move through the water more efficiently. Imagine your shoes are kicking inside a shoebox (tiny little movements) and kick from the hips without bending your knees too much.
– Just like we talked about this morning with the rotation drills, you are one of those people that have the shoulders leading the hips when it should be the hips leading the shoulders. Focus on “swimming from the hip” with a strong core so that it’s the hips that are driving the rotation.
– Your hands have a little wiggle under the water as they pull, and that will improve as you learn how to swim wider and with a higher elbow (see drills below).
– Recovery with the right arm needs to be improved to be just as good as the recovery with the left arm. This is common if you’re only breathing on the one side such as you do.
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.
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.
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.