I got an email the other day from a parent asking me if there were videos I’d recommend so that her swimmers could visualize some of the things we’re talking about in practice. It's a great idea because what we visualize, we have an easier time doing. I’m recommending that all swimmers and parents visit the Australian Speedo Site and check out the Improve Your Stroke videos. You can also watch them below.
It’s an elegant stroke (when it’s done right). It requires good timing, good coordination, and, yes, strength (if you don’t have it, you’ll develop it doing Freestyle). I kind of like that Australian accent (but that’s not important right now).
While you watch please make note of:
1:22 to 1:52 - Notice during the recovery, the hand is low in the air. It’s not held high. Remember “The Little Things” (#9 specifically – “Always relax on the recovery portion of your stroke”) is the arm “relaxed” during recovery in the video? Check. It sure is. Make note of where the hand enters the water and when it enters the water, it does so smoothly. It doesn’t slap, it barely disturbs the water.
2:04 - The swimmer is leaving the wall. Again, let’s go back to “The Little Things”. It said to “Always push off the wall with your feet at least 18 inches below the surface.” Is the guy in the video doing this? Yes he is. Now his streamline and underwater dolphin or flutter kicks will be much more effective and will propel him into a good swim position.
Make note that the demonstrator performs his start in such as to maximize his depth without going so far down that he can’t get back up with speed and power. He uses the momentum that he has generated with his leg drive on the start.
0:20 – 0:56 - “Keep your head in a neutral position”. Your head shouldn’t swing around recklessly when you swim. The head contains the brain (3 lbs of the most important organ of the body) and about 6 to 7 pounds of bone to protect that. That’s 10 lbs of weight near the front of the ship. Where it goes, the body will go so don’t swing it side-to-side or you’ll be traveling so far side-to-side that it’ll add an extra yard or two to every 25 you do. Also, don’t whip it backwards when you breathe or it will work against the forward momentum you’re trying to establish (replay that segment and focus your attention on the swimmer’s head position).
1:02 to 1:12 - I spoke about this on Monday during the thunderstorm when we did dryland in the Bradford clubhouse. There are tools you can get to help improve your body positioning in the water. Buying fins and a snorkel (available through our good friends at Toad Hollow) gives you two great training tools to insure your body’s in the right position to maximize your muscular efforts.
Freestyle Kick Technique
It's only 1:17 long so it’s really brief. Listen to the instruction for when the knee flexes on the up kick around them 32 to 34 second mark. We always say the flutter kick is two directional. The video bares that out.
Everyone needs to breathe and doing it correctly can make sure you’re not undoing all the good work you did until you had to breathe.
Around the 25 second mark they speak to the location of your breathing and they say it comes “under your arm”. We refer to it as “pocket breathing” because your face is in the pocket of your arm created where your armpit meets the side of your body. Notice that the head rolls, it is not lifted and it travels in only two directions. Breathing should be almost effortless and it should be efficient.
Okay, that’s it for now. I love breaking down video and we’ll do it again with the other strokes very soon. Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to become a better swimmer. We’ll see you at the pool and continue to check Coaches' Corner for more updates and ideas.
Hey Piranhas we’re almost there!
We’re almost back in the pool. Back to the club. Back on vacation. Back to the pursuit of another league championship or a faster time or a place on the relay or the continuation of friendships. There’s a whole host of reasons that swimming at Picket Post is fun. And soon, we will be swimming so if you took a little time off after the winter swim season or if you ended basketball 4 weeks ago and haven’t gotten off the couch since or if you think you may need some swimming directed activity to get ready for the summer season; here’s a few things you might want to consider: Go to Archive ...