Improve your technique by doing drills catered to your weaknesses in the water.
Drills are most effective when they target your specific stroke limitations. Instead of aimlessly lollygagging through another Fist Drill, identify your problem first then do the drills that focus on your weakness.
Your problem: “I don’t move forward when I kick.”
Vertical kick: Focus on a small and quick kicking cadence that originates at your hips.
– Novice: Keep arms underwater and use a small sculling motion with your hands for added buoyancy.
– Intermediate: Lock arms at sides and do not use hands.
– Advanced: Hold hands above surface of the water.
Kick with fins: Use long, pliable rubber fins. Fins will allow you to feel the correct kicking motion and help you build muscle memory.
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Your problem: “I feel out of breath after one lap of the pool.”
Humdingers: Hum your favorite song as you swim a length of the pool. This will force you to exhale out your nose and reduce the buildup of carbon dioxide in your lungs.
Breathing pattern: Establish a pattern of breathing every second or third stroke. Don’t wait until you “need” to breathe.
Your problem: “When I try lengthening my glide and taking fewer strokes, I go slower.”
Quick turnover: Stop doing Catch-Up Drill. Instead, remove the pauses in your stroke by increasing your stroke rate, and focus on a stronger pull instead of a longer glide.
Swim Golf: Swim a 50 and add your number of strokes with the time in seconds. Try different stroke rates to achieve the lowest total number, which will determine your most efficient stroke.
Your problem: “My hands cross the center of my body during entry or pull.”
Stick Drill: Swim Catch-Up Drill using a 12-inch wooden dowel or PVC pipe. Keep one hand on the stick at all times in front of you, holding it at the edges to prevent crossover.
The “?”: Think of drawing a question mark as you catch and pull under your body. Slightly sweep away from your body at the beginning, sweep back in toward your body in the middle of the pull, but then push straight back to your thigh to finish the stroke.
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