October was the month working on body position and now we’re in to November we’ll be focusing on the arm stroke and especially the high-elbow catch.  On the last Saturday of November we will also start our Winter time trials where we set a baseline for measuring any changes in technique and fitness that you make over the Winter.

This week I’d like everyone to think about the start of the pull with a high-elbow catch so we will be doing some new drills to help you work on this.  The drills will go as follows:

  • Sideline kicking
    • Look down and slightly forward so you can see your hand and elbow
    • Make sure the elbow of your lead arm is above your hand all the time
    • This should be quite hard and you will need to flex your shoulder quite a lot to achieve it!
  • Sideline kicking with quarter pull
    • Same as sideline kick but doing the first quarter of the pull with your lead arm
    • Recover the pulling arm underwater, as you would for puppy paddle or doggy paddle drill
    • Swim it slowly without pressing hard – you are not generating propulsion just practising keeping your elbow above your hand and getting ready to catch
  • Reverse doggy paddle
    • Like normal doggy paddle but starting and finishing each stroke with both arms at your sides (like reverse catch-up)
    • Let your shoulders rotate as you would on normal front crawl and breathe to the side
    • Focus on keeping your elbow nice and high at the start and throughout the pull
  • Full stroke
    • Keep the high-elbow catch you have just been practising
    • Do the catch slowly – don’t start pressing hard until your forearm is pointing to the bottom of the pool so you only push the water backwards

 There’s a video also here of me explaining these new drills if you need it.

See you Saturday!