We are going to keep the technique work going throughout January, as we did last year, before we start the build towards more race pace swimming from February onwards.  And for January the focus is going to continue to be on the underwater part of the pull by focusing on connecting your catch, with good EVF, to the powerful push part of the underwater pull.

This week I would like you to focus on your posture and shoulder position.  This should help you get more power in each stroke.  To focus on posture this week I would like you to think about keeping your shoulders forward and close to your face during the pull.  You can see the difference between a weaker and stronger shoulder position in the photos below.


These photos are from Sheila Taormina’s excellent Swim Speed Secrets book and show Jack maintaining a strong, high and forward shoulder position, which helps engage his strongest muscles for a powerful pull.  The drills we will be doing this week will help you focus on this and will consist of a number of different catch-up drills:

  • catch-up with a pause at EVF, where you pause before applying any force in the push part of the underwater stroke
  • regular catch-up, which you all should know and love, and
  • three-quarter catch-up, where you start one arm moving just before the other arm catches it up

Please use these drills and also work on your shoulder position during both the drill and main set and see if you can feel the difference in power connecting your catch to the powerful back-end of your underwater pull.

We will stick with the usual pattern of doing time trials every 2 months – on the last Saturday of the month – and the next time trials will be at the end of January.  We won’t be doing any speed work before then so any improvement in your performance is most likely to come from technique. So please focus on your technique over the next few weeks by getting a good lever, with an early vertical forearm, to push yourself forward using a strong core rotation all controlled with shoulders near your chin.

See you Saturday and remember the new start and and finish times of 7am-8:05am and 8:05am-9:10am!