Archives for posts with tag: quick catch

I’ve seen and heard about much improved high-elbow pulls over the last few weeks as I’ve challenged you to learn some new drills.  I’ve also been pleased to hear that many of you do feel the difference in your swimming after having practised the drills, which is great to hear.  So the next challenge is to turn these temporary improvements in your underwater pull into more permanent improvements and the best way of doing this is practise.  So please work on your high-elbow catch all session this week, during the warm-up, drill set and especially during the latter half of the main set.  The more you practice this the more permanent the improvements will be!

This week we will be repeating the reverse doggy paddle and hand re-entry drills from last week so please read my previous posts on these if you want a reminder.  We will also be doing some quick catch drill which is a natural progression from these drills to help you think keeping the high elbow catch as you move more quickly through the water.  And for a bit of competitive fun to work on the keeping hold of the water we will also be finishing the session with some 25m pull-back sprints which you can see here.

See you Saturday!


Three things to be aware of about the session this week – extra coaching, improving your catch and sprinting.

Both Chrissie and myself will be there for the 8am-9:15am session to coach again so please do take advantage of the extra coaching.  To make it easier for us to watch you, and film you if you would like, we will change the lanes everyone is swimming in.  So, lane 3 swimmers will be in lane 4, lane 4 swimmers in lane 3, lane 2 swimmers in lane 1 and lane 1 swimmers in lane 2.  We will do this for both sessions, to keep it simple and also for a change in the way everyone turns at each end.  The sets will still be set for your “original” lane though so don’t get any ideas about having a session that is too easy or too hard!

We will be doing some work to focus on the catch this week.  You will probably be bored of me talking about it now but I will keep banging on about it as it is still the area I think most of us can improve.  I would recommend reading my previous post on this for some detail and good videos.  But the most important thing I want you to work on is the quick catch drill.  If you get it – great, keep working on it.  If you don’t, please do persevere and try and find that strong, quick catch that gives you a surge of power and makes you feel like you really have hold of the water.  Different things work for different people.  Some ideas that I know work for some of you that you can try are:

  • Imagining swimming over the top of your hand, keeping your elbow high
  • Imaging trying to get your hand onto a barrel or something solid underwater to push yourself past
  • Doing a strong front to mid scull to really feel the water
  • Just saying “quick” in your head every time you enter the water

Finally, we will be finishing off the session tomorrow with some 25 sprints, for a few different reasons.  Firstly, it is good preparation for those that will be heading up to the National Master Swimming Championships in Sheffield next weekend.  Secondly, it is great high intensity training and a change from the aerobic swimming we will be doing for most of the session.  And finally, and most importantly, 25 sprints are fun – but please do try and look like a proper swimmer when you are sprinting and kick your legs as hard and fast as you can!

See you Saturday,


This week we will be doing some more progressively paced swims off a relatively short turnaround to keep the intensity high and practice fast-paced swimming as you get tired.  However, we will also be doing some “quick catch” drills to allow us all to think about a good, strong catch.

I know you have heard me talk about the importance of a high-elbow catch several times before, and I have noticed an improvement from many of you.  However, I think it is still the single biggest area that many of us could obtain further improvement from in terms of efficient swimming speed so I will keep banging on about it!  Three things you can do to work on this:

  1. Re-read my previous posts on this topic and watch the videos, especially this post.
  2. Practice it during the session on Saturday, both during the warm-up, in the drill set and especially when you start to get tired towards the end of the main set.
  3. See the effect on your stroke count and times when you are working on it and get used to what it feels like when you know you are catching the water well.

See you Saturday!


I will be away this week so Chrissie has kindly offered to take the session.  We have the pool for 3 hours again so we will again be running two sessions – 7 to 8:30 and 8:30 to 10.  Chrissie will be showing you all how it is done and swimming the first session but has kindly offered to coach for the second one.

The main set this week will be working on speed endurance again with a set of 100s, as we did a few weeks ago, so you may want to refresh your memory on some things to think about on this from last time.  There will also be a chance to do some work on technique – both by doing some different strokes and doing some quick catch drill.  You can read one of my previous posts on quick catch drill if you need a reminder on what this is all about.

See you in a week’s time!


%d bloggers like this: