Everyone can benefit from keeping some important reminders in mind when swimming freestyle throughout practice. Take the time during warm-up to really get a feel for the water and engage in emphasizing these hallmarks of an efficient stroke:
- When swimming freestyle, try to be as TALL AS YOU CAN BE in the water. Truly stretch out in front on your strokes to engage your lats, perform a forward rotation to activate a strong catch, and keep your legs long and loose with slightly pointed toes. Fingertips to toes should be LONG and STRONG.
- I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping your HEAD DOWN in freestyle. Your eyes should be staring at the bottom of the pool (our friendly Mr. Black Line). This assists in giving your arms a bigger range of motion out front, enables your head to take a quicker breath, and also enables a bow wave to effectively be developed as you swim through the water. Additionally, keeping your head down enables your hips to naturally rise, which keeps your body line nice and high! You want your hips in line with your neck/head. SNORKELS are a terrific tool to help us keep our heads down while not having to breath, just to drive that point home even more.
- 2 Key Points on Turns:
- STREAMLINE - I posted the same article on our site twice now, which is meant to drill home how important streamlining is. Separating your hands, breaking your streamline with your head, or not launching yourself off of the wall are all adding up to increased effort on your part to regain momentum after the turn. Capitalize on the wall and use it as a weapon to rocket into your next length.
- BOTTOM ARM PULLS FIRST - Several of you tend to pull out of your turn with your "top arm". I challenge you to have your BOTTOM ARM be the one to pull first. This helps you finish your rotation off the wall and sets you up to drive forward.