Friday, 27 April 2012

Improving your Freestyle

Over the past 6 months I have come across many varied different strokes of "Freestyle" "Frontcrawl".  I have worked with and coached different level ability of swimmers from "Learn 2 Swim" all the way up to Regional County Swimmers.  However no matter what the level is of the swimmer, everyone could do with working on Technique and Drills to improve their efficiency.

Here is what I have dubbed as "Select Six"
  1. Kick, Kick, Kick !!!        The world's best freestylers are some of the world's best kickers.
  2. Pacing                              
      • Work on even pacing for endurance training, or even having a faster 2nd half on training repeats.  
  3. Technique
      • ALWAYS important.  However tired you may be, remember swimming is a resistance sport .... the less you create the faster you will be.
        • Body Position        Maintain a streamlined body position for as long as possible, keep it tight and "Long & Strong"
        • High Elbow Recovery    Keep a high elbow, this will allow you fully extend into the front of your stroke and to position your hand correctly for entry between the line of the head and the shoulder.
        • Drive Phase     Through the Drive Phase of the arm action, keep the hands under the body, trying to use the forearm a s much as possible as an extension of the hand.
        • Head in line      Look to keep the head in line with the spine in a neutral position throughout the stroke.  Even on the breath stroke keep the rotation in line with the spine.
        • Breathing         Breath air out when face is in the water so that when you turn the head to breath you can use the time solely for taking more air in   
        • Kick     A constant leg kick will provide the body with great balance for  more powerful stroke.
  4. Stroke Count
        • Count per length to keep track of how efficient you are.  Over time see if you can reduce the number of strokes you do each lap down, whilst maintaining or improving your time.
  5. Maximise the walls
        • When swimming laps in a pool, try to come off the wall quickly and streamlined.  Throughout your lap there is no other time that you are more streamlined than when pushing off from the wall.  So touch the wall and turn as quick as possible, not to break your breathing rhythm up and stop.  Once pushed off from the wall hold a good streamlined position and start to kick then as you surface the water do not take your first breath till you have done at least 2 strokes.
  6. Breath Both Sides
        • Whilst racing many swimmers have a "favourite" side on which to breathe, in training it is a good to breathe to both sides in order to keep your stroke balanced.

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