Stun Gun is a very simple drill that challenges you to get the absolute most out of all aspects of your freestyle stroke. It calls for balance, control of the recovery, and a constant kick to keep things moving.
Why Do It:
First and foremost, Stun Gun will make you aware of how your arm recovery can disrupt your balance. It will also make you aware of the importance of a steady kick to your overall balance and momentum. In fact, Stun Gun is a great 6-beat-kick drill for freestyle.
How to Do It:
1. Start by initiating a very normal stroke of freestyle.
2. But… instead of carrying the hand back to the entry point, you need to PAUSE your hand just above your head.
3. As you hold your hand above your head, you should be rotated to your side, and have the lead hand directly in front of you.
4. After you feel comfortable, allow the recovering hand to fall into the water and extend. As you do this, take a stroke with your other hand, and return it to the PAUSE position just above your head.
5. When it’s time to breathe, simply turn your head for air, and bring it back to center.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you’re having a tough time with air… or with fitting in the breath… use a Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel. The center-mount snorkel will give you plenty of time to focus on what your body is doing, and how you’re kicking. If you’re also having a tough time continuing forward momentum, an easy fix is to use fins.
Be careful not to use your lead arm to brace, or scull, out front. This shows you’re still out of balance. A quick check is to turn your hand to the side to show that you’re still able to keep the arm in place without any pressure on the palm.
We like to follow this drill with some smooth freestyle swimming… just to make sure everything has integrated nicely into the stroke.