Staying in balance in freestyle is one of the best ways to maintain speed. Figuring out how to control your bodyline to OBTAIN that balance, especially when you’re completing your pull, is one of the fine points of freestyle.
Why Do It:
To make sure you swim the shortest-possible distance in a race, you want to make sure you’re always aiming your body directly down the lane, and moving your body in a very direct line.
How to Do It:
1. Prior to leaving the wall, make sure to fill your lungs with air.
2. Push off in streamline, and focus your attention on your stable head, and arms.
3. Take a pull with one of your arms (your preference). Rotate your body toward your side during the pull, and push the lead hand directly forward.
4. Don’t turn, or tilt your head, but keep it VERY stable.
5. As you finish the pull, hold your arm in the back and count to five…while flutter kicking.
6. After you’ve reached the count of five, recover your trailing arm and pull with your lead arm, rotating your body to the other side.
7. Get your body into the same position on the other side, holding for a count of five… and repeat.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you’d like to add this to a longer set, you’ll probably have to work in some breathing at some point.
Just as you’re making the switch… turn your head in line with your body, grab a quick breath, and rotate your head back down to the center.
Make sure that when you finish each pull, you push the water directly back… not out to the side.
Feel your body slicing through the water while you’re on your side, and try not to over kick. Remember: Your focus during the drill is to create a long, balanced, and direct line in the water. If you kick too much, you’ll risk incorporating too much full-body action into the drill.