Freestyle – Practice the Catch

One of the most important aspects of freestyle is sometimes the toughest one to get right.  Taking your time to really feel the catch is a very smart idea.

Why Do It:
Slowing down, and putting all your attention on how you connect with the water out front, helps you identify what’s meant by a high-elbow catch.

How to Do It:
This drill combines a two focal points from two Go Swim DVDs: "Position 11" from the Steve Haufler DVD, and "Angles" from the Kara Lynn Joyce DVD.  If you’d like to see these points in more detail, we encourage you to pick up those videos.
1.  Start by pushing off the wall in "Position 11" (both arms outstretched directly in front of your shoulders).
2.  Next, take a pull with one arm, and return to "Position 11."
3.  As you take this pull, keep in your mind the vision of Kara Lynn Joyce initiating her pull and keeping her elbow very near the surface.
4.  The goal is to keep your arm, from shoulder to elbow, as still as possible…
5.  …while the front of your arm, your "paddle" from the elbow to fingers, points to the bottom and creates a great pulling surface.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you’re having a tough time feeling the high-elbow catch, put on a pair of fins to give your some momentum.   Kick gently, and allow your hand to fall into the catch position, rather than trying to pull yourself forward.  Take your time and relax.  To really get the feeling, you can’t force this.  You should also feel the muscles in your back and side engage just a bit better as well.

Download the HD version of this drill for your own personal use.