EVF (Early Vertical Forearm) Drill will help you isolate the initial point of connection for the freestyle catch.
Why Do It:
"EVF" stands for Early Vertical Forearm. It describes an ideal position for the hand, wrist, and forearm during a freestyle "catch." The goal is to establish a long, straight pulling surface from the fingertips…through the wrist…and all along the forearm…and to establish this pulling surface as early as possible once the hand enters the water.
If you can learn how to establish EVF, you’ll maximize the amount of force you can apply to the water.
If you’ve spent years and years pushing DOWN on the water before you establish your catch…EVF will feel very unnatural and will be an elusive concept. Unless…you can slow down and isolate what it’s supposed to feel like.
How to Do It:
1. This would be a GREAT time to put on a Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel. The snorkel lets you focus completely on the drill without having to worry about air. Grab a pull buoy, too, because you won’t be kicking during the drill.
2. Push off in "Position 11" on your stomach.
3. Starting with the right arm…point the fingertips down and make a scooping motion out and around and return the hand to Position 11.
4. Now the left arm. Point the fingertips down (this is where you establish EVF) and make a scooping motion out and around and return the hand to Position 11.
5. Repeat with the right arm and keep alternating arms. Imagine you’re using your hand and forearm to scoop out a giant bowl of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and then present it to your coach at the far end of the pool.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Slow down! This drill isn’t about how fast you can get to the other end. It’s about how well you can isolate and maintain the EVF position.
2. Keep your elbows near the surface and don’t let them drop or pull back past your shoulders. The forearm and elbow should remain out in front of your head.
3. Don’t let your wrist collapse. Maintain a straight pulling surface from fingertips to elbow.
4. Stabilize your upper body and don’t let it bounce up and down. Keep your arm motions steady and even.
5. Try alternating one length of EVF drill with one length of EVF freestyle.
6. Or try alternating one length of EVF drill with one length of EVF breaststroke.