When you’re trying to build a great freestyle, it’s important you focus on the extreme ends of the body.
Why do it:
Learning how to drive the hands forward from the legs will help you develop a more complete stroke, and then afford you the ability to choose how fast you want to go, or how efficient you want to be.
How to do it:
1 – Consider this a delayed freestyle. Holding each stroke for an extra few kicks. We call it 6-kick swim so it’s just enough distraction to get swimmers to delay…. the actual number of kicks isn’t that important.
2 – While you hold for a brief moment on each side, focus on extending the arm completely straight out front.
3 – Keep the kick going for the entire length.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
This drill can also help swimmers learn a better breath timing as well. As you take a stroke, turn your head to air with the body. Immediately after the breath, bring the head back down and focus on your balanced line.
You’ll be able to identify habitually late breathers in this drill, those swimmers who stroke, then turn the head, then rush, or collapse back to the other side. Take your time in the extended position, and remind yourself to turn the head with the stroke, not after.
To advance the drill forward, perform a couple strokes of the drill, and then gradually build back to a regular stroke timing by the end of the length. The goal is to maintain the constant kick, the extension forward, and the correct breath timing.