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Freestyle – Building The Stroke

Spending time with the Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club, we had a chance to watch the group performing the following drill.  The attention to detail was evident, and it was great to watch.  Coach Matt Beckwith shared this with us, where he also said he’d borrowed it from Paul Yetter.

Why do it:
Building a solid freestyle starts with a solid foundation.  This single length progression incorporated many facets of a great freestyle.

How to do it:
1 – Start by establishing your balance in a stationary position.  Take your time and be patient.  The use of a snorkel can be key here, as it allows you to be very patient.
2 – Slowly uncoil from a ball position, starting to initiate a slight kick to bring the legs up.
3 – Slowly move forward, starting to feel the water with your hands.
4 – Move to a larger sculling action, starting to build the pull.
5 – Slowly start to lift the elbow to a fingertip drag drill.
6 – Then to Stun Gun recover position, and finally some slow swimming.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
Build each component of the pull, while maintaining the bodyline that you set up at the beginning of the length.  Don’t rush from step to step just because you think it’s next.  Move forward with building the arm action ONLY after you know you’re able to build each stop while maintaining the bodyline.

We love the slow, steady, and thoughtful progress this swimmer is making, and it was great watching an entire team go through this without hurry or rush.