Fast hands are extremely important in breaststroke, and this week’s drill, which puts a slight focus twist on a standard drill, presents a tremendous opportunity to prepare the quickest hands possible.
Why Do It:
Getting your hands back out front as quickly as possible in breaststroke, allows you to get your body into a streamline position PRIOR to the kick. As a result, you can take full advantage of the kick’s powerful thrust. Attacking the stroke in an aggressive, forward move can also aid in drawing the head, shoulders, back, and rest of the body toward the other end.
How To Do It:
1. I’m assuming you all already know how to do 2 Down/1 Up Breaststroke. If this is NOT the case, then I’m afraid you’re going to be required to purchase the Go Swim Breaststroke Drills DVD prior to reading any further. Seeing swimmers like Dave Denniston and Staciana Stitts perform this drill will give you a better sense of the entire drill. Watch them, and THEN you can move more into a single-focus-point practice…like this one. 🙂
2. After you have completed the second kick, or bonus kick in the drill, prepare your mind and body for the aggressive move you’re about to use in your RECOVERY. I did say "RECOVERY" and not necessarily "PULL." This is to make sure that you don’t RUSH the pull. Rather, pull as you normally would, but, as the hands begin to spin forward, SHOOT them directly forward across the surface of the water.
3. Try to follow your hands with your head and torso, allowing the hands to begin to slice a hole in the water that the rest of your body will travel through.
4. Repeat as necessary.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
I’ve used so many words in the past to try to describe the quickness, or SPEED with which the hands should move forward, but the best word usually seems to be "VIOLENT." This forward movement should be more aggressive than aggressive. This forward movement should be faster than quick, quicker than fast, and more intense than just about any other single move in the sport. Just make sure that when you’re doing it… you’re "SENDING IT FORWARD."