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Freestyle – 1-2-3 Drill

A consistent kick is a skill most freestylers desire; however, most of us weren’t born with it.  Learning how to incorporate the ultimate kick, a 6-beat kick, into your swimming initially seems like a very daunting task.  The 1-2-3 Drill can help you learn this skill. 

Why Do It:
Learning to incorporate a 6-beat kick (three kicks per armstroke) into all of your freestyle swimming COULD allow you to maintain your momentum throughout your stroke cycle, even if you’re trying to maximize efficiency.  We stress COULD as it’s going to take some practice.  

How to Do It:
1.  This is a pretty tough drill that takes a lot of thought, so practice it a little bit at a time… and slow down!
2.  Start by swimming normal freestyle, but initiate some musician tactics into your swimming… COUNT your kicks per stroke as if you were in 3/3 time… 1-2-3, 1-2-3. 1-2-3… etc.  
3.  While that may sound easy, it’s a LOT more difficult than it sounds.  Try to set the rhythm with your arms first, and then work your kick into the armstroke rhythm.
4.  Don’t over kick.  You’re going to need to keep your kick small, and flowing… or you’ll end up working so hard you won’t be able to maintain this for very long.
5.  Swim for very short stints… mainly 25s until you get the hang of it.
6.  The final step will be to breathe every 3rd stroke to keep all the counting consistent.  You can even start talking to yourself while you’re counting your kicks… Breathe-2-3, Breathe-2-3, Breathe-2-3, Breathe-2-3… etc.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Extend your freestyle swims while maintaining a consistent 1-2-3 rhythm in your kick.  Continue to remind yourself that you have to keep the kick small and steady enough to maintain for the duration of your swim, whether that’s for a 25… or 1500.