The standard approach for learning (or teaching) freestyle is to use a high-elbow recovery. We’ve already covered the most typical drill for learning a high-elbow recovery, fingertip drag, but sometimes that’s still not enough. Just as with most teaching, to really start the process, you may have to dig a little deeper… literally. That’s where wrist-drag comes in.
Why Do It:
Wrist-Drag Freestyle requires not only that your elbows are high during the recovery, but also that you have a clear feeling of how your hands spear through the water during the extension forward. It’s an easy drill that will allow you to remain in balance, while you slowly work on your recovery.
How to Do It:
1. There are really only two steps to the drill, swim freestyle…
2. Push your entire hand through the water… up to the wrist.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
While the drill is very simple to accomplish, the proof is in the details. Keep your recovery close to your body to allow you to remain balanced during the recovery. Keep your eyes and head stable. This is a great drill to do without taking breaths, to allow you to really focus on pushing the hand through the water.
You’ll feel great resistance while pushing the hand forward, then great release as your body "snaps" to the other side during the extension. Don’t force this; just allow it to happen. It’s merely an added benefit, but not the focus (this time).
Freestyle – Wrist Drag drill is a great precursor to Freestyle – Fingertip Drag drill, so it’s sometimes a good idea to practice them together.