Anything that gets swimmers focused on their catch is a good thing. When it costs so little, it’s even better. Here is a standard drill used by Pinecrest Head Coach Jay Fitzgerald.
Why Do It:
Becoming aware of how even parts of your hand can be pinpointed when thinking of the catch can help many swimmers identify how to grab the water with more effectiveness.
How to Do It:
1. Pick up a pack of practice golf balls, or ping pong balls (very cheap), and have the swimmers grip them between their thumb and index finger. Extend the other three fingers to use as the catching surface.
2. Swim naturally, focusing your attention on catching the water with the outside edge of your hand.
3. Try to focus on how the large outside base of your palm connects with the water.
4. You can swim long or short swims with these, paying particular attention to how your hand connects, and making sure you don’t drop the ball.
5. When it’s time, switch back to normal swimming, feeling how the hands now interact with the water.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Depending on how many swimmers you have, and how long your pool is, we love how drills can change to swimming just about any place in the pool. Swim for a bit with the balls in your hand, and about halfway down, drop the balls out of your hands and swim naturally the rest of the length. This quick switch can be very effective in continuing to focus your attention on the front of the stroke… and it barely costs any money per swimmer.