This is an old standby drill for freestyle that’s been done by coaches and swimmers since as long as we can remember. This drill is demonstrated by Gold Medalist, Cullen Jones.
Why Do It:
Isolating each arm can help you discover what each arm does during the pull. This drill will also help you key in on your balance as you rotate to air on either side.
How to Do It:
1. Start with a standard streamline pushoff (Cullen dives in, but you can use a push) and take a stroke with one arm.
2. As that arm finishes, leave it at your side and begin a stroke with the other arm.
3. As your begin your pull, make sure the shoulder of the opposite arm is above the water.
4. To breathe, one option is to turn your head toward the pulling arm…
5 …or breathe to the other side, toward the non-pulling arm.
6. Alternate arms per length, or take a few strokes with one arm, then switch, and finish with regular freestyle.
How to Do It Really Well (Like Cullen)
Play around with the drill and focus. Don’t get locked into a set pattern, and concentrate on what your pulling arm is doing. You may find that you feel more comfortable to one side than you do to the other, which is very normal.