Determining what path a swimmer will take to fix a problem with their stroke, is sometimes a trial-and-error process.
Why Do It:
In this particular case, our swimmer has a very common problem of trying to use a semi-breaststroke kick during his freestyle. Through a few different trials, we feel we’ve come to the path that will get him to where he wants to go.
How to Do It:
1. Typically, we start with filming, talking, and then seeing if the swimmer can fix an issue just by thought. We started with the Finis Freestyler snorkel so we could see if he could just stabilize the body. Sometimes, instinct is just too ingrained.
2. Another idea was to strap the ankels together to keep the kick much tighter. Unfortunately, that still allowed the feet to move a bit too much, and he was connecting with the water in the same way.
3. The next step was to put on an old pair of Zoomers. Zoomers require that you kick. Plus… the extra surface area makes it much tougher to draw the feet up into that breaststroke position. We were on our way.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Sometimes you just have to reteach someone how to kick. Toss them a board and have them kick. Next, have them kick without the board. Then, have them start each length kicking without the board, and then slowly add the stroke to the kick. We started with a constant kick, then slowly added strokes until a rhythm was built. The final fix may take 4-6 weeks to really set in… but if the athlete is committed to the change, you’ll never have to worry about it again.