The pull buoy is rarely used to teach the ownership of balance, but by using it to shift the balance point of the body, a swimmer can learn more about adjusting their stroke.
Why Do It:
Using a standard tool in a new way keeps the variables of how to swim in the athlete’s mind. It’s a nice change to a standard drill, and is a bit fun for the swimmers.
How to Do It:
1. Using the pull buoy at the ankles is an old drill, but one that teaches the swimmer how to stabilize the core. Start with the buoy at the ankles.
2. Quickly move the pull buoy to between the knees. This slight shift will change how you need to press into your stroke through the chest in order to keep the body in balance.
3. Now move the buoy to the normal, thigh-height position. This will again change how your body associates with the water.
4. Keep varying the position within the set: ankles…knees…normal.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Strangely enough, the lower positions of the buoy help to teach a fine point for breaststroke, butterfly, and open turns. A big part of a great open turn is having the legs slice toward the wall together. Holding on to the buoy during the open turn requires that the legs stay tight, and close, as they’re drawn up.
It’s always nice finding additional benefits in drills.