Using a kickboard to stabilize the body is a good way to teach the freestyle catch, and freestyle extension.
Why Do It:
Like last week’s drill, focusing on what the hand and forearm does first to initiate the catch is always good practice. Using the board under the extending arm helps the swimmer to learn the stretch of the extension of the non-pulling arm.
How to Do It:
1. Start with Position 11 Kick, face down, with one hand resting on, not holding, the board.
2. The hands should be apart, and the hand NOT on the board should not be touching the board.
3. After the swimmer is stable, have him take 3 strokes while the hand on the board remains stable. Keep the head down and not breathing.
4. Grab a breath between the three strokes by lifting, and then putting the head back down and take three more strokes.
5. Switch arms, and begin to lengthen the extending arm.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Continue to lengthen, or press deeper through the finish of, the pull. Extend and push the arm holding the board further out front, focusing on the stretch all through the side at full extension.
Move forward to long, smooth swimming, having the swimmer focus on the extension out front, and the initial catch of the pull.