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Freestyle – Lope Kick

If you have a swimmer who has a natural loping freestyle, harness that trait and incorporate it into kick and catch training, and general conditioning.

Why Do It:
Many swimmers who start to develop a loping freestyle may think the underwater portion is a place to glide and rest… it’s not.  We must teach our swimmers to fill in that space with a solid kick.

How to Do It:
1.  The goal is to get the swimmer to take 10-12 kicks under water with the long-side arm forward.
2.  To best achieve this, have the swimmer breathe to the side on which he typically stays under longer.
3.  After the breath, the swimmer should dive, or press down under the surface for the 10-12 kicks.
4.  Repeat!

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
There are many fine points in this drill.  The eyes should remain looking down in a freestyle position.  The swimmer may want to tilt the head, but encourage them to maintain the proper line.

While the swimmer is kicking under water, this delay, or pause, gives him a bit more time to think about that initial catch.  He should prepare to grab as much water as possible, as early as possible, in the catch to get back up to air.

After the breath, and as the swimmer is heading down into the kicking position, he should also focus on the initial catch, trying to drive the other arm as far foward as possible.  Try to drive forward, and not down.