We often think that our stroke is like a metronome, consistently hitting that 1, 2, 1, 2, left, right, left, right rhythm, however for many swimmers who come to swim squad for the first time as an adult; their stroke timing is anything but. The crux of this problem is that as the swimmer rotates to take a breath, their lead arm will often slip through the water, dropping their elbow and catching no water that means a shortening of their total body length. This slippage makes it difficult to maintain body position especially whilst desperately gasping for that essential breath, oft times we will see the swimmer raise their head above the line of the water, which has a compounding effect and dropping of the legs.
Swimming is hard, there seems to be so much to think about, hand, head, rotate, kick, bubble, breath, it can become over whelming. So what I want you to do this week, and builds upon the previous articles, is what I call the 1, 2, Grip drill (Paul Newsome from Swim Smooth calls this one the 1, 2, Reach, but I find athletes will over extend).
Here is Paul, explaining about the drill, but remember the terminology change – not “stretch” but “GRIP”.
Helps coordinate the catch and arm timing, preventing losing support of the lead arm while breathing.
Breathe out thinking 1, 2 for two arm pulls and think about stretching out and gripping the third lead hand as you take a breath.
So that is it for this week, a quick little article, and a single drill to add into your repertoire, if you missed the first two (2) articles in the series then please make sure you go back and read them, Article One and Article Two.