By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
14 time All-American at the University of Arizona, Coley Stickels, teaches you the “Catch & Throw” drill. Versions of this drill are commonly used to help swimmers improve their freestyle, but it can also serve as a great way to accent the forearm in the catch for anyone utilizing the backstroke.
Catch & Throw
Drill Summary: The swimmer pushes off from the wall slightly on their side, then sets their catch. To complete a rep, pull the arm all the way through and return to the recovery position. Focus on throwing the body/torso past the catch and keeping all momentum on a horizontal plane. Coach Stickels has his swimmers use an over grip paddle to accent the forearm in the catch. Remember to work on both hands.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Thursday, October 1, 2015
14 time NCAA All-American with the University of Arizona, Coley Stickels, uses the “Pivot Drill” to teach his athletes how to set the catch and use the hands to thrust forward on the freestyle stroke. The timing and pivoting action developed in this drill will help swimmers become more efficient freestylers.
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off from the wall with a snorkel. To begin, put one hand out in front of the shoulder and kick eight times. On the eighth kick, set the high elbow catch and pull the hand straight down toward the bottom of the pool. After that, flatten the hips and go into a recovery position. Repeat for the length of the pool. It’s important to avoid overreaching during this drill, and athletes should also keep their kick consistent and their elbow close to the surface of the water.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Dolphin kicking is an essential skill that all swimmers should be able to execute with good balance in the water. Coley Stickels, 14-time NCAA All-American with the University of Arizona, uses the “Quad 4 Drill” to get swimmers comfortable dolphin kicking and help determine their dominant side.
Quad 4 Drill
Drill Summary: This drill can be executed with or without fins. The swimmer pushes off from the wall and executes four dolphin kicks on their stomach, then transitions into four dolphin kicks on their right side, does four more dolphin kicks on their stomach and finishes with four dolphin kicks on their left side. The kicks in this drill are meant to be rapid, and swimmers should try to be nearly all the way on their sides when they shift away from the stomach. For most swimmers, all 16 kicks should get them far enough for the entire length of the pool.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Friday, May 1, 2015
14-time NCAA All-American Coley Stickels teaches swimmers the “Circle Fist Drill” to get them to shrug their shoulders and roll them forward, which are both key techniques to a great breaststroke. In addition to providing the correct shoulder motion, this drill also teaches athletes to lift with their forearms.
Circle Fist Drill
Drill Summary: The swimmer pushes off the wall and extends their arms straight out with their elbows locked and fists clenched. Next, the athlete creates a circle with their arms instead of taking a full breaststroke. The swimmer should use their forearms to lift, and shrug their shoulders to their earlobes. This drill is usually done with a flutter kick and speed isn’t important. An alternate version of this drill can be completed by putting on fins and alternating with fists and open hands.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Sunday, February 1, 2015
Coley Stickels, a 14 time NCAA All-American with the University of Arizona, presents a drill that is sure to increase the effectiveness of the backstroke. The “Over Under Drill” creates power and speed for swimmers of all skill levels.
Over Under Drill
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off the wall on their back and begin with both hands at their hips. To start the drill, swimmers sneak the right arm up into a catch position. Then, swimmers make sure to get the elbow high, pivot the hips and pull their arm all the way down. After this is done, swimmers do a full stroke with their left hand, then repeat the process for the length of the pool.