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: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Arthur Albiero, University of Louisville head coach, presents two body position drills that will help you establish and maintain a tight body line for your freestyle stroke. With an improved body position, you will be able to minimize drag, increase speed and become more efficient.
Body Kick & Side Kick
Drill Summary: For the “Body Kick,” swimmers keep their hands at their sides and kick forward, doing their best to take quick, sneaky breaths. Focus on maintaining a good body line and keeping your back high up. For the “Side Kick,” swimmers lean to one side with their underside hand extended out in front. The body should be in a line from the fingertips to the toes, and swimmers can use their arm to maintain their balance on both sides.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Saturday, August 1, 2015
A training tool you may not have much experience with that can help your swimmers learn to swim on the top of the water is a stretch cord. In this clip, eight time NCAA Coach of the Year, David Marsh, shows you a series of drills using a stretch cord aimed at training the freestyle.
Drill Summary: There are a variety of ways you can use a stretch cord to improve a swimmer’s freestyle. One way is for resistance, which can be achieved by slowly letting a swimmer away from you by providing slack at a slow pace, which will help them add power to their stroke. Another method is to use the stretch cord to pull them toward you, which will teach them to glide on the top of the water and keep their body as flat and narrow as possible.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Chloe Sutton, three-time USA Swimming National Champion, presents a great drill to help teach the correct form for the recovery on the freestyle stroke. The “Shark Fin Drill” will teach swimmers to lead with their elbow as they pull their trail arm out of the water for their next stroke.
Shark Fin Drill
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off from the wall and get into their freestyle stroke. Imagine that the water is ice, and focus on “breaking the ice” with the trail elbow on the recovery. Once the elbow is up out of the water, pause there for a second in the stroke. Do this with every stroke for the length of the pool. Make sure to keep the kick going strong to keep the body in a straight line during this drill.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Monday, June 1, 2015
University of Louisville head coach, Arthur Albiero, incorporates the “Straight Arm Drill” into his swimmers’ training regimens to ensure they eliminate excess drag in the freestyle stroke. As an added dimension, coach Albiero has swimmers use a sponge as well to force them to use more power.
Straight Arm Drill / Sponge Drill
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off the wall and work on keeping their arms straight. Swimmers start off slowly and increase speed as they approach the opposite wall, focusing on swimming in a straight line for maximum efficiency. For the “Sponge Drill”, you’ll need to tie a sponge so it trails behind the swimmer as they execute their stroke.