By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Three time Olympian and two time Olympic gold medalist, Peter Vanderkaay, uses the “Short Dog Paddle” drill to work on the freestyle catch. This drill will train swimmers to keep their fingertips down, their elbows high and their hands relaxed as they catch and release water to create propulsion.
Short Dog Paddle
Drill Summary: Begin by pushing off and getting into a nice streamline. Next, work on catching water out front with your fingertips down and elbows high, then release the water about halfway through the stroke. Remember to maintain soft, relaxed hands and keep kicking to stay in a good body position.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Sunday, November 1, 2015
Former Auburn University head coach, Richard Quick, offers a freestyle drill that gets swimmers extended from head to toe during their stroke. By lengthening the reach of the freestyle, athletes can glide through the water more efficiently.
Arm Lead Drill on Side
Drill Summary: Swimmers push off from the wall and swim the length of the pool on their side. The bottom arm should be extended out forward while the top arm is laid across the belly button. Swimmers should keep their eyes down, maintain a long and high neck, lead with their head and keep their back flat throughout the entirety of the drill.
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.