Below is a list of equipment I recommend for training:
-Fins: Zoomers and/or Optimus Training Fins (or something similar)
-TYR Catch Paddles – Small
-Catalyst Brites or Contour Hand Paddle (stay on the smaller side)
-Finis Swimmers Snorkel
-Kickboard (which most pools have)
-An ankle band
-A mesh bag to keep all of the above in.
These are not necessary items, but can aid in training. Please let me know if you have any of the above and contact me if you purchase any in the future. Also, please put your name, or at least initials, on all of your equipment!
***Please note that although these are all freestyle drills, we also do lots of stroke work.***
-Head-Lead Balance Drill:
Goal: Basic body line position, balance, body position awareness
Body in prone position, hands on thighs, nose pointed down
Kick easy flutter kick breathing forward every 8-10 kicks; after each breath (which will slightly cause the body to sink) head will return to the starting position
-Arm Lead Balance Drill:
Goal: Teaches full length body line & introduces swimming ‘taller’
Body in prone position, arms extended a few inches under the water in front of shoulders
Same as Head-lead drill; breathe forward every 8-10 kicks, then rebalance.
-Kick fast w/board:
Goal: to teach correct technique (fast short kicks with minimal knee-bend)
Extend arms on top of board so that the hands are holding the far end
Keep board on surface of water
Point toes towards the wall behind you
-Kick on back w/board:
Goal: to deter excessive knee bend
Hold kick board at the end so that the board covers your knees
Your nose should be pointed at the ceiling
Keep board on surface of water
If your knees are whacking the board, your knee are bending them too much
-Side Balance Drill:
Goal: Learn how to balance and relax while on your side.
Bottom arm is extended straight a few inches under water so that fingers are pointing at the other end of the pool
Face is in the water with the nose pointing down, roll your head to breathe
Top shoulder is pointed towards the ceiling with hand resting on top thigh
Body is in a straight line from head to toe
Use a relaxed but steady kick
Goal: to teach a high elbow recovery
At the end of stroke when thumb is at thigh, drag the thumb up the side of the body until it reaches the armpit, then do a normal hand entry
-Single-Arm Freestyle (can use a kick board):
Goal: Maintain balance and body line while pulling and rotating; ability to breathe on both sides; teaches the pull, timing, and recovery while focusing on one side only
Kick 8-10 kicks in prone position with arms extended, eyes down. (If using a board, keep the head up and looking forward)
Pull with one arm and rotate the hips/body to the side of the pull, recover, and kick another 8-10 kicks prior to repeating.
A breath should be taken with each pull to develop correct breathing timing OR breathe every 2-3 pulls to emphasize correct pull.
Goal: More closely approximates full stroke while maintaining balance, body line, and longer body
Instead of kicking 8-10 kicks between pulls, swimmer pulls with the other arm as soon as the recovery hand is parallel with the hand in front
Can do this with thumb to thigh drill too as that's where your stroke should finish
-Long Dog Paddle:
Goal: To focus on a high elbow and good catch
While swimming freestyle, instead of bringing the recovery arm out of the water, shoot it forward under water with the pinky facing the bottom of the pool
Scull: Goal: To gain a feel for the water and to increase forearm strength.While slightly kicking on your stomach and keeping your arms fairly straight, consistently move your arms in and out. Push out with your thumbs down and pinkies up going just beyond shoulder width, then immedidately turn your hands so that thumbs are up and pinkies are down and press towards each other until they nearly touch. It's similar to icing a cake.
-10 Kick Switch
Goal: to get accustomed to correct timing of breathing and rotating
Kicking on side with nose pointed down
Kick 10 kicks on side then recover with top arm, beginning to pull with the lower arm as the top thumb passes the face.
Fully rotate to the other side, kick 10 kicks, and repeat process
-Advanced: Single-Arm Freestyle:
Goal: Maintain balance and body line while pulling and rotating; ability to breathe on both sides; teaches the pull, rotation, and recovery while focusing on one side only
With one arm at your side, pull with the other arm and rotate the hips/body to the side of the pull, recover, and kick another 8-10 kicks prior to repeating.
A breath should be taken with each pull, to the opposite side, to develop correct breathing timing OR breathe every 2-3 pulls to emphasize correct pull. (This will allow observation of their arm positioning as they pull).
Goal: Reinforces the use of your entire arm (not just your palm) during the propulsion phase of your stroke
Keep hand in a fist position while swimming or while doing other drills
-Finger Tip Drag Drill:
Goal: to teach a high elbow recovery on the recovery, drag the fingertips through the water keeping the hand close to the body
Goal: Stay balanced and in correct body line while being on one’s side and practicing controlled recovery
Body on its side with lower arm extended, upper arm resting on thigh, eyes down, nose on bicep
Slowly slide top arm with thumb along side of the body, stopping in a high elbow (‘Shark Fin’) position with the thumb next to the face. Hold for a couple seconds, then slowly move thumb back to starting position along thigh.
Total control of the body is necessary. It should take 10-20 kicks to complete one cycle.
-Shark Fin 2: Goal: Stay balanced and in correct body line while being on one’s side and when rotating to the other side. It also teaches pulling when recovering hand passes the face. Ie DPS. Same as above, hold thumb near face for a couple seconds, then slide back to starting position. Then slide thumb forward to face, hold for a couple seconds, then slide to full extension as the other arm pulls. Alternate sides.
Goal: To have a long and efficient stroke.
While doing a normal stroke, take as few strokes as possible by ensuring rotation, proper timing, consistent kicking, and finishing the stroke.