Freestyle technique issue

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ryanupper 2 weeks ago.

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  • #3270

    kevin
    Participant

    Hi all,

    It’s been a bit silent in here lately. To liven things up, I have a question on technique.

    I’ve got two female swimmers, 16yo, who have been struggling with their freestyle. They still haven’t broken 1:00 in the 100 scm. Compared to their other strokes that’s bad (1:03 in fly and back). I think it’s more a technical issue, so I did an underwater filming session.

    I’d like to have your opinions on what the major things are we need to work on. I’ve made my own analysis, but I prefer to hear yours without influence. Below are the video’s (each video has full speed movement followed by slow motion at 50%, 25% and 10%).

    Swimmer A
    view from bottom pool: https://youtu.be/Si5cWn5hoUM
    frontal view: https://youtu.be/qu2o2l2fYwI
    side view left arm: https://youtu.be/1pd-kTDVosk
    side view right arm: https://youtu.be/JDsm-8G7cz4

    Swimmer B
    view from bottom pool: https://youtu.be/Cl8EUEdMe2U
    frontal view: https://youtu.be/waaxWbLWM40
    side view left arm: https://youtu.be/eo7aB017B0g
    side view right arm: https://youtu.be/Gf4FybxPSPE

    In other news, our end-of-season results in July were pretty good. We unlocked 5 silvers and a bronze at national age groups champs. Our training consists of mostly pure USRPT influenced by @doc!

    Thanks for the feedback!

    #3273

    ryanupper
    Participant

    Swimmer A: I don’t think her forearm ever gets to vertical. I’ve attached a ledecky breakdown.
    Swimmer B: Even more elbow drop than A.

    Both girls look very aggressive in their underwaters which is great. Swimmer B can push off lower from the wall (18 inches is good) and glide for a “one thousand one” count. She pushes at the waterline and immediately kicks and you can see her legs breaking the surface causing a disturbance and leg drag (legs outside the body drag shadow).

    Ryan

    #3274

    ryanupper
    Participant
    #3277

    kevin
    Participant

    Thanks @ryanupper for the feedback. I agree completely on the elbow dropping. I’ve commented on that a lot last season, with little result I must say 🙁

    W.r.t. the frontal view: what is your opinion about rotation and underwater hand placement w.r.t. to the middle of the body?
    I find:
    – both swimmers pull though with a high elbow (good)
    – both swimmer’s hand is outside the zone between mid-body-line and shoulder, i.e. too far out => not enough power potential (not so good)
    – not enough rotation, or to early?
    – something wrong with catch?

    To me, this, together with the non-vertical forearm are the major flaws.
    I find it difficult to correct, it’s taken far too long of me telling and showing them with no improvement…

    Maybe not so visible, but swimmer A also suffers from a very unsteady hand at entry. The entry is a bit in front of the head, then moves outwards before the catch.

    Any other remarks or tips to correct these issues are welcome. Especially in combination with race pace training.

    In comparison with their primary strokes these girls should be swimming at least 2–3s faster on a 100 free.

    #3278

    ryanupper
    Participant

    Ya, shoulder rotation is pretty good but the hands immediately pull away from the body. Lots of little issues you’ve identified but the vertical forearm and the optimal pulling distance is what’s going to increase velocity the most. Of course, that is the most muscular demanding movement.

    If they are primarily 100 swimmers have them swim more 50’s at the 200 pace with the intent of getting more correct repetitions in at a slightly slower velocity. It’s very likely that the bicep and forearm are weak (brachioradialis, Brachialis) due to years of pulling using a path of less resistance (low elbow). Maybe attempting to improve this component is too tough at the 100 pace. Maybe completely cut out sprinting for a while. I’m sure you showed them the video so film again in a month and compare and let the girls see if they are improving. This puts a little more responsibility on them to focus on the more demanding motion. I see this all the time with water polo players because the common coaching error is to tell players to take short fast strokes which ends up deteriorating the stroke distance over time.

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