There's Gotta be a Catch (in swimming) - KickRunners.com
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#1 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 01:48 PM - Thead Starter
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Okay all you fish, here's the place to post any tips you have about getting a good catch, anchoring your hand, and finding that elusive feeling of pulling your body over your hand, rather than dragging your hand under your body.

I've managed the feeling a few times for a few strokes... then it slips away.

I'm also curious if kick helps in the anchoring process and getting some real leverage going.

Thanks in advance for all the tips.
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#2 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 01:59 PM
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Do the fist drill. Swim normally but with both of your hands in tight fists, no cheating by having them partially fisted. Do 200 fist drill then 100 free you will absolutely feel it. I find that diagonal 2 beat kick helps as well. Left leg goes down as right hand enters water and visa-versa.
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#3 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 02:01 PM
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I don't think kick helps it, although it might help you with your balance while you're finding it.

A good catch is "aggressive" (that's what I read in one of my swimmer mags once).
A good catch has a high elbow and maintains the high elbow throughout the stroke.
Slipping comes from letting the elbow initiate the pull, so that the forearm "flattens" as it works its way through the stroke.

I keep coming back to my scooter image (it's what works for me).

If I'm on a scooter, belly down, and I want to move along the floor, I have to plant my hands on the ground in front of me and pull myself along.....but it's hard to do that with any sort of power unless I allow my chest to rise up a bit so that I can get some "down" leverage on the ground instead of just 'back and forth' leverage.

With back and forth leverage, I would effectively be scraping my forearm along the ground. With "down" leverage, I can more closely imitate "walking on my hands" ... sorta.

I'm having a hard time explaining it.

But.....
in the water, I don't have to lift my chest, because my hand can be lower than my forearm. I still have to find that "down" leverage to a certain extent, though. I have to do that without trying to touch the bottom of the pool, because that just isn't gonna happen.

So, the result is a "catch"........
you want to feel the pressure of the water on your forearm.....not so much your hands. That's what the fist drill will show to you....whether you're slipping or whether you're using your forearm to find the pressure of the water.

Swim freestyle with your hands closed in a tight fist....like you're gonna punch someone, NOT like the sign language "E" shape. If you slip, you won't go anywhere.....BUT, if you catch, you'll feel the pressure of the water on your forearm.

Ferries are for wimps!!
Let's swim!
Swim Trek '08
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#4 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 PM
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For the longest time I thought a high elbow meant high toward the ski, but it really means, high toward the top of your head.

One way to get the "feeling" is to think of your hand as it wasn't there and you are using your forearm as the area that is pulling.

This is by far the best explanation I have ever seen. Done by a pretty good swimmer too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIzBaSiWdRA

CS
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#5 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 02:15 PM
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Stitch, I was using that scooter visualization while swimming on Monday night. Thanks for that. It made a real difference.
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#6 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 02:18 PM
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Dougie.....
thanks....glad it worked.

I think it also helps you have a good scooter if you have a slightly "hollow" (a term my gymnastics coach sister taught me) feel to your torso. You want your tush to be high-ish in the water. You get that from "pressing the 'T' " (sternum) and from allowing your bum to ride up. You don't want to PUSH it up....that makes you an upside down "V" but, you want it a bit higher. Sorta suck in your lower gut and imagine that you're swimming while draped over a BIG ball......that's the "swimming downhill" feeling.

Ferries are for wimps!!
Let's swim!
Swim Trek '08
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#7 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 04:03 PM
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One error I see a lot of people make is putting thier hand in the water early. Instead of fully recovering and reaching completely out infront of them, they plunk their hand in the water right in front of their head. Then they thrust it out farther in front UNDER water. That's counter productive. Keeping my elbow high...but bent...and my fingertips just dangling at the surface of the water...I reach completely out in front so that as soon as my hand goes in the water it begins pulling.

Dan
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#8 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 05:22 PM
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One error I see a lot of people make is putting thier hand in the water early. Instead of fully recovering and reaching completely out infront of them, they plunk their hand in the water right in front of their head. Then they thrust it out farther in front UNDER water. That's counter productive. Keeping my elbow high...but bent...and my fingertips just dangling at the surface of the water...I reach completely out in front so that as soon as my hand goes in the water it begins pulling.

Dan
This is exactly how I was taught by tri coach. Enter at about 'halfway' extension and then reach forward underwater to full extension.. I always thought that there was more drag in water than in air so I wondered what the reasoning was for this.
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#9 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:01 PM
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This is exactly how I was taught by tri coach. Enter at about 'halfway' extension and then reach forward underwater to full extension.. I always thought that there was more drag in water than in air so I wondered what the reasoning was for this.
I know...I've seen lots of people teach and swear by it. But just go underwater and look at someone doing it. To me it is pushing against your forward momentum. Moreover, if you're going to end up extending your arm farther out anyway...why not do it above water where it takes less energy.

Dan
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#10 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:07 PM
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I know...I've seen lots of people teach and swear by it. But just go underwater and look at someone doing it. To me it is pushing against your forward momentum. Moreover, if you're going to end up extending your arm farther out anyway...why not do it above water where it takes less energy.

Dan
I also was taught to enter the water just ahead of my head and thought it was counter-intuitive.

As for the swimming down-hill I find I need to do the following to make sure I am doing so:

- Stay long
- "Push" my chest down (there probably is a better verb here but it's kinda like standing at attention under the water -- chest forward, shoulders back)
- Suck in my gut
- Keep my head down

I concentrate a lot on keeping my head and neck aligned with my spine.
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#11 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceD View Post
One error I see a lot of people make is putting thier hand in the water early. Instead of fully recovering and reaching completely out infront of them, they plunk their hand in the water right in front of their head. Then they thrust it out farther in front UNDER water.
You can usually spot a TI swimmer that way. The book actually says to get that hand under water quickly in order to be "long in the water." It's a great book, don't get me wrong, but someone needs to brush up on their physics.


Drills to work on a good catch:
  • Head up swimming
  • Sculling (hands out front)
  • Barrel swimming (imagine reaching over a barrel with each stroke)
  • Fist swimming

- Le Bannon
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#12 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:29 PM
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Drills to work on a good catch:
  • Head up swimming
  • Sculling (hands out front)
  • Barrel swimming (imagine reaching over a barrel with each stroke)
  • Fist swimming
I think I got the "Head up swimming" and "Sculling" from a year ago when you described them at that time (I remember!)... but can you do it again ('cause I don't exactly remember the finer details)? Pretty please.
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#13 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:39 PM
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I think I got the "Head up swimming" and "Sculling" from a year ago when you described them at that time (I remember!)... but can you do it again ('cause I don't exactly remember the finer details)? Pretty please.
Head up swimming - Pretty much like it sounds, just swim with your face up out of the water (looking forward, like when you sight in a race). I prefer to do 4 strokes normal, then 4 strokes head up, then back to normal, etc.

Sculling - Harder to describe in writing. Hold your arms out in front, then propel yourself across the pool by doing nothing but waving your hands back and forth. This will force you to bend your wrists and learn to really catch the water. It removes the "power" aspect of the stroke, as well as the entire forearm. You may need to either kick a little or use a pull buoy in order to keep your legs up. It's a very SLOW drill, it should take a couple minutes to get across the pool. You can also do sculling drills with your hands out to the side or near your hips (to work on the stroke finish).

- Le Bannon
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#14 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:40 PM
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Head up swimming:
Swim like a lifeguard or water polo player....
Freestyle, looking straight ahead, head out of the water. Your feet will want to sink, so you'll have to kick a bit more than normal (most likely). BUT, in order to go anywhere, you'll really have to feel the catch in the water. Your hands enter the water as if you were face down, but if you let your elbows drop, and skim along the surface, you'll end up doggie paddling.

I don't scull very well. I have to do it a lot in breast stroke drills, and I don't go very well at all.
I think that the sculling for freestyle is different than what I do for breaststroke, though. Someone else will need to chime in on that one.

Ferries are for wimps!!
Let's swim!
Swim Trek '08
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#15 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:42 PM
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Reach for the wall every stroke
Think reaching over a barrel
Anchor your hand, finger tips down and swim over.
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#16 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:47 PM
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I prefer to do 4 strokes normal, then 4 strokes head up, then back to normal, etc.
Yeah me too. More than 4 strokes and I'm swallowing half the pool and trying to keep myself from drowning.

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#17 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 06:49 PM
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Yeah me too. More than 4 strokes and I'm swallowing half the pool and trying to keep myself from drowning.
Head up swimming will also force you to feel body roll......
or you end up getting dizzy from your head twisting all over the place.

Those who ever took lifeguarding did a LOT of head up swimming.

Ferries are for wimps!!
Let's swim!
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#18 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 07:00 PM
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Sculling - Harder to describe in writing. Hold your arms out in front, then propel yourself across the pool by doing nothing but waving your hands back and forth. This will force you to bend your wrists and learn to really catch the water. It removes the "power" aspect of the stroke, as well as the entire forearm. You may need to either kick a little or use a pull buoy in order to keep your legs up. It's a very SLOW drill, it should take a couple minutes to get across the pool. You can also do sculling drills with your hands out to the side or near your hips (to work on the stroke finish).
How do you breath in this one? Head up like in the Head-Up drill?
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#19 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 07:02 PM
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How do you breath in this one? Head up like in the Head-Up drill?
Yeah....your face isn't under water.
They say it's easier to breathe that way.

Ferries are for wimps!!
Let's swim!
Swim Trek '08
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#20 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 07:23 PM
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All this talk about swimming efficiency makes me want to go back to scuba diving (where it all doesn't matter).

Anyho, after kicking it around a little bit--I decided to register for a TI seminar close by. Since I swim like a turtle now, any stylistic differences won't matter anyway. There is no downside and a significant upside to this.

Going back to the post--this information is great. TASM, thanks for asking...
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#21 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 07:24 PM
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How do you breath in this one? Head up like in the Head-Up drill?
I keep my face down as long as I can, then lift it up (forward facing) for a couple quick breaths, then back down again.

I hate when our masters coach puts sculling drills in the middle of the workout. I have to breathe every few seconds, which ruins the drill (very hard to scull with your head out of the water). If I do sculling drills on my own I always do them first thing so I can hold my breath a good long time.

- Le Bannon
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#22 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 07:31 PM
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All this talk about swimming efficiency makes me want to go back to scuba diving (where it all doesn't matter).

Anyho, after kicking it around a little bit--I decided to register for a TI seminar close by. Since I swim like a turtle now, any stylistic differences won't matter anyway. There is no downside and a significant upside to this.

Going back to the post--this information is great. TASM, thanks for asking...
(disclaimer - I've read the TI book, but not watched the DVD or taken the class)

TI is great for learning the basics, but after that I think you'll find some stroke adjustments will be necessary if you want to get any serious speed. It's like learning to cook from someone who only bakes - eventually you gotta break out of the structure and wing it. Give yourself until mid-Spring to work on the TI stuff, then start looking beyond it.

- Le Bannon
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#23 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 08:16 PM
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(disclaimer - I've read the TI book, but not watched the DVD or taken the class)

TI is great for learning the basics, but after that I think you'll find some stroke adjustments will be necessary if you want to get any serious speed. It's like learning to cook from someone who only bakes - eventually you gotta break out of the structure and wing it. Give yourself until mid-Spring to work on the TI stuff, then start looking beyond it.
I see. Thanks Matt! I'll keep that in mind.
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#24 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 10:53 PM
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I- "Push" my chest down (there probably is a better verb here but it's kinda like standing at attention under the water

I concentrate a lot on keeping my head and neck aligned with my spine.
My swim coach tells me to LEAN on my chest...like your push

Also, she tells me to think about being on a skewer...I used to arch my back or something!

Testing!
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#25 of 50 Old 11-06-2008, 10:59 PM
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Not sure if anyone has explained it this way but TI is AWESOME for learning BALANCE and FEEL.

It is not for racing. But it is a good place to start.

Continue

- If you think you can't, you're right.
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
- REJOICE and Whine not! For today you are doing that which most only dream.

 

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