11 SWIM DRILLS

Drill 1: Front float
In this drill, you practice floating on your stomach. You’re more buoyant in
this position than you are with your hips lower. This drill helps you prepare
to be in the right position for swimming. Here’s how to do it:
1. Float face down.
2. Tuck your chin so that your eyes are focused on the bottom of the pool.
3. Press your chest down toward the bottom of the pool.
4. Feel your hips lift toward the surface.
Drill 2: Streamlined front glide
This drill helps you feel the benefits of elongating your body. When you make
your body as narrow as possible, you slice through the water more easily.
Here’s what to do:
1. Push off from the side of the pool.
2. Place your face down and into the water and your arms overhead
behind your ears, with your elbows straight.
Your hands should be flat, with your finger pointed, and one hand
should be on top of the other.

3. Keep your feet together, check your chin position (see “Drill 1: Front
float”), and press your chest down to lift the hips.
Drill 3: Streamlined front glide and kick
Practice this drill to experience how your body glides through the water
when you’re in a hydrodynamic position. Follow these steps:
1. Follow the instructions for Drill 2 (see the preceding section).
2. As your momentum gives way and you slow down, flutter-kick your
legs from your hips.
Focus on keeping your body long and using a shallow, steady kick.
Breathe when necessary.

Drill 4: Body position
This drill helps you return your head to the correct position after breathing.
It also helps you perfect your kicking motion. Here’s how to do it:
1. Position your body face down in the water with your arms at your
sides and your chin pointing toward the bottom of the pool.
Position your head so that the water breaks at the top of your head, not
on your forehead.
2. Press your chest toward the bottom of the pool and feel your hips rise
to the surface.
3. Flutter-kick forward in this position until you need to breathe.
4. Lift your head forward out of the water to take a breath.
Your hips will drop as you lift your head.
5. Return your head to the starting position and complete the drill.
Do this drill with or without fins.
Drill 5: Body balance
This drill will help you maintain your forward momentum and keep your balance.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Position yourself in the pool, face down, eyes focused on the bottom
of the pool.
2. Flutter-kick forward in this position and begin your stroke as you
rotate your head to the side.
3. Allow your shoulders and hips to follow as you turn your head.
4. Continue to rotate until you’re on your back.
Keep kicking as you rotate, especially when you’re on your side. Keep
half of your head in the water throughout the rotation.
5. When you’re on your back, rotate back in the same direction until
your face is in the water.
6. Repeat the drill, rotating to the opposite side.

Drill 6: Statue of Liberty
This drill will help you perfect your balance in the water. Here are the steps:
1. Begin to swim and then roll to your side.
2. Kick as you swim on your side, with the arm closest to the bottom
of the pool extended in front of you, with your ear resting on your
shoulder.
Position the palm of your hand facing the bottom of the pool. Your arm
should be just under the surface of the water.
3. Keep your top arm stationary on your top hip.
Pull your top shoulder slightly back to find the position in which you
can balance.
4. Flutter-kick to the side with a straight, steady beat.
Keep your head positioned so that your eyes are focused up and back,
with your chin pointing toward your top shoulder. Don’t look forward —
this will cause your hips to sink.
Drill 7: Ten snap ten
This drill helps you focus on your balance, as well as on each of the individual
elements of your stroke and on making your stroke strength even on the
right and left sides. Here’s how to do it:
1. Perform the Statue of Liberty drill (see the preceding section) for ten
kicks on your right side, and then roll your face into the water and
begin your recovery stroke with your left arm.
2. Begin the pull portion of your stroke, in which you bend your elbow
and pull yourself forward, increasing the speed of your hand movement
as you move toward the left hip.
3. As your hand reaches your hip and you push the water back, rotate
your left hip so that you’re on your right side.
4. Repeat the Statue of Liberty drill on this side.

Drill 8: Ten-three-ten
This drill will help you to improve your balance and bilateral breathing. Here
are the steps:
1. Perform ten kicks on your side in the Statue of Liberty position (see
“Drill 6: Statue of Liberty,” earlier).
2. Take a deep breath as you tuck your chin and look toward the bottom
of the pool.
3. Release your breath and start pulling your hand out of the water with
your elbow high, taking three strokes in the forward position.
4. Rotate your hips to the other side, as in Drill 7 (see the preceding section),
and perform ten more kicks in the Statue of Liberty position.
Be sure to kick steadily on your side and as you roll from one side to the
other. When swimming the three strokes between breaths, keep your
head still and your eyes focused on the bottom of the pool.
Drill 9: Front kicking with
a board on an interval
This drill will help you to improve your balance and bilateral breathing.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Using a kickboard, position your hands at the curved edge at the top
of the board.
2. Rest your elbows on the board.
Your shoulders should be at water level.
3. Kick, with your heels barely breaking the water surface, fast enough
to agitate the water.
Your kick should be shallow and have a fast enough cadence to create
propulsion.
4. Try to do as many as ten lengths kicking in this way.
If you get tired, you can use fins for the last laps. Challenge yourself to
do more laps without fins as you train.

Drill 10: Proper push-off
This drill will help you to feel the momentum you gain in a streamlined position.
Here are the steps:
1. Start on your side with one hand holding the wall and the other
straight out in front, pointing toward the opposite end of the pool.
Your shoulders should be at water level.
2. Place your feet against the wall, with your toes pointing toward the
side wall and both knees bent slightly.
3. Drop under the water, releasing your hand from the wall and extending
to reach the other hand.
4. In the same movement, as the hands touch, push against the wall with
your feet, propelling your body forward.
You should be about 18 inches under the water.
5. Hold a tight streamlined position as you kick and roll to your stomach.
6. When you reach the surface in this streamlined position, begin your
first stroke and continue to the next wall.
Drill 11: Fingertip drag
This drill helps you focus on a high elbow recovery. Practice a high elbow
recovery, relaxed and controlled, for a clean slice through the water. This
drill also helps you to focus on a full-body rotation at the end of each stroke.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Swim freestyle, but instead of lifting your hands completely out of
the water during your stroke, drag your fingertips across the top of
the water, never losing contact with the water, as you bring your arm
from your hip back to the catch position.
Keep your hand and arm relaxed during the recovery portion of the
stroke.
2. As your hand passes your head, continue to reach forward until your
shoulder and body rotate to the side. Continue your stroke.

 

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