Freestyle - Above-Speed Catch
Moving fast through the water requires a couple things: a great catch and a high-speed turnover. Sometimes, the harder you try, the less return you get on the water. By using tools, this becomes easier to feel.
Why Do It:
This is a hard exercise, to be done at TOP speed. If you do it correctly, you'll get a feel for how to keep the power out front in your freestyle.
How to Do It:
1. You'll be alternating lengths of very easy, slow swimming, with lengths of very fast, high-intensity swimming. To aid this, and to get you moving above race speed, or very fast, put on fins and paddles.
2. The "drill" will be done in two stages: head up, and head lowered.
3. Start sprinting with a high-speed turnover, with your head held out of the water. You'll need to catch the water quickly, and let go of the water quickly. Keep the hands out front.
4. About half way down the pool, lower your head to a more swimming-like position, but keep the hand speed the same. Don't let them slow down.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
As you lower your head into the water, you'll feel the release of resistance. At this point, it's important to keep your focus on the front part of your stroke. Continue kicking hard so your velocity stays up, and remember to "let go" of the water soon enough in the back, or you may end up losing your paddles.