Backstroke - Not-Too-Soft Hand Entry
Swimming smooth and pretty sure looks good but, unfortunately, it's not always the fastest mode of transportation. How firmly you enter your hand in backstroke can determine how fast, or how efficient, you are.
Why Do It:
If your hand entry is too soft, you run the risk of stopping the momentum of the body rotation, and will have to initiate it all over again with the arm. By breaking through the surface of the water with your hand, you'll continue the rotation, and get the hand down to the catch position more quickly.
How to Do It:
1. Swim a few lengths of backstroke really focusing on a soft, pinky-first entry... dragging no bubbles into the water. Be acutely aware of any hesitation in the body roll it takes to accomplish this.
2. Begin to focus on the pinky making a firmer contact with the surface of the water... feel the hand hit the water.
3. As soon as the hand breaks through the surface, begin the pull.
4. Repeat as necessary until you get to the end.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
People should be able to hear that you're swimming backstroke. Don't worry about pulling bubbles into the water. If your hand is slicing into the water pinky first, the bubbles will quickly dissipate and your hand will be connecting with clean water. Pick up the pace and enjoy swimming fast backstroke.