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Here's a simple drill to help with the freestyle catch... with the emphasis on simple.

Why do it:
Learning the FIRST move in the freestyle catch is easier than you think... as long as you slow down, and think small.

How to do it:
1) Start in posiiton 11 on your stomach.
2) With one of your arms, very softly, angle the fingers and forearm down slightly.
3) Bring the hand back to position 11, and repeat.
4) Switch arms so both arms experience the feeling.
5) Initiate a few presses with the hand, then take a full stroke of freestyle back to position 11.
6) Move forward to slow freestyle swimming, trying to maintain the initiation of the catch during your stroke.

How to do it really well (the fine points):
The simplest point to keep in mind in this, is to keep the elbow in touch with the surface of the water as you angle the fingers and forearm down. You're trying to only move the arm from the elbow forward.