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We’ve been focusing on this next skill so intently after our cross country trip, please make sure you’ve got this as instinct.
Why do it:
Allowing the arm to RISE during extension can cause resistance, slow your ability to catch quickly, and potentially hurt your shoulders as you push through to the catch.
How to do it:
It really is simple, so let’s not over complicate this. For a great example, let’s take a quick look at James Guy, Great Britain Olympian and World Championship Medalist.
You need to start to associate and feel the arm flying through the water out front. Watch how James gets his arm parallel to the surface of the water, so that the entire arm flies through the water, rather than pushes though it.
Here’s the simple fix. Lower your arm. Drop the hand a couple inches in the water, but focus on the fly... the pierce... the driving of the hand through the water.
Now the details (or the “fine points):
For those focused on “closed fingers”, look at how relaxed James’ hands are. The arm is rigid, but the hands are relaxed. Feeling the water for the next connection. Don’t get hung up with closed fingers, focus on connection after you’ve driven the hand forward.