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When Brendan thinks about his pull, he’s actually thinking about his head and his hips.
In these next clips, try not to watch Brendan’s kick. Focus just on the hands, head, and hips and how they connect with each other for a powerful pull.
Brendan’s pull is all about timing… and the connection between the hands, head, and hips.
Let’s slow it down for a closer look. Brendan starts in streamline, with hands together and eyes down.
At the exact moment his hands start to separate, Brendan’s eyes and head begin to lift toward the surface.
As the hands anchor, the head is just beginning to break the surface.
And as the head continues to lead up to air, watch how the head seems to draw the hips forward.
Here’s another angle. Focus only on the connection between hands, head, and hips. Notice how the head going to air seems to lead the hips forward. It’s almost as if the head leads the spine UP through a hole in the water.
In this clip, notice how the hands – after they anchor – seem to work with the head as they pull the hips forward.
Now let’s look at some of the fine points. When Brendan lifts for air, his eyes are looking slightly forward and you can see his face. Brendan likes to focus on a point about 3 feet in front of him.
Many coaches would say that the eyes should look down during the breath, but Brendan feels he is faster and has a better forward drive if he looks slightly forward.
Notice also that Brendan’s head and neck are stable all the way through the pull and breath. Brendan is so connected along his head and spine that his head barely moves as it leads up to air.
Brendan doesn’t climb too high out of the water. He keeps his head and spine in line for the breath, then surges forward into streamline.
Here’s another angle that shows how little movement there is in the head and neck position as Brendan rises to air… and returns to streamline.
It’s all about timing and connection.