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When Brendan works on his kick – and he does this at every practice – his #1 goal is to eliminate drag. He does this in several ways.
The first is to focus on timing. On every stroke, Brendan makes sure that his upper body is in streamline before he delivers his kick.
This ensures that he will get maximum power out of every kick.
Watch how the hands reach full extension just as the feet are poised to begin the kick.
And notice that the hands remain out front until the feet come together. Don’t rush the hands. Keep them out front and together until the kick is complete.
The second way to eliminate drag is to hide the legs and feet during the recovery.
In this clip, let’s focus on the legs and thighs. Notice that Brendan’s knees are pointed back as he recovers the legs. There’s not much bend in his upper leg.
By pointing the knees back and keeping the thighs hidden behind the torso, Brendan eliminates drag.
Notice how Brendan hides his upper legs and keeps the knees pointed back as he sets up each kick. This helps him maintain constant forward motion, and this is one of the key elements in his stroke.
By hiding his kick, Brendan avoids the complete stops and the big surges that are typical of the stroke. The idea is to keep moving forward at all times, and Brendan does this by keeping his knees and thighs hidden behind his body.
Brendan also hides his feet. Here you can see that Brendan keeps his feet together with toes pointed inward as he recovers the legs.
The toes point inward until the final moment. As the hands reach full extension, the toes turn out to the sides and the legs snap back to deliver the kick.
As the feet come together, Brendan takes one more step to eliminate drag: He points his toes.