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Backstroke pull is another example where I know what I should be doing, but have to work really hard to make it happen.
What I should do -- and what every swimmer wants to do -- is grab a lot of water and hold on to it for the entire pull.
What often happens is that we let the hands sit on the water rather than sending them into an immediate catch.
Where I struggle -- especially with my left hand -- is that I have a habit of placing my hand in the water rather than letting it fall into the water. You can see it in this clip. The right hand goes immediately into the catch. With the left hand there’s a bit of a hitch.
What I focus on with the pull -- and this is something every swimmer can focus on -- is using hip and shoulder rotation to drive the hand into the water and into the catch.
I think about trying to engage the left side of my core -- those left obliques -- as I enter the hand, grab water, and pull. I try to get all that I can out of my body -- to aid the pull.
The ideal stroke is when the arms just flow into the catch and through the pull. When the shoulders and hips are connected, the arms can just flow.
As I recover the arms, my main thought is to go straight over the top, and I want the hands to enter at 11 and 1.
From under water it looks like this: Head is steady. Right arm enters at 1 and left arm enters at 11. The hands go immediately into the catch and grab as much water as possible.