Home Programs Mastery Videos Stills Groups Athletes About

Breakwater Freestyle 1
Step 5: Single-Arm Drills & Open Turns

On the Deck

Review: Standing Setup, Standing Catch & Pull

In the Pool

Review: Basic balance (front float, add I, X, Y)
Side balance, Sharkfin, 6-1-6, 9-3-9, Fingertip Drag
Pay careful attention to breathing technique

Kickboard Single-Arm Drill: This is a one-arm drill. Hold a kickboard out front with the unused arm. Initially, keep your head above water for this drill. Use fins unless you have a very strong kick. Although you are stroking with only a single arm, be sure to rotate to both sides. Focus initially on the early vertical forearm catch. Then focus on the timing of the catch and pull in relation to the rotational kick on the same side: the rotational kick should get you onto your side just as you begin the catch and pull.

  • Setup: point the arm straight forward in front of the shoulder and pause in this position (continue kicking gently).
  • Rock. Pull back slightly on the kickboard - this will lift your elbow and shoulder on that side, and rock your body slightly onto your extended side.
  • Press. As you start to rock back toward the kickboard side, get your hand and forearm under your elbow quickly (reach over the barrel), and then press straight back toward your feet.
  • Recover: perform a fingertip drag or normal freestyle recover to get that arm back out front.

Optional (Freestyle): Swim a few laps (or fingertip drag). Then alternate freestyle sets with the new drills below.

Open Turns: Learn the open-turn so that you can swim more than 25 yards.Review streamline from the wall, practice open turns (no fins). An open turn just adds an approach to the wall before the streamline. To perform an open turn:

  • Approach the wall with one arm at side, one extended out front.
  • Touch the wall with one hand as you: collapse that arm, raise your head for a breath, tuck your knees to your chest and begin to roll onto your side.
  • Sink into the water, plant your feet, assume the streamline position, and off you go!
  • As you glide on your side, continue to squeeze your head between your arms and think butt, belly, neck, chin!
  • As you glide to the surface begin kicking and take your first stroke with the lower arm, snapping onto the opposite side.
  • Breathe after the first or second stroke.

Practice 50-yard repeats of the fingertip drag, freestyle, or any other drill, performing an open turn at the far wall.

Single-Arm Freestyle: Unused arm at the side. This is a difficult drill.

How to practice? See the Sample Practice Session Following Lesson 5.

Back to Program Notes Directory.


Copyright © 2011 Breakwater Sports