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These video frames are from my favorite DVD
for illustrating efficient freestyle technique:
Go Swim Freestyle with Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen
from Go Swim Productions LLC

Good Catch from the Side

This sequence illustrates the catch portion of the stroke. The frames are spaced about one-fifth of a second apart.

The sequence begins with the stroking arm at full extension.

In the second shot, the wrist is flexed slightly to begin the catch. Her hand is diving down, but her elbow remains high in the water, because she has not yet begun pulling back with that arm. At the start of the catch, the goal is to get the hand under the elbow as quickly as possible.

In the third shot, she is continuing to get her hand and forearm perpendicular to the direction of travel, and in the fourth shot, she has a good catch on the water and is beginning the pull.

Notice that her elbow is still out front as she completes the catch. To maximize stroke length and efficiency, it's important to treat the catch and pull as two distinct actions.

See also:
   Good Catch and Pull from the Front (another view)
   Good Pull from the side (what you do next)

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