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Feeling Focus

When coaches talk about a swimmer having a feel for the water, what they mean is that the swimmer knows exactly when and how to apply pressure to their hands, wrists and forearms. A feel for the water is something that some people are born with, but others can develop it using sculling drills. Sculling is not something that is practiced to strengthen specific movements of the hands, wrists and forearms. You practice sculling skills to sensitize your hands, wrists and forearms, so that they will "automatically" hold a spot in the water while you lever your body past that spot. Most good swimmers use a very slight sculling motion in the freestyle stroke, but it is so slight that it not something that they have time to think about. It is actually an intuitive or conditioned movement that their body performs to get the best grip on the water.

Technique Focus Points for Sculling Drills

  • Thumbs up in. Thumbs down out. When sculling in towards your core, angle your thumbs up, when sculling away from your core, angle your thumbs down.
  • Wrist straight. Keep your wrist straight. If you bend your wrist, you will be using only your hand as your "paddle" instead of your hand-wrist-forearm.
  • Steady movement. Move your body at an even pace. Avoid stalling at any stage. It is the quick transition from sculling in one direction to sculling in the other that is most important.

Technique Focus Points for Swimming

  • Early pressure. See how early in your stroke you can feel pressure on the inside of your wrist and forearm (not just your hand).
  • Steady pressure. Learn what steady pressure feels like on the inside of your wrist and forearm (not just your hand).
  • Late pressure. Learn how late in your stroke you can feel pressure on your wrist and forearm (not just your hand).

Feeling Focus Workouts

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