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Technique: Tune Your Catch

Objective: When swimming freestyle your body is a displacement hull. To move forward efficiently, a displacement hull must be balanced from bow to stern, and must not flex to port or starboard.

Warm Up

4 X 200 (+20s) as follows:

  • FS easy
  • w/PB: Breathe 2/4/2... always breathing to same side of building
  • FS moderate
  • w/PB: Breathe 3/5/3...


Two sets freestyle with 5 seconds rest between each repeat.

1. 8 X 50 freestyle
2. 8 X 50 freestyle w/paddles (no pull buoy)

Drill Sets

If test set #1 (plain freestyle) feels easier, your catch is not very effective and you need to bend your elbow earlier in the stroke cycle. If this is you, spend extra time this week practicing drill sets 3 & 4!

3. 4 X 50 Doggy paddle drill wall to flags, freestyle between flags
4. 4 X 50 2L/2R drill

If test set #2 (freestyle with paddles) feels easier, this indicates that your catch needs fine tuning, and may result in compromised body position. If this is you, spend extra time this week practicing drill sets 5 & 6!

5. 4 X 50 Scull #1 from wall to flags, freestyle between the flags
6. 4 X 50 Single-arm drill, unused arm out front


800 FS as 25 hard, 25 easy (no rest - the 25 easy is active recovery)
Focus on an early catch both when swimming fast and also at recovery pace.

Cool Down

400 FS easy

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