I made a swimming joke the other day based upon an old Saturday Night Live skit, about wanting to dip my balls in it. Oddly enough, I have a coaching drill where I use tennis balls. While in use, I call them Stoke Flaw Indicators. I would like to run your through the drill, so that you can utilize it to diagnose your stoke flaws. I also would like you to dip those balls in it. That should lighten up the fact that the drill sucks. I’ll stop the monologue at this time.
1) Swim 100; Start with the balls in your fists, much like fist drill, swim with your normal stroke pattern while attempting to engage your entire paddle (finger tips to elbows). While swimming if you have a stroke flaw, it will be exacerbated (swings, and S-curves) and a small swing in your stroke will become a large swing in your stroke. This is because the tennis balls lighten your arms, and decrease your ability to create pull, causing your flaw to become very apparent. Stroke flaws are signs of weakness, but don’t be discouraged, you’ll at least know where and how to improve. If in doubt, strengthen your core.
2) Swim 100; Hold the balls with your thumb and pinky finger. Use an additional finger if you need to hold the balls effectively. Extend your other fingers, two or three, and use those to create additional pull while trying to rectify your stroke flow, now effectively diagnosed.
3) Swim 100, Put the balls on the pool deck, swim this leg with fists. If you’ve not done this in the past, create a ball with your fist again attempting to create pull with your whole paddle.
4) Swim 100; Wrap thumb over your pinky finger, you’ll feel your ability to pull come back. This will feel like a relief, but don’t forget about fighting that stroke flaw, keep a level pull, no swings, no S curve.
5) Swim 100: congratulations, you get your hands back. You’ll feel strong, and capable. I want you to remember this feeling. If this feeling leaves you, remember the drill. If it’s been a while, complete it again. Your flaws may change, but your ability to diagnose, and strengthen will not.
Take some time to dip your balls in it, and have a great day!
TSG – The Swim Genius
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