Swim Secrets

These last two weeks I’ve been trying really hard to reinforce two things in my swimming.
1. The Catch
My coach tells me about 2 weeks ago that I drop my arm and I don’t catch before I stroke. So I start really relaxing my upper arm and make sure I bend at the elbow before my upper arm moves, feel pressure against my hand, and then stroke strongly through the movement. What a difference it made! Now my strokes generate more power and create propulsion for a longer period of time, versus catching later in the stroke and only creating propulsion about half the stroke of the arm.
2. Body position
I am what you would call a “butt dragger”. My body proportions don’t let me easily rest horizontally on the water. I tend to droop towards my legs and this creates tons of drag. So I did two things.
The first thing was to really use my head as the body positioner. Most of the coaches tell you to “press the buoy” or “press the armpit”. This didn’t work for me. I still dragged my butt. But I tried something else. I instead press my chin and extend my head. This action enabled me to move my butt higher and be more needle like and horizontal on the water, thus minimizing my drag.
The second thing was to really relax my entire body, instead of tensing, and just roll it back and forth while keeping it needle like. This conserved energy and allowed me to focus on body roll to create power in my stroke. Thus, I did not waste energy feeling nervous about sinking or going faster. I was smoother and devoted all energy to catching the water, stroking while body the rolled to increase power.
Before I did this, I was hard put to sprint 100m at 1:55. This morning I sprinted 1:44!