It is hard to keep track off all the different parts of the proper stroke:
Make sure you keep your head straight… Don’t cross over…. Keep your elbow up… Watch out for doing an S curve…. Are your legs dragging… Are you hips sinking….
At times it seems so overwhelming, you forget to breathe—which is another thing to add to the laundry list of other form points. However, TSC wants to simplify things for you, so we boiled down everything you need to focus on into a quick mental check list that you can run through as you swim.
- Am I balanced in the water? Do a quick body scan first thing and mentally check to see if your legs or hips are sinking. If they are, lower your upper body and shoulders, put your head into a neutral position, and breath out to balance things out.
- Are my hands entering the water on the outside of my body? To prevent crossing over, have your hand enter wide and visualize them pointing to the opposite corner.
- Am I pulling straight back with a high elbow? Avoid curving in the water because that can throw your body position off and waste energy.
- Is my head in a neutral position? Don’t crane your neck to look up but keep your chin tucked and your gaze affixed to the black line slightly ahead of you.
- Am I breathing? While it might seem simple, not breathing is quite common and destroys your form. For one, it causes you to hyperventilate, wastes energy, pushes your upper body up and your lower body down (see point one). You should feel bubbles constantly.
If you nail all of those, you will be cruising along in no time. As a beginner, 5 points even might be too much, so focus on one point per 100 or per set.