There are two ways to win in Swim Golf: decrease your time (i.e. get faster) but also decrease your stroke count. Obviously, if you decrease both then your score will get even better. You can definitely “cheat” in this game by kicking longer off the walls, which will decrease your stroke count but most likely increase your time, or by sprinting each set, which will decrease your time but increase your stroke count.
To “cheat” the right way and really lower your score though you need to a) drop your stroke count by optimizing the length your stroke and b) optimizing the power of each stroke. I am going to be covering part “a” this week and then part b next week.
To stretch out your stroke the right way, you need to focus on proper catch and good hip rotation. With each stroke extend your arm straight out if not a bit wider than you think to avoid crossing the center axis. However you want to keep in mind when you do this to extend straight out and not out and down. You still want your arm only a few inches underneath the surface of the water allowing for the most powerful pull.
Just stretching out your arm though will only take you so far and if you only extend from your shoulder then your rotator cuff will be stressed. Instead to get that extra few inches, you need to rotate your hips as well. The extra twist in your hips will shoot your arms farther.
Good drills to work on these two points are the 6/3/6 drill in which you do 6 kicks to one side, then 3 strokes, then 3 kicks to the other side. While doing these focus on keeping your head down, chin tucked, arm straight 2 inches below the surface. It helps to do this with fins. Another good drill is finger tip drag (also known as zipper), which will teach you how to move your arm (with a nice high elbow) along your body and place it in the water without dropping the hand.
If you have any questions about the challenge or how to cheat the right way, post it on the facebook page or email me or Coach Kev directly.
Fore! (it is golf after all)