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Catching practice

This is a follow-up on the clinic about the new Australian freestyle. To review, in this technique, the elbow is held in a very high position while the forearm initiates the catch. The elbow remains at the surface. The upper arm is in line with the surface.

To begin approximating this high catch, stick your arm straight overhead. Now bend your elbow and put your hand on top of your head. Notice your elbow comes out further from your body´s midline, but it can stay in the same plane as the shoulders. If you were on your stomach in the water, your elbow could still be at the surface.

Next, imagine a point about 8 inches in front of the top of your head, and do the same move, but instead of the top of your head, bring your hand to this new point. Your elbow should stay where it was in the first exercise.

In the pull that follows the catch, the elbow remains bent so that the hand can remain about 8 inches below the body as it pulls. Keep the forearm flat against the push of the water. Do not cross over the midline of your body with your hand.

Try swimming two lengths like this.

Congratulations, you now have mastered this new catch! The differences in someone who is more flexible and advanced is that their elbow will move out to the side less, and their hand will drop even deeper than 8 inches.

Try getting used to this pull for three weeks, and then decide for yourself if you are faster or slower using it.

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