Last week I introduced the fundamentals of kick on side drill and how it can be useful for correcting crossover. This week's blog will focus on how this drill can help correct other freestyle deficiencies.
Two common mistakes often made while swimming freestyle and rotating for a breath of air are 1.) the lead arm slips under the body and 2.) there is a break in the wrist or elbow.
Picture 1 - shows a swimmers arm slipping under her body, creating a loss of balance and causing the legs to scissor open.
Proper stroke technique has the lead arm in front of the head, initiating the catch as the swimmer turns for a breath of air.
Kick on side drill can help swimmers become comfortable with breathing while keeping the lead arm held out in front of their head.
Another issue many swimmers have is a tendency to over lengthen at the beginning of their stroke in an effort to glide more. This often leads to a break in the elbow or wrist. At Swim Smooth we refer to this as ‘applying the brakes’. In this position you are essentially pushing water forward and creating unnecessary drag.
To correct this, focus on keeping the palm facing the bottom of the pool, with the fingers below the wrist and wrist below elbow. Below is a picture of the great Michael Phelps. This is the hand/arm position you should be aiming for when performing kick on side drill.
As you can see there are many reasons why a coach may prescribe kick on side drill. Happy drilling!