Send it Forward

100_0297eSend it forward!


Over Rotation

Tim says the cross over of my arms in the hand entry phase of my stroke  is due to over rotation when breathing.

Things to consider:

Breathe to the side,  not looking up at sky! Turn head to the side and look across water surface – one eye in the water and the other out of the water.

Keep hips flatter . Use this drill to practice



Enter handers at shoulder or aim to enter as wide as possible.

To  correct position of hands on entry alternate water polo heads up front crawl with regular front crawl. See water polo heads up below


Stroke Analysis and Correction

Had a 1 to 1 training session with Tim at St Georges pool today.

We looked at improving my catch and pull.

Tim seems to think the EVF drills I’ve been doing have really improved my pull since our last session. I have a better feel of the water, bending at the elbow,   pulling in down the centre   and ending at the back.

Its still not perfect, but better. He keeps saying “better”. Sometimes he says “Awful”. Thats usually when I’ve reverted back to my old style of swimming :/

Today however we looked at trying to correct the cross over of my hands on entry.

Basically, in order for me to enter at the correct point and not cross over the midline, I need to aim at entering really wide.

When i do this my hand enters at the correct position in front of me, not wide  and not across my body line.

I also need to focus on keeping my head still.

Heres a video clip of my swimming at the end of the session.


“The main objective of swimming the English Channel is not to have a pretty stroke, but to get across!” Tim Denyer

This is just as well, because i do not have a pretty stroke. As a friend pointed out, I’m a splosher.

If I can adopt a more efficient stroke however, for at least part of the swim, then it will contribute to a faster and more enjoyable swim.

The keyword there is *joy*


Go Softly 

The reason why you almost chopped your finger off slicing onions Ricky is because your heart was racing and you were in a bad mood, not thinking about the task at hand, but things outside of your control instead.

You have a tendency to be over zealous and heavy handed. Go easy. Go softly. 

Perhaps if you swam less and increased the intensity of your training over a longer period of time you would not be incurring so many injuries. Your groin strain, neck strain, back strain are clear signs that you are doing something wrong! 

Now you have cut your finger, and it is affecting your stroke and it’s taking time to heal because it’s always getting wet. What are you like?! Are you going to carry on swimming with your injuries and risk making them worse or are you going to find an alternative form of exercise?

(Mumbles) find an alternative form of exercise..

Yes! (Good idea!) Do some dry side stretching excercises instead. Take the opportunity to read and write and draw!!

When you do return to swimming remember not to overdo it.

Remember :

soft hand entry

No Splashing!

6 beat kick 



I swam just under 3 hours yesterday and 3.5 hours today . In the last 5 days I’ve swum about 25-30km.

I notice my form goes in and out of whack quite a lot over the course of a long swim.
I think I might be swimming too much.

I need to do more drills using on high elbow, hand entry and pull to improve power and efficiency and avoid injury.

The advantage of doing this regularly after warm up is that it stays in ones short term memory; which means its easier to recall and perform during the main set.

As a corrective measure.

Probably best to concentrate on stroke and speed for next few days at least. Otherwise I risk injury and developing bad technique.

Relax. Streamline, 6 beat kick.  No splashing!

Do catch up drill to improve catch and pull.

Do not let elbows drop below water level.

Keep body close to surface



Remember: High Elbow

Tim had a look at my stroke on Sunday. Apparently my left arm (or is it my right) swing out really wide on the recovery and I am over extending in the catch phase,  wasting a lot of energy and placing  unnecessary strain on my shoulder by  pulling through with a straight arm.

The wide stroke, obviously contributes to drag, which I need to avoid. Narrowing my profile, making my body streamline, as if trying to thread it through the eye of a needle is the way to go. So I need to practise.

My  main challenge at the moment is not over extending in the catch phase of the hand entry, but entering the water closer to my shoulder.

My stroke was much better about three years ago, but has deteriorated, possibly as a consequence of overtraining and fatigue. By over training I mean swimming excessively, often without adequate hydration, nutrition or rest. Also failing to stretch and do regular dry side exercises.

The advantage of using a high elbow catch is that it encourages better shoulder rotation, engagement of the lats and shallow pull. This keeps the body shallow, i.e. on the surface of the water as opposed to under the water and reduces drag.