Welcome to swimming news this week. This week we look at how to pull through with a high elbow, where to enter your hand in freestyle and also we’ll talk about my favorite mindset training that I find most effective for better performance in racing.

0:45 – How To Pull With A High Elbow
0:57 – Where Do You Enter in Freestyle?
1:22 – Mix it Up!
2:12 – My Favorite Mindset Training
3:10 – Can a Chiro Improve Your Swimming?

This week we had our freestyle clinic in Melbourne. Two of the things that we covered were how to pull through with a high elbow and where to enter your hand in freestyle. One of the biggest mistakes I see made is when swimmers start their pull through, they’ll drop their elbow, which means they’re slipping through the water and they’re not holding much of the water as they are swimming. The way to change that is to rotate your shoulder internally. You’ve got your hand out in front of you, when you start your pull, rotate your shoulder internally and that will allow you to get the high elbow catch that you hear a lot of coaches talking about.

Where Do You Enter in Freestyle?

The other question I was asked was where do you enter in freestyle? Should it be in front of your head? Should it be outside your shoulder? Well, the ideal position is to enter shoulder width apart. So you’re entering in front of your shoulder which means that when you drive forward, when you’re gliding forward, then you just need to go straight forward rather than come across your body or sweeping out wide to balance yourself.

Mix it Up!

If you want to be a better racer one change I recommend you make in your training is to vary the speed. Include some lactic acid production sets. A mistake that I often see made is that swimmers will train a whole session at the same speed. Now the reason that’s a mistake is because it means that you’re only working one energy system for the whole session. If you vary the speed, then you get to work different energy systems. So if you want to become a better racer, then include some speed sets, include some aerobic work, some anaerobic work, and I strongly recommend that you include some lactic acid production sets. So an example of that would be 10×50 on the minute, where you’re going one fast – one recovery. Your body has to practice removing the lactic acid in those recovery 50’s. So we like to vary the speed a lot in our training sessions because it means you’re working those different energy systems and you become a better racer that way.

My Favorite Mindset Training

The mindset training which I find most effective is visualization. Ever since I was a teenager we were brought up to visualize our race. And every 2 weeks we’d visualize the main race for the season. So for me that was the 400 IM at Nationals and we’d lie down, we’d close our eyes and we’d picture ourselves in our main race that we’re targeting for the season. We’d go through the whole race, from the dive through the fly, back, breast and freestyle. We’d picture the splits we wanted to do and when we finally came to doing the race, because I’ve been through a dozen or so times in my head before, it meant that I knew what to do. I hit the time that I’d been targeting for the season.I find visualization the most effective way to improve your performance. That’s my favorite type of mindset training.

Can a Chiro Improve Your Swimming?

In the latest episode of the Effortless Swimming Podcast, I chatted with Koe Davidson. He’s not only a swimmer that I coach but he’s a chiropractor. And I’ve been going to see him for the last couple of weeks and I talk about some of the biggest changes that I’ve found in my swimming because of going to see him twice a week. And the biggest benefit that I’ve gotten from that is increased power and strength. It might sound a bit odd that that’s what you get from going to see a chiropractor, but in this podcast I talk about why that is and some of the effects that that’s had on my swimming.

Check out the podcast here

We’ve made a video which goes through some of the adjustments that he makes and some of the improvements that you can get in your own swimming from going to see a chiropractor.

That’s it for news this week. I’ll see you next week.