A few changes that we made lately with my squad’s sprint freestyle is making sure that we get the energy transfer from our recovery into the water. Quite often you will see swimmers in their recovery they will extend and then enter; then they have lost their momentum they have got from the recovery coming forward.
To make sure that you get that energy transfer coming forward in your sprint freestyle you want to make sure that your elbows are out a little bit wider and have a high elbow recovery. You can actually come from here into the water with some speed and power. You don’t want to lose it by extending all the way and then entering.
You can see in this video here of Jeremy swimming; he has got quite wide elbows and then he is making sure that enters cleanly and is driving himself forward with each stroke that he takes. He is not going at 100% speed here but he but you can still see the same effects; he has a nice wide elbow. Whereas if you are swimming distance you might come a little bit closer to your body with your recovery but that just makes it a little bit harder to get the momentum transfer into the water if you are doing your sprint freestyle. You might need to adjust your stroke when you are going from a 200m down to a 50m freestyle.
The other thing that we have been reminding ourselves of is stroke rate. If you stroke rate is too slow in your sprint freestyle then there is no way you will get it down to sub 30 or sub 35 whatever you are aiming for. We have been looking at our swimmers stroke rate to see if it is too low; if it is too low we make sure that we get their stroke rate going faster getting the arms over quicker. Typically it has been getting their times down by a second to a second and a half when we have been doing some timed 50m’s. It can make a big difference.
Each time that you are doing a sprint 50m just think about how high your stroke rate is. Are you going over too slow and if you do increase it is it going to bring your times down? That is just something to think about in sprint freestyle.