Freestyle – Full Stroke Drills – Catch Up Drills

FRS01 Category: Catch Up Strokes


Stroking and kicking freestyle.  Lead arm extended forward. Lead arm does not engage the stroke until the recovering hand catches up or almost catches up with the lead hand.   The swimmer should not touch the recovering hand with the lead hand as this indicates ‘crossing over’ with the entry and thus is something that needs to be monitored with some of these drills.  Be sure to keep the kicking moving at a select kick rate.


Focus on technique such as hand entry (flat hand and high elbow), and high elbow EVF

Focus on the ability to hold the water through the entire stroke (catch through outsweep)

Can be used to develop power and a stronger catch


Variables that can be added for each Variation:

    • With or without Tech Snorkel to train a neutral head position and side-of-mouth breathing (GIF)
    • Add InHaler to train breathing behind bow wave (GIF)

FRS01-01 With pipe or kick board, or Lil’ Red Kick alignment board (GIF)

    • A PVC pipe can be held out front and switched from lead hand to lead hand
    • The back of a kickboard can also be traded from hand to hand
    • The Lil’ Red Kick is most ideal as an alignment board as it lets the swimmer know when they are keep keeping straight streamline

FRS01-02 Catch-up with hands down to the side instead of forward

    • Instead of the lead hand extended forward it can be held down beside the body and the stroke hand then stops at the hips as the non-stroke hand then recovers
    • This can be confusing and can hinder an effective outsweep or body rotation is used too often

FRS01-03 45 Degree arm position (GIF)

    • The newer system is to engage the catch phase of the stroke from a 45 degree angle down in front of the swimmer in order to reduce shoulder strain and not waste time with a high arm position
    • Therefore the arms should be held down and in front of the body at about a 45 degree angle as the ‘home’ position for the catch-up drill

FRS01-04 Add Paddles

    • Paddles such as the Touch, Precision, Precise, or EVF Kit can add focus to the catch and Early Vertical Forearm

FRS01-05 Add drag resistance such as PowerBags on feet, calves, waist or parachute (GIF)

    • Resistance can help develop more power while working on stroke technique
    • Resistance such as Power Bags can provide improved power and technique to the kick while also working on the stroke technique