Better Group Technique Training
Drills + Devices = Faster Results
Meet the needs of individuals while training a group. Each swimmer has
different problems, requiring different drills to fix those problems. Our
approach uses the same drill for a group but individualized equipment to
solve problems quickly.
Once the coach prioritizes each swimmer’s key problems, our specialized
equipment will target each problem while the group performs the same drills.
This manual mainly demonstrates this process with freestyle. Often these
problems stem from a favorite breathing side and different swimmers can
focus on a particular arm with a particular piece of equipment.
Examples: Joe outsweeps on his ‘catch’ and needs a Glide Paddle for instant
feedback. Susie’s elbow drops on her ‘catch’ and needs a Precision paddle
which will move off her hand to force a ‘forearm catch’.
Instead of coaches using many drills, each drill on both sides of the body, a
set of drills for the group allows each swimmer to focus solely on their
problem side and stroke problems. This cuts the yardage by 4-5x while giving
swimmers ample time to focus on their problems.
This manual uses progressively harder singe arm freestyle drills as an
example. Once the drills are engrained, ‘touch up’ the strokes with shorter
technique sessions and later by adding our paddles to main workouts. With
our equipment and understanding of their problem ‘side’, the swimmers
receive instant feedback to correct their stroke on their own. Swimmers now
have the responsibility for their own problems and solutions with the coach
able to reinforce and fine tune improvements.
Freestyle Progression – Single Arm Variations
Drill #1: Non-stroking arm up, breathing every time to stroking arm (aka Lead Hand stability)
Drill #2: Alternating arms every 6 kicks (6 kick switch)
Drill #3: Non-stroking arm down (aka UNCO)
Variation #1 – breathing every time to stroking arm
Variation #2 – breathing every time away from stroking arm
Variation #3 – breathing toward, then no breath, then away from stroking arm
Drill #4: Swimmer choice of Drills #1-3 (Problem Arm + Proper Equipment)
Coach assigns the best combinations of drills and arms per swimmer
Coach assigns the ideal equipment (next page) for each swimmer
Drill #5: Full Stroke
Variation #1 (Perfect) – End technique sessions with ‘perfect’ full strokes
Variation #2 (Race) – Race pace strokes to see if things change
Variation #3 (Workout Exhaustion) – Incorporate the same methods, equipment (next page) and terminology during workout sets to make sure they are maintaining quality strokes when they are tired. Most importantly the coach needs quick reminders during hard sets to keep the swimmers’ focus on their key problems over time
Each swimmer has unique problems that should be corrected with each drill.
By selecting the right equipment and stroking arm, each swimmer has more
reps to focus on their specific problems. Routinely modify the key problems
as swimmers improve. Many swimmers have a problem on both the
non-stroking and stroking hand. This may mean using different paddle types
at the same time.
Glide Paddle if:
– slicing sideways w/ non-stroking hand (use on non-stroke hand)
– S-stroking (use on stroking hand)
Precision Paddle if:
– ‘laying’ on non-stroking arm to breathe (use on non-stroking hand)
– dropping (or leading) elbow on stroke (use on stroking hand)
– not extending fully on outsweep (use on stroking arm)
EVF Kit (Precise (or Precision) paddle + Wrist Trainer + Power Pad) if:
– straight arm engaging (use on stroking hand)
– as arm sleeves if swimmer has a low recovery
– as a skirt if swimmer has low hips (skirt on rear for
– on feet to help reduce knee bend and improve ankle
1Flexband (heavy) if: too much knee bend
InHaler if: lift head to breathe
Drills + Devices = Faster Results
Sensory Feedback (Warm-Ups/Warm Downs/Main Sets):
One of the easiest ways to improve large swim groups is to optimize some
warm-ups and warm down sessions for technique drills. The more swimmers
train stressed, the more their technique tends to degrade. Regularly add our
highly responsive paddles to workout sets to give swimmers a regular
‘reboot’ on their technique. The Glide paddle will ‘shimmer’ if the power
phase of their stroke is not straight and smooth. The Glide paddle will also
make them think more clearly about their entry and the initial catch, as well
as extend the outsweep. The Precision paddle makes hard sets harder by
removing the hand from the power source and forcing the forearm to
become the entire paddle. It will also minimize dropped (or leading) elbows
at the catch and require a very long outsweep. Of course swimmers improve
flaws more quickly when the coach gives regular feedback during workouts
to ensure problems are resolved and new problems are identified.
Use With All Strokes:
We used Freestyle to explain the process in this manual. Use the same
process with other strokes as well. The single arm stroke progression
explained here is equally ideal for fly and back. Our website provides more
help as well.