By Shawn Klosterman
April 30th, 2018
SwimSwam thanks SwimmersBest for sponsoring “Drill of the Month.” This is a SwimSwam recurring feature that brings drills and idea submissions from various creative and innovative coaches all over the world.
This Freestyle Balance Drill Progression was submitted by Head Coach Mike Murray at Islanders Aquatics, Long Island NY.
Coach: Mike Murray
Swimmer demonstrator: Noelle Jordan
Drill #1: Head lead body rotational drill; throughout this progression we’re looking to work on the athlete’s focus to keep their eyes down towards the bottom of the pool, with a long neck and leading with the top of head, i.e. the very top of the skull should be pointed towards the direction of travel
Drill #2: Left Hand or Right Hand Lead/Body Posture: Here, we begin refining the correct position of the arm; with either the right or left arm extended out front-palm facing down toward the bottom of the pool. with the extended hand remaining deeper than the shoulder. The athletes will be kicking on their side for the entirety of the drill
Drill #3: During 6-kick-switch the athlete will begin the on side that they’re choosing; starting out the same way as hand lead body posture…keeping the eyes down the bottom of the pool, the athlete will kick 6 times on the first side and then powerfully rotate the hips with a single freestyle rotation, bringing the swimmer to the other side; where the cycle repeats. We’re looking for a powerful transfer of power throughout the rotational phase of the exchange from right to left side
Drill #4: Triple Switch: this drill brings all the previous skills together into one multidimensional drill; here we follow the same progression as 6-kicks switch; however instead of taking a single rotational pull; we have the athlete comple 3 full strokes.
Michael Murray is the co-head coach of Islanders Aquatics in West Islip, New York. In 2017, Victor Swim Club had its most successful year of swimming in its 40 year history. Over 12 Victor Swimmers competed at The Futures Championships, Junior National, Senior National/World Championship Trials and the US Open. At the 2017 Futures Championship, Victor finished 2nd overall and the women’s team claimed the runner-up title for the 2nd consecutive season in Geneva, Ohio. Victor Swim Club also won its 3rd consecutive Niagara LSC SCY Championship Title, as well as the 1st ever Niagara LSC LCM Championship title. During that time, Victor Swimmers were awarded 16 National Age Group Top 10 time awards and Victor Swimmers represented their team at National Select Camp, National Open Water Select Camp, Diversity Select Camp and Zone Select Camps.
In 2015 and 2016, prior to joining Islanders Aquatics, coach Murray led the Victor Swim Club to back-to-back Niagara LSC Championships.