SwimmersBest Drill of the Month: Reverse Catch-Up

By Torrey Hart
January 30th, 2019

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.

January’s drill comes to us from triathlete Eliot Scymanski, former Franklin & Marshall and Dartmouth College assistant swimming coach, now assisting at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Scymanski qualified for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, placing third overall and first in the 25-29 age group, and competed at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

“It’s finding a connection between the rotation and the kick, and the rotation and the pull,” Scymanski said of his drill of choice, reverse catch-up.

To sum it up succinctly: “Reach, pull, rotate.”

1. Kick while wearing a snorkel, hands at your side, just rotating with a continuous kick.
2. Continue to kick and rotate, adding in a one-arm freestyle stroke. “Roll to reach the arm forward, then roll to pull,” said Scymanski.
3. To put the parts together, start with both arms “in your pocket.” As your right shoulder rotates up, pull your left arm up, roll to reach, roll to pull, and then add the extra rotation when both arms return to your side, which drives the other arm up. “The only difference between single arm and reverse catch-up is that there is an extra rotation at the bottom,” Scymanski explained.

Eager to advance the drill? Take off the snorkel. As one arm extends, breath to the opposite side every-other rotation.

“If you’re just looking from your hips to your shoulders, you should never be able to tell whether you’re doing just kicking, single arm, or swimming,” Scymanski added. “The rotation should remain consistent throughout that whole thing.”

Watch the full drill progression below: