Each part of the freestyle stroke is important in its own right. Swimmers with a weak pull will be less efficient, meaning they have to take more arm strokes and use more energy to move up and down the pool. An awkward recovery can lead to shoulder injuries, whilst not holding the ‘catch’ will cause a loss of balance and stability as well as momentum in the water.
Mermaid Swim Academy aims to give every child a strong freestyle stroke and ensure they are ‘catching’, ‘pulling’ and ‘recovering’ in the correct way!
All of our young swimmers first begin to swim freestyle as ‘bubble arm breathing arm’. As they move into squads they are taught the proper terminology for this drill is ‘catch-up freestyle’. This means to hold one arm up (in front of your shoulder) whilst the other arm pulls underwater. The arm should only pull down as the other one comes over the shoulder to enter the water.
At Mermaid Swim Academy we teach all of our students to catch wide which helps to prevent injuries and increase stability.
The most efficient swimmers maximises how far each pull propels their body through the water. Your hands and arms act as a pivotal force for propelling your body through the water. From Beginner Learn To Swim through to Advanced Development Squad, Mermaid Swim Academy swimmers are taught to have a good feel for the water and to swim with long, strong pulls.
The final phase of freestyle is the recovery. This is where the arm comes over and re-enters the water. At Mermaid Swim Academy we encourage our swimmers to recover within the shoulders natural range of movement. We discourage swimming with a bent elbow recovery and over-extending once the hand enters the water as this grinds away at the acromioclavicular joint which can eventually lead to shoulder injuries.
We wish all our young swimmers to have a life-long love of swimming and healthy shoulders to go with!