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Freestyle Hand Entry - Your Going The Wrong Way

Freestyle Hand Entry - Your Going The Wrong Way

Actually, it's the same for any stroke.
If your hand doesn't enter at the correct angle the water is pushed the wrong way and works against your forward motion.

Example 1: if your hand is flat to the water when it enters not only does it tend to splash the water, which is wasted energy, but also as your hand continues in the stroke it is forcing water down to the bottom of the pool, not back to your feet which is what you want to move you forward.

Example 2: if your hand enters the water facing away from your body when it enters the water, its first movement in the water is in that direction. Thus instead of your first movement being a pull that propels you forward, it is a sideways push and you are propelled diagonally. This is wasted energy.

Example 3: if your hand enters the water facing inwards towards your head the exact opposite to Example 2 occurs. Instead of pulling forward, you are again moved sideways in the opposite direction to Example 2.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Until your stoke reaches the point where you are moving the water to your feet, your stoke is wasting energy.

Ideally, you should be working towards your hand entry being just at the end of your head if not at your ear with your thumb being the first part of your hand to enter.

Picture of a swimmer doing freestyle and her hand just about to enter the water just above their ear.
(Fig.1) Hand Should Enter Just At The End of Your Ear or Head

Once in the water, you should flatten your hand and push it as far to the front of you as you can keeping it as close to the surface as you can without breaking the surface.

When your arm is fully extended you should cup your hand and scoop down the centre of your body.
Continue the motion down the centre line of your body.

Image of a swimmer doing freestyle, cupping their hand and scooping it down the centre of their body
(Fig. 2) Cup Your Hand & Scoop Down Your Body Centre Line

For a new swimmer, your hand should continue down past your hips until it exits the water at your thighs.

Image of a swimmer doing freestyle with their hand exiting the water at their thighs.
(Fig. 3) Down Past Your Hips & Exits The Water At Your Thighs

If you never let your hand pass the centre of your body you should always be pushing or pulling forward.


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