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Freestyle Catchup to Freestyle Almost Catch up

The Next Stage of Freestyle Catchup

If you have used the Catchup stroke (Catch upstroke) in your teaching or whilst learning swimming, you may have realised the perils of the technique. But even if you haven't, you have to find a way to move beyond it. Almost catchup is the method I use.

I am talking about catchup without the use of a kickboard here, just to avoid any confusion.

Almost catchup is very simple. As well as being very simple to introduce. It is just catchup except that your hands don't actually touch instead they "almost touch" (Fig.#1).

If you are explaining this to a student, don't be too prescriptive. There is plenty of room for interpretation as to how far apart hands need to be in order to be not touching.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Also keep in mind that when the swimmer takes a breath, the hand that is on the bottom is the one that will give the pull to allow them to keep the momentum to keep their head turned long enough for that breath. At the same time, the hand on top will slightly angle down into the water, adding to the effect (Fig.#2).

Image of a swimmer doing almost catchup in a torpedo position with hands in fornt of her almost touching
(Fig. #1) Almost Catchup

2 images of a swimmer using one hand to pull as she breathes whilst the other hand angles down to help with lift during the breathing
(fig.#2) Bottom Hand Pulls Other Hand Angles Down

Using an almost toughing technique it is a simple matter to be able to progress to a natural swimming action. This is because using this technique, the faster you go the more natural the stroke becomes without losing the lesson that the catchup stroke was used to teach in the first place.


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