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Streak 04-04-2018 04:11 AM

Some new video - left arm recovery help
I have really been trying to work on a better recovery of my left arm. No matter what I try I always seem to be placing it rather than spearing it forward like I do with my breathing side arm. This was highlighted here by Stuart

In the video below shot this week I am swimming at a much faster tempo than the video above. I have the TT set to 1:10 and swimming at a pace of about 45s per 50 yards. I was concentrating on the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock arm exit but still seem to be laying down my left arm. I have tried to let gravity go to work and tried really forcing a stronger spear with deeper entry but it upsets my whole rhythm when I start forcing things.

So, what drills should I try to educate my left arm a bit more?

Danny 04-04-2018 02:20 PM

Joel, overall your stroke looks very impressive! The only thing I see is a tendency on the non-breathing side to spear up front a little too close to the center line. It's possible that this is happening because you rotated somewhat more on the breathing side and you're using the arm to try to rotate you back to the other side, but that's just my speculation.

There's a certain position in the rotation that the body wants to be in when the arm spears up front. If the recovery gets ahead of the body rotation, then you may find yourself spearing closer to the center line in order to get the body rotation caught up with the spearing.

WFEGb 04-04-2018 04:15 PM

Hello Joel,

sound on my PC is so terribly bad that I simply can't understand what Stuart said. So I'm afraid my 2ct are more reiteration... (if not, hope not too contrary...)


So, what drills should I try to educate my left arm a bit more?
First to fourth more a mantra:
- Relax my recovery-arm
- Relax my lower recovery-arm more
- Relax my fingers even more and paint a wide half-circled line
- Let my elbow lead the recovery as wide as possible from my side as far as possible to front, then let my relaxed lower arm dangle a little bit more forward to mailslot.

You are reaching very far to front. Might be you should imagine your mailslot just near your ears... and a video might show it as just right in front...

MC-Tracey recommends to imagine a tattoo on your elbow (if you're staying upright and your arms are hanging relaxed, the tattoo is looking outside). This should look forward all the recovery time until it drops into the slot.

To get back to this, you might even swim a lap with recovery-elbow still in water and lower-arm dragging behind the elbow, next dragging hand, dragging fingers have been Terry's "standard stroke"...

What I feel my self sometimes, when becoming aware of a tensed recovery is my tensed lower back starting to become a banana-shape. I think I can see it with you one and than, but I can be wrong. In this case an aligned straightened spine (little more tension into the butt) with relaxed head/neck has to be ensured forehand. (Before recovery can become relaxed again.) It might be worth to even have a look, how a more rotated stroke will help to relax your recovery arm up to your feeling the recovery happens more with leading elbow in front of your body than aside. (Not so much that you're starting to sink too much...) You should do some experiments with...

You're afraid your rhythm might becomes upset. Sometimes an improved stroke requires a new rhythm... But before working on that I'd recommend to work several laps with a TT. Start in slow tempo like 1.40s and then tweak it down after every lap with 0.03s...

When does your feeling start, the rhythm gets upset?

Or vice versa, start with 1.10s and tweak it slower every lap. When do you get the feeling of a significant more relaxed recovery arm?

Are both times the same?

Is the feeling right and left the same?

That's it for the moment. Enjoy your work!

Best regards,

CoachStuartMcDougal 04-04-2018 04:26 PM

Hey Joel,

You make it look so easy! And you're around 15 or less strokes and 1:10 tempo - nice! You can go at a slightly higher tempo too (1:05, 1:00) now since cleaning up your high side arm, removing unnecessary movements. Excellent 5 & 7 release and swinging arm away from body.

There is still a slight deceleration on left side entry, and laying a bit flat. The low side (right) arm is moving a bit too soon, impulse to pull to rotate which causes left flat entry. Hold right low-side arm in front, hold your right edge longer until high side (recovery) slices in fingertips first, wrist then elbow. Use the perception accelerate left side entry, this will turn off the shoulder and allow momentum and gravity take the arm. But it will feel like an awkward acceleration at first.

Coach Dave and I will be in Coronado April 12-15 training TI coaches. On Sunday (4/15) coach trainees will be doing private lessons and Dave and I will be monitoring and observing. This will be a great opportunity to come and get some one on one with a new coach as well as from Dave and me. You'll get a couple of videos and analysis during the lesson. Just $55 - bargain. Here's the link to register:

Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you in Coronado!


Streak 04-04-2018 11:42 PM

Danny, Werner and Stuart,
Many thanks for the kind words of encouragement and useful tips.

I really have enjoyed the journey so far and have been fortunate enough to be able to share some of of the basics with other swimmers. It's really a sense of achievement when the guy in the lane next to you reduces his SPL from 30 down to 25 with a few basic tips. I guess the macro changes are always the easiest!!

Stuart, I will make every effort to be there family plans allowed!

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