Originally Posted by Rajan
During this phase I feel deceleration as you mentioned from recovery to entry forward. Can this deceleration be eliminated by being in Skate position ?
There is a natural deceleration that happens when you stop adding propulsion through the stroke back/spear forward. The idea here is to minimize this deceleration in this phase. I still have days in my practice when during my stroke, my body stops dead in the stroke cycle. I can tell by how fast the tiles move under me. If they ever stop, then my drag is so high that it has stopped me dead in the absence of propulsive elements.
There are many things you can examine to minimize deceleration:
1. Being in good Skate position means you are quiet, perfectly balanced, and not introducing extraneous motion which all minimize drag.
2. check your body parts. Are your limbs splaying outward during this time? Keep them all quiet, and within the shadow of your body moving through the water.
3. Is your head swinging from side to side as you switch? excess head movement will raise drag.
4. Is your body perfectly horizontal through all parts of the stroke? I often see swimmers change their hip depth at different times during the stroke. For example, sometimes they are horizontal and then when they reach the switch i see their hips drop. What happened? What changed? Why the hip drop here but not elsewhere? No matter what the cause, drag just increased dramatically when it was actually OK just before and stopped them dead in the water .
So in essence what you say is true. If you have an awesome Skate - all body parts in the right place, perfectly horizontal body, head down - that will help minimize drag a lot. But also don't forget that swimming is not a static thing like Skate the whole way; you're moving a lot of body parts around while some of your body is still in Skate so that movement can interrupt what was formerly a perfect Skate.
Skate is one of our most basic drills. It is much easier to practice elements broken down into pieces. Then we reassemble them into a whole, bit by bit, and challenging your CNS when it's ready. So Skate first, then we add a bit of recovery to spear for 1 stroke only. Then 2, then 3, and so on.