Today in the pool I was able to get a little insight on what I think that you and the link that Coach Suzanne have expounded upon:
I was doing 100 and 200 yd repeats and feeling very unstable and like I was "yanking" water and no really going anywhere. Then I started another 100 yd and got something more pleasant as a feel for the water. Though I have not heard of the focal point of moving the elbow forward, I will think of this next time in the pool. Maybe this will help me recapture what I sensed.
But what It was like was a feeling that I was swinging from side to side. My arm felt..."deep" in the water. It was as if my whole arm was reaching around something big, like it was slipping around something round and large. Instead of the feeling of my pulling energy starting as I started my catch, it was as if it was delayed and the pulling sensation was as my whole arm was right under my body. Anyone and everyone; Is this it?
Coach Suzanne you had posted a exert from you article and you said something that caught my interest, that it was like a press up out of the pool. That was it! I was not counting strokes, but it felt like my legs were more "along for the ride" and surprisingly my breathing was easy. This was surprising because I actually expected the feeling of my arm going so deep would pull me down under, but it did not.
As so much of my practice, I could not maintain the new feeling from lap to lap...it came in and out as I swam. After the last lap that felt right, I decided to quit while I still had it in my head.
I've also read and heard that the laterals should be engaged in efficient swimming; right now as I type I can feel a bit of wear in them, they feel tired, like they got worked.
Sometimes I wish two things:
One that I had a pool outside my house that I could jump in several times a day to keep ingraining the things that I feel are progressing me, and two that I had a 50 meter pool as I stink at flip turns so when I do them it takes me four or five strokes to get myself balanced again.