I think a lot of people confuse holding water with holding the spearing arm outstretched until the other one enters.
Then you only have a fraction of a second to do:
1) Hand below body line at catch -- because this effortlessly lifts legs toward the surface, reducing drag, turbulence, and effort.
2) Hand and arm positioned so that initial pressure is toward the rear--so resultant force moves YOU forward.
3) When you begin press, apply pressure with patience, care and precision to ensure that your pressure converts at a high level into locomotion--not just commotion. I.E. Water molecules remain still, while you move forward.
Thats too much for the time thats available, so its hurry hurry to get that arm back in time with the rest of the body, causing exactly the ripping effect you try to avoid.
Jumping on a moving train is difficult from a standstill position.
From all the male TI coaches Terry has about the least dead extended arm time in his stroke.
Its always moving. From perhaps a very short stop, to slow, to fast.Thats the opposite of stopping long and ripping to make up lost time.