Hi Talvi from the Southern Hemisphere.
I'm in no position to give advice and others do it much better. I desperately need a weekend of coaching. Most of my summer swimming is in a river estuary in salt water near high tide. In those conditions I float easily and the only limitations are my dodgy shoulders and getting cold. I have been working on Coach Dave's catch and think I have got much better grip on the water to the extent that I feel very pleased with myself. I am even playing with stroke rate. To bring me back to earth the last swim was out against a 20 knot breeze and into chop, great fun. The trip home was totally uncomfortable, the troughs bent me banana shaped and breathing was hazardous. I actually stopped a couple of times to gather my wits. I still can't replicate the same ease in freshwater, obviously my horizontal balance is not good so I concentrate on gentle and effortless but slow in pool or lake. Enjoy your swimming. It's a great adventure isn't it.
Hiya Ken, I see advice as the sharing of experience rather than instruction, so for me all of it has value.
Dodgy shoulders or not that swim sounds hairy! Hat off to you. I haven't yet been comfortable swimming in the lake when the wind gets much above 2m/s
I find Coach Dave's dryland catch drill injures/or aggravates a weakness in my shoulder. So I experimented with it lying on my back. I found that when my elbow bends my upper arm automatically comes level with my shoulders. Trying to reduce this action then opens up an exploration. You can find what is required in terms of flexibility etc for catching earlier and, there's no gravity to deal with on your back so you can easily explore all the muscle strengths/movements involved.
FWIW, and with all your caveats (of course), I find the form of the catch is related to timing and roll, and those to the tramlines and etc etc. When the overall form of my stroke is right I've found the form of my catch is created automatically. Shame that only happens once in every 50 strokes!! :D
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