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Old 09-01-2017
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Default Stroke feels herky jerky

When I get my hand in the bumper position, and wait until the opposite hand enters the water before I begin the pull, it makes me feel as if I lose a little momentum. This causes a feel of the stroke being a bit stop and go. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2017
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353

HI Rich,

The jerkyness or interruption is not the extended arm with "fingertips on bumper", but it's most likely the recovery arm stalling or stopping at the hip. That's the stop and go feeling you get. The weight of your recovery arm behind the lungs (center of buoyancy) stalled at the hip causes the hips sink, increases drag and thus the deceleration you are experiencing.

Think of your stroke starts and finishes in front (or on the bumper), with one continuous and fluid motion from beginning to end - no stalling or pausing recovery at hip

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Old 09-04-2017
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585


A couple more thoughts - but kudos for being sensitive and aware of the water and your body in it!

a) poor streamlining or balance affect momentum the most. So maintaining that leading bumper position, and patient timing waiting for your other arm to come back forward - it will pay off even though it feels weird right now.

b) it's a mental leap to make before your body does it properly, but the speed of your arm changes through the entire loop. Instead of one consistent same-speed for the entire cycle, think about two: the underwater + the recovery in the air.

The recovery can go much faster because it's in the air and has almost zero resistance. As Stuart says, don't waste time in recovery, get your hand off past your hip and float/soar forward quickly.

For most people, when they try to speed up their recovery, they accidentally start pulling their underwater arm too soon, and at the same (faster) speed as their recovery. That's the toughest mental block to break through.

Once you succeed in breaking the symmetry, then you get an even better feel for things you'll realize there are 3, 4, 5... and many more phases of your stroke and in each one a different application of force/relaxation is required. Come that point, you're working more with the feel of the water than focusing on how fast things should move at any point.

Keep up the awareness!
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