My Evolving Freestyle

The following videos were taken in separate occasion and show how my freestyle has improved (deteriorated? ) over the last few years. They were all taken at the same pool. In each occasion, the right and left side were taken.

Video taken in 09/26/2004 My comment: I only swam the width(12.5m) of a 25 meter pool coz that's all I could muster back then. I was just starting and my conditioning wasn't good. There is the pronounced lifting of the head to breath. The legs seem to be too low under the water.

Video taken in 04/17/2005 My comment: Both arms do not sufficiently clear the water. The left arm hardly clears the water at all. Not much body rotation? Head is a little more aligned with body and is kept low.

Video taken in 02/26/2006 My comment: Arms are raised more and clear the water. Head is not too high when breathing. The last video show the butt going up and down. I guess this is the effect of going too deep with the right arm trying to maximize a glide.

Yes, I'm still slow. If there's anything that you can comment on, hopefully to improve my stroke, please, feel free to add a comment. Thanx.

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Anonymous said...

You are swimming all catchup, you have no rythym, your feet exit the water too often,your hand preceeds your elbow in the recvery.

Good luck George

Anonymous said...

I'd say, go get the "GoSwim" Freestyle Drills DVD (or the TI freestyle DVD) as they'll give you some really good pointers as to how/why your body undulates (almost like fly) and general pointers on how to swim much better than you currently do.

But keep it up - it's worth it:)


Anonymous said...

I can see that you have improved but one foot kicks harder than the other and your rythm is a little off and if you breath less then your stroke my "flow" better

Anonymous said...

You kick too hard it is throwing off your stroke and timing. Definately get the total immersion free style video and the total immersion four strokes dvd at It works wonders. There are so many drills that can help you with your balance, how you arms/hands enter the water, and teaching you to roll to catch your breath. You may also want to try fins as you swim and drill to help your body position. You may also want to join a swim club and have some one coach you. Keep up the hard work.

Blackdove said...

George, do you mean that the elbow should preceed the hand? How does that improve the stroke?
Billy, Thanx for the tip.
Anonymous1, you're right, it's like my right leg is doing all the kicking.
Anonymous2, thanx for the words of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Due to the fact that your breathing dominates your stroke you seem to be getting no propulsion from your left side. Although the video is not too clear, it looks to me like you are pulling with your left arm before rotating, thus not using your powerful lats to generate power. This is usually a symptom of a poor catch, Try to concentrate on 1-rotating your shoulder in towards your chin on entry (thus giving a high elbow), 2-bending your elbow, while keeping your elbow near the water surface before you rotate and pull the elbow back 3-pull the elbow/hand straight back - again keeping the stroke as shallow as possible.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

Not lifting your head is only one part of the answer. In general you want your head to be neutral when you breathe. In your case you both lift you rhead and crane it forward when you breathe.

So when you breathe instead of a straight line from your head down your spine, you have a curve in it. Then, when you come back form your breath, your body goes all catywampuss to get back in line, that's why your backside swings out to your right after your breath.

Right now you seem to be looking back toward your feet when you breathe making you crane your neack forward as you do it. Try to tihnk of maintaining a long line through your spine and cast your eyes toward the end of the pool as you breathe, it should help you stay straighter.

George Park said...

The elbow should preceed the hand to the shoulder you are moving the hand forward too soon. Your kick should not break the surface it is ok for the heel to come to the surface your whole foot is out. You are dropping your elbow when pulling and the hand is pushing the water in the wrong direction you you have to grab onto the imaginary wall of water. If you push the water in the wrong direction you will not move forward easily. Newtons third law every action has an equall and opposite reaction, Also dropping the elbow during the pull phase makes the body pop up and down, Much more will post later.

Anonymous said...

in ur second vid I can see that ur arm entry is waaay to soon.u gotta steracht it out so that your cath improves. your arm enters the water somewhere near your ear and that`s not good at all. it should be streched out while still in the air,and enter the water as far away from your sholder as possible. plus try not to bend those knees that much because it really dosen`t hepl if half of yor leg is out of the water

Blackdove said...

"you seem to be getting no propulsion from your left side"
Yes, I actually feel that my left arm isn't doing enough and the tendency is that my right arm tries to compensate thus digging too deep forward. I'll try rotating BEFORE pulling with my left.

Kevin in MD,
"...cast your eyes toward the end of the pool as you breathe, it should help you stay straighter."
Sounds good.

"You are dropping your elbow when pulling"
It wasn't always like this when I started swimming as I always did the high elbow. I guess bad habits do slowly creep in when ya don't check technique more often.

"try not to bend those knees that much"

Anonymous said...

stretch your hands ! to wide kick!

Blackdove said...

Thanx Marta. By "too wide kick", did you mean my legs were far apart? or that the kick was too deep?

Anonymous said...

Let us see some new results of your swimming. George