One of the most important pieces of the swimming puzzle is the rotation of your hips. Your rotation is key as it is what sets the tone for the timing of your stroke, recovery, catch, and kick. It’s kind of got a tough job when you really get down to it. So much of your freestyle relies on having a proper rotation, but that doesn’t mean you need to work on ALL of those things at the same time! Today let’s talk about using your rotation to help you place your hand in the water to start your catch. The perfect drill to work on that? 3 Quarters Catch Up Drill.
You’re probably thinking, “Lissa, please don’t make me do catch up drill, it’s the only drill I’ve been doing since I was 4 years old and I am so bored with it, ANYTHING but catch up drill.” To which I say, I completely agree - although that might be a slight exaggeration - that catch up drill seems to be used A TON when there are so many other great drills out there that deserve our attention. But hold on! 3 Quarters Catch Up Drill forces you to take a pause right before your hand enters the water. Talk about excitement right there.
Adding in this pause allows you to focus on using the downward rotation of your hip to place the same side’s hand in the water. This is the timing we’re looking to work on with this drill, as it properly sets you up to maintain your balance and efficiency during your catch and pull.
When you’re kicking on your side and your arm is up, elbow forward, and your hand is hovering above the water, pause 1-2 seconds with your hand positioned properly to start your catch. After you’ve paused use the downward rotation of your hip (on the same side of your body as the arm that’s currently in the air) to place your hand in the water and begin your catch. If your kick is on the weaker side try adding fins to help you stay balance during the pause.
When you’re paused and you’re kicking on your side you want to be in the same position as the above picture. This is where the pause takes place and you start to setup the rotation and hand placement to start the catch of your next stroke. If you need to watch the drill in action check out our 3 Quarters Catch Up Drill Video with a voiceover explanation and to see all of the pieces put together.