The life of a fisherman; patiently waiting for the right catch. Being very careful, reeling the line in slowly to give the impression that the bait is alive. This patience for the catch is precisely the patience you need as a swimmer for yours. For those of you who don’t want the catch to slip away from you, keep reading.
Patience is a virtue as they say in the classics and the key to a good catch. The catch starts after the hand entry. A good hand entry is often forgotten by many swimmers, but in fact, a straight and clean hand entry determines the direction of your next pull-through and therefore the efficiency of your stroke.
The focus should be on entering the water with the tip of your fingers first. The hand and forearm follow the fingers like an arow until the arm is completely stretched just below the surface of the water. By now the fingertips are slightly pointed downwards while the elbow keeps its position close to the surface. Certainly, don’t let the fingertips or hand move up towards the water surface or the elbow drop after the hand entry. Otherwise, you will be punished with more resistance and less propulsion which brings you absolutely nowhere.
The extended arm under the water surface is a very difficult position to initiate the catch from. You should slowly bend your wrist slightly to get the hand to start dropping in the water. Resist the need to grab and push the water at this stage. Here is the moment of patience. Your patience will be rewarded in swimming heaven, we promise.
Once the hand is dropping, the elbow bends to assist in this movement, but your elbow stays stationary in front of the shoulder. Yes, we know, this seems impossible, but it requires lots of practise and good feedback, both of which you can get from SwimGym. The hinge drill is perfect for this. Once the hand has dropped and facing backwards, the catch is finished.
The catch may be quicker and a little deeper for triathletes and open water swimmers as swimming in open water conditions are not as calm. The catch is all about positioning your hand and forearm first before starting your pull through. Make sure you pack patience with your swimming gear and dream about catching all those molecules of water for the great push to come. This will lead to optimal propulsion and therefore more efficiency and speed.