The most crucial part of swimming, the crux of the matter! Everything rests upon what happens here in this sacred space that is the pull and push. The rest of the stroke can look like a dog’s breakfast, but it is here where swimming's music is made, and world records are broken.
Imagine the following - in hand’s reach, approx. 50cm under the water, there are two ropes running under you, miraculously they are your shoulder width apart… well this is your imagination after all … so great. Now imagine that as your right hand goes into the water, it gets hooked onto the rope on your right-hand side and you are able to pull your body forward on this rope as you swim freestyle. Your hand stays still, and you pull your body over your hand, where your hand is like a paddle. Your elbow is nicely bent as you pull and push, and you shoot forward. The rope releases your hand at the back of this cycle into a beautiful recovery and catches the other hand now entering. Imagine that it does this every time, stroke for stroke. Hooking one hand and then the other each time and all you need to do is pull and push.
If you cannot imagine the ropes, imagine a ladder in the water, also 50cm deep. The steps of the ladder fit your stroke length perfectly and the same thing happens, your place your hand in the step and pull your body forward to the next one which matches your other hand, and so you go along pulling yourself through the water and “up” the steps.
Now imagine something else! Imagine your happiness when you arrive at the pool, no matter the hour, and that this happiness radiates from you like a Superhero’s power. Imagine that you have smiley faces in the palms of your hands and that this is your superpower. Imagine that you have to keep the smiley face pointing towards the wall you are swimming away from to keep your superpower. The hand enters the water and immediately it wants to smile, so you drop your hand and make sure your hand is smiling at the wall you’ve left and BOOM, your superpower switches on and as you pull and push you fly through the water.
That’s all we have to say about that! As the great John Lennon reminds us – IMAGINE - and all your swimming dreams will come true.