How to improve your catch, feel for the water, hand entry and rotation all in one front crawl drill?

Catch 3 side kick rotating into catch


This is an excellent front crawl drill as it enables you to focus on and improve your long axis rotation, entry and catch phase, and feel for the water, and learn when to apply power in the 2nd power phase of the stroke underwater.

How to do it:

1. Starting on your back, with your lead arm out stretched over your head, kicking with fins on and maintaining a high body position in the water.

2. With your left arm overhead, rotate anti clockwise under your body on a long axis, using your core and hip muscles to drive it

3. Then slowly placing your hand into the water with a high elbow just by your head as you roll over and your face enters the water.

4. Perform a slower than normal catch with a high and early vertical forearm position and the elbow at 90 degrees, ie so that your forearm is vertical by the time its in line with your shoulder. Keep your hand and wrist firm with about a 15 degree angle.

5. As your hand passes your shoulder accelerate your hand and forearm to wards your hip and thigh

6. Continue rotating on a long axis to finish in a streamlined position on your side at 45 degrees, with your palm finishing at 90 degrees to your hip

7. Roll onto your back again reversing the motion

8. Wait for 6-10 kicks after each breath in your side kick position before rotating into the next catch & pull

If you have a swim technique problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Speedy Swimming Team!

Get in touch by giving us a call on 07958635142 or email us at

We offer

1. Front crawl coaching to a levels of swimmers, held at Guildford Lido in Surrey:

2. Front crawl video analysis in an endless pool at Tribal in Chertsey:

3. Swim squads for intermediates, held at Guildford Lido:

4. Online training plans for swimming and triathlons:

Copyright © Speedy Swimming

Nick is a level 3 British Triathlon Coach, Level 1 Training Peaks coach, and Training Bible coaching Master endurance coach with 25 years’ experience in triathlon, founder and Head Coach for Speedy Swimming.

Video of Haydn Woolley of Futuredreams in NZ, used with permission

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