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by Scott Bay

March 4, 2011

To improve rotation and head position


Tap Your Head Drill

This is a drill for freestyle that we really like at the moment and for a couple of different reasons:

  1. It lets you know where your head is for posture in the water.
  2. It gives you and indication of where your hand is to prevent over reaching (reaching in front of the head)
  3. It promotes rotation.

How to do it:

While swimming freestyle, stop in mid-recovery and lightly touch the crown of your head, then slip the hand into the water in front of the shoulder in a kind of catch-up fashion, and then the other hand pulls through and repeats the motion. This is a Sloooowww drill.

Your hands should never touch each other and you need to make yourself as long as you can from fingertip to toe tip, each stroke. Kick should be kept to a minimum and the emphasis is on awareness of head, hands and hips. As with all drills, it is important to remember that you are effecting a change in habit, so forget the clock and do it slowly and methodically so you can do it correctly.

3-5 Switch

This is another drill we are fond of right now for free.

Reasons we like:

  1. Promotes rotation
  2. Promotes proper position and rhythm when breathing
  3. Promotes a strong kick

How to do it:

In a freestyle position, kick with one arm out and one at the side for five kicks, then take three strokes freestyle and repeat on the other side. The key points are to be at an angle to the water when kicking (> 45 degrees) and to look toward the bottom of the pool more, and remembering to breath out when kicking and take a breath only during the 3-stroke phase of the drill. As with all drills, this is done for technique, not time, so avoid an interval and do a 15-20 seconds rest between efforts.


  • Technique and Training


  • Freestyle
  • Kicking
  • Breathing
  • Drills