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  • Jarrod Evans

Improve your feel for the water - Swim Drills

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

What’s the goal of these posts?

Assembling the group before the start of another open water swim session in Torquay, Australia. Open water or pool, it is always smart to keep your swim stroke at the forefront of your water work.

Torquay Beach, Victoria, Australia

What’s the session?

This session is based around sensory awareness of your hands and hand position in the water. There are of course many drills associated with learning a better ‘feel’ for the water but this is one we have used to great effect as a progression session.

The “Main set” is as follows;

4 x 50m Close Fists (Both Hands) – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Close Fists with little finger only extended – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Close Fists with ring finger and little finger extended – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Close Fists with middle finger, ring finger and little finger extended – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Close Fists with four fingers (Not your thumb) extended – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Freestyle as; (25m Easy | 25m Build to 80% of Maximal Effort) – 10secs Rest

4 x 50m Freestyle Paddles as (25m Strong & Smooth – 25m Hard) – 10secs Rest

Who’s it most appropriate for?

This is appropriate for anyone looking to learn how different body parts in swimming contribute to your propulsion in the water.

When could I use it and how could I apply it?

It can be implemented all year round on an easy day or as part of a long warm up. With improving stroke awareness the goal of the set, focus should not be on holding a time cycle but allowing enough time for recovery to get each rep technically correct. The overall goal of this set is to become more aware of what body part can contribute to what movement and to gradually increase the feel for the water over the course of the set. Swimming can be dumbed down to “Place, Press, Push” which I don’t disagree with at all, but there is value in learning how to move and manipulate the water more efficiently. In swimming, greater efficiency leads to greater speed.

What’s the progression leading into it and on from it?

The best way to start is to progress doing 50’s but doing the first 12.5m as the drill and the remainder as ‘freestyle’. As you get better at holding technique progress to 25m, 37.5m and then 50m. You can then also progress to a time cycle if that works. To make the set more difficult you can also apply with; Band Only, Bands + Paddles, Bands + Pull Buoys (Ankles), Bands + Pull Buoys (Normal).


Athlete choosing to utilize these sessions, do so at their own risk. You agree to assume the risks of such training, and further agree to hold harmless Jarrod Evans & Triathlon Gold from any and all claims, suits, losses, and/or related causes of actions and damages, including, but not limited to, such claims that may result from my injury or death, accidental or otherwise, during or arising in any way from copying and or implementing these session suggestions. These session concepts have either been created from scratch by Jarrod Evans and or adapted from existing workouts from other athletes and coaches over the last 25years.

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