Here’s a 3 minute video of Jono Van Hazel, an Australian Olympian. He has one of the smoothest and efficient strokes you’ll ever see – and this is a sprinter. Watching this video, you’ll see the technique coaches have been harping on over the past week:
-Body position: note the slight bend at the hips allowing the legs and upper chest to be streamlined; this is not much different than the start of most of your weight lifting positions
-Hands: watch the hands enter the water right above the shoulders and note the ‘switch’ movement where the hand shoots forward strongly into the water; The hands are straight when starting the pull – not tilted off to the side
-Core rotation: notice the easy ‘rotisserie’ back and forth motion; there’s no side to side motion of the hips; it’s movement as if he is on a skewer
-Breathing: he starts the breath motion right as his ‘breathing’ hand starts the pull; notice how the body (core) turns to create the actual breath, not the head
-Arms: watch the high elbows and how tight his arm stroke is to his core movement; there’s no swinging wide with the arms; this motion can only be attained if there is good core rotation
-Kick: there is little splash after he gets going; the propulsion comes from a loose, almost lanky downward motion
The last thing I want you take notice of is the data is the lower right corner. Note his stroke count for a 50 meter long course pool. At 32 strokes per 50/m, my guess is he’s probably at 11-12 in a 25 yard pool (0:39 pace for a 100 yard free).