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See How Easily You Can Improve Your Pull With Simplicity

My last Q&A dealt with some of the confusion around the arm pull.

Today, I’d like to start to provide some ideas as to how you can most effectively learn to create a great pull.

To be clear, the pull IS complicated.

It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time, both in terms of my own swimming and helping others learn it.

The challenge is that there’s a LOT going on, yet focusing on those details isn’t very helpful.

It’s too much to think about during a movement that happens fast.

Whether I was swimming myself or coaching other, I was getting overwhelmed.

One aspect would improve, another would get worse, and round and round I’d go.

Eventually, I realized that getting better requires a SIMPLE approach.

You have to focus on what’s really important and practice those skills.

I know when I shifted my focus to the big picture, the results were a lot better and a lot more consistent.

Here’s what I learned.

To pull effectively, there are two key skills you need to execute-

  • Set up the stroke

  • Pull straight back

That’s it.

If you can perform those two skills reasonably well, you’re going to improve your pull.

If you want to learn ANY skill, the fastest and most effective way to learn that skill is to FEEL it.

Getting the FEEL of the pulling movement can be difficult.

If you’re lucky, simply performing exercises in the water like the one below will get the job done.

Because the pull is complicated, and it’s a really unnatural movement for most people, many need a little more help.

So, to improve your pull, you need to find a way to feel the key components of the pull.

Here’s how to do it.

Setting Up The Stroke

When your hand enters the water, it’s moving forward.

To pull effectively, you need your hand is going to need to be moving backward.

All that ‘setting up the stroke’ entails is reorienting your arm so that the hand goes from pointing forward to pointing down, and facing backwards.