When we are following a standard freestyle lesson series, in the first two or three lessons we build the Four Essential Features of the freestyle stroke. The lesson on Catch and Hold is considered a bonus lesson and it may be introduced before or after the lesson on Rhythmic Breathing.
You may review the introduction for Catch and Hold.
The Catch and Hold
Skills for Catch and Hold
In this lesson you will work through a series of drills to help you:
- Build better catch shape to generate more resistant force
- Empower the catch/hold with the torso rotation, so that the torso muscles do more of the work
- Improve the catch pathway – straight back so the body slides straight forward
- Improve the smooth, steady sense of pressure through the whole motion
The focal points below will help you create and improve these three features in your catch action.
- Touch The Ball (Set the catch)
- Hand stays on track
- Elbow slides up and outward to make shape of arm
- Forearm angled 45 degrees inward/downward
- Touch the ball with entire forearm and palm
- Hold the ball and rotate body past it
- Press the ball straight toward the hip – hips rolls out of the way at last moment
- Press the ball straight toward the toes – send the ball of water under hip and leg
- Press on ball steadily
- Smoothly increase press (don’t yank, or pull abruptly)
- Catch hand and extending hand move (on their tracks) exactly opposite to each other, at approximately the same rate of speed
- Hesitate ever so slightly after ‘Set The Catch’ in order to Load The Torso
- Pull with whole side of torso (not with shoulder)
The entry and extending arm is the main actor, while the catch arm is the supporting actor. Set a good catch and then focus upon sending force forward into your best Skate Position. The better your Entry, Extension and Skate, the farther you will slide forward on each stroke!
There are more focal points for the Catch on our 101 Focal Points page as well as some demonstration of the 1-Arm drill on the Video Tutorial page.
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