FINIS Tip Of The Week: Changing Up Catch Up


Welcome to the “FINIS Tip of the Week.” Swimming World will be bringing you a topic that we’ll explore with drills and concepts for you to implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), each tip is meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s tip looks at ways to vary one of the most common freestyle drills: catch up drill.

Catch up drill is a useful drill for teaching distance per stroke, but it is easy for the drill for the drill to become old and for swimmers to get careless when practicing it. An easy way to change up the drill is to play around with the length of time between strokes, pausing for 6 to 12 kicks between strokes to spend more time on your stomach.

In freestyle, while the focus tends to be on rotating, swimmers actually spend a lot of time on their stomachs. Although rotation is a key part of an efficient distance per stroke, you also want to make sure that you are practicing a good body position in between rotating from side to side.

Pausing between strokes also allows you to make sure you are rotating correctly on each side. The extended pause between strokes isolates the rotation on each side, and work on have a perfect stroke and core-focused rotation with every stroke.

Finally, taking more time between strokes gives swimmers the opportunity to be more mindful of their overall stroke, including their catch, recovery, and head position while encouraging a more efficient distance per stroke. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.