Swim Drill Of The Week: Overkick Freestyle

Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can 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), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is Overkick Drill for freestyle. The drill is about what it sounds like: swimming freestyle, swimmers will exaggerate their kick to use it as their primary means of moving down the pool. While this sounds simple, the purpose of the drill is to improve awareness of how your swimmers are using their kick within their stroke and ultimately develop a more efficient freestyle.

A common problem in freestyle, particularly when working with less experienced swimmers, is an imbalance between their arms and their legs within the stroke. This could materialize in a number of ways, including a poor body position with the legs sinking, an inconsistent (or non-existent) kick, or a high tempo stroke rate that is inefficient over long distances. By exaggerating the kick swimmers will see how much power they can generate from their legs and also have a friendly reminder that their stroke is more efficient when they use them.

When describing this drill to your swimmers, describe this drill as using 50% of your arms and 100% of your legs within your stroke. Encourage them to keep their stroke smooth and their stroke rate down. While doing the drill you’ll immediately see higher body position and greater utilization of the legs, but that is not necessarily the point. Rather, when returning to their normal freestyle your athletes will have a better awareness of when (or if) they aren’t kicking and how to correct this within their 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.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. Cathy Marshall

    Terri L Latimore show Jas. this is what I need to practice

Author: James Sica

avatar
James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

Current Swimming World Issue


Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here