Hip Driven ( HD ) Drills:
Hip Connection Drill:
1- The primary connection in hip driven freestyle is a connection through the hips to the catch and the kick. Standing in chest to waist deep water, or floating vertically, place hands by the sides with the palms facing forward. The goal of this drill is to press against the water with the hands and simultaneously press the hips towards the hands. Focus on pressing the opposite hip toward the opposite hand. For example, press the right catch toward the left hip and slide the right hand past the right hip rotation out of the water.
1- Catch/ Rotation Connections – Floating or standing vertically place hands out to the side and begin pressing the water. As the hand initiates the press on the water think about connecting the opposite hip by rotating it towards the press of the hand.
Set Up Drills:
1- Kicking on the side with an arm lead: While kicking on the side, keep on arm extended and one arm by the side. The goal of this drill is to develop balance on each side and also to work on some of the basic techniques such as breathing, kicking, head position, and line. The neck should stay long, the eyes should be down, and the breath should be quick. Also, focus on staying relaxed during this drill with your kick and developing a steady easy rhythm: Supplement this drill with a snorkel or fins.
2- Kicking on the side and counting the bottom heel: This drill is the same as above but here the focus is developing a sense of timing in the kick. When the left arm is out front the focus will be the Left leg and the same goes for the right arm. As the feet are kicking pay attention to when the heel of the bottom leg drives back. Simply count the backward heel drive to develop a cadence with the kick. It is very important here to kick naturally and get into a relaxed rhythm.
3- Kicking on the side with a heel pause at 3: Again begin here by kicking on the side and counting the heel. The goal of this drill is to pause the heel back just for a moment in order to set up future drilling. Try to pause every three kicks and keep body from swaying back and forth in the water. Maintain line!
Connection Drills Continued:
1- Right arm / Left arm Free: This drill is an accumulation of the three previous drills. It is helpful to move in the above progression each time you do the drill regardless of how well the drill is understood. For this drill, as the heel drives back, the goal is connect the drive of the hips and the catch to the down kick. While on the left side the focus will be connecting the left catch to the left down kick, as well as the right hip. It is opposite on the other side. Catch and kick down at the same time on the same side and rotate the hand past the hip.
2- Setup and Drive: This drill is a great drill to now connect the recovering arm into the aforementioned drill. Begin kicking on the side. While on the side lift the recovery arm so that it is perpendicular with the chest and the elbow is at a 90 degree angle. This is the “setup”. When the recovery arm reaches this position, pause and drive the heel back just like in the single arm drill. This time when the connection between the Hips, Kick, and Catch occurs incorporate the drive of the recovery arm into the water. Try to feel the power of the connection assisting the drive of the recovery arm. Begin the same process on the other side after the drive.
View the below videos for drills:
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