The catch phase of your swim stroke is incredibly important. The catch is the part of the swim stroke that sets up your pull. The catch is the period of time when your hand enters the water and anchors out in front of you, and the pull is the propulsive part of the swim stroke in which you push water behind you to move forward.
Setting up a good anchor in the water with your hand allows you to generate much more power and propulsion in the pull phase of the stroke. A common area that needs addressing is the catch set-up into the pull. A lot of athletes have a tendency to drop their arm down into the water prior to initiating the pull. Athletes also tend to pull with a straight arm rather than a bent arm. These deficiencies will leave you with a less propulsive pull.
In this month's drill/technique series video, Swim Coach Taylor Newgaard goes over three different drills that you can use with yourself or with athletes you coach to help develop a proper catch, catch set-up, and pull. Nail these drills and do them consistently over time and your speed in the water will Improve!
-Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS