Leigh Nugent was fortunate enough to be at the Australian Short Course Championships recently in Adelaide where he observed freestyle sprint swimming perfection. Cate Campbell was back in action after a lay off period following the 2016 Rio Olympics. Leigh, along with everyone else, was treated to Cate’s freestyle magic.
Cate broke the women’s 100 metres freestyle world record by 0.3 seconds, a substantial differential over the distance. The time was impressive considering being so close to the first woman under 50 seconds. For Leigh it was how she swam that was even more impressive.
Take a look at the footage and then read Leigh’s summary of the critical elements of her sprint freestyle race below the video. As a member of Swim Coach Advantage you will have access to videos were Leigh talks about the critical elements in freestyle and the other three competitive strokes. He also looks at the difference in technique between freestyle sprint and distance freestyle swimmers.
The Critical Elements
- low head position creating spinal alignment. This results in a very straight body moving through the water.
- a constant metronomic 6 beat kick; perfectly controlled from start to finish.
- classic high elbow action
- constant propulsive connection with the water through perfect synchronisation (timing) of the arms.
- breathing pattern minimal to maintain speed.
- one eye under one eye out for the ideal breathing action.
- the turns and breakouts were magnificent.