Catch and Throw Drill

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Catch and Throw Drill

Post by cottmiler on Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:37 am

This was found on the Total Immersion site and was new to me because it uses a big paddle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyGFzCYYiMY

Mrs Cott and I did a few laps today trying to master this drill using a Finis Agility paddle. This was really useful since it showed up catch errors immediately which lead to inaccurate body switching.

Here is the drill not using a paddle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVYxf-XVWrg

This is how I have normally tried this drill but I would recommend using a paddle as described above.


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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by Don Wright on Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:10 pm

The drill without the paddle reminds me strongly of one of the FS variants I use - with a lot of "skating on the side" getting just a bit (as a poor flutter-kicker) of propulsion from the legs and some momentum from the previous effective arm stroke - followed by the next quick effective arm stroke for inhalation, and "back to a stream-line start" position.

We've been through this business of "throwing the recovering arm" forwards before. Despite Newton's laws of mechanics "dismissing" the idea that it improves speed - it still gives me the impression that a vigorous throw forwards "seems" to augment momentum forwards - how stubborn some of us are! Maybe, that impression is the result of the torso action - moving in a "firm continuously varying" action, as one rolls towards the recovering arm's water entry, plus a vigorous kick at the actual entry to offset drag - all giving that erroneous impression!

I note that when "skating", TI are not fussy about keeping the lead arm ram-rod straight up just beneath the surface.  IMO if the lead arm is not kept parallel with the surface until the drop to the catch, one is effectively pushing a narrow wedge of water forwards, which is bound to cause drag!

On a separate issue (back to my fly efforts) - have been devoting most of my session times to "getting things right". Currently I seem to be able to "do a bit better", by using a sequence of one non-breathing full stroke followed by one single arm stroke (with the other arm held out front to preserve the body line).  The non-breathing full stroke allows me to concentrate on properly coordinating leg and arm action without interrupting a continuous dolphin body action.  While the single arm fly stroke is used to get a safer inhalation.  As "Sprinter" remarked in a post some time ago on my little efforts - he surmised that my dolphin kicking was probably not very productive (since my FS flutter kicking was so painfully slow?!).  I think he may well have been right, because with a full breathing fly stroke, my head does not emerge much from the water when it's time for an inhalation (think that's due to spinal problems with my neck - got poor spinal curvature!).  This (neck business) could be the reason I find the above 2 stroke sequence is better for me, 'cos during the single arm fly stroke of the 2 stroke sequence,  I inhale more easily to the side, as in FS.  I have never tried breathing to the side when doing a full breathing fly stroke. always doing it in the conventional way - looking to the front/slightly down. Maybe I ought to try side inhalation during the double arm up-sweep - have always hitherto been "put off" the idea by Maglischo's old comments about it.

After much time spent "pootling around" with fly stroke - am more convinced than ever, that the big double-arm up-sweep of the arms should not be started until an instant after the lower legs have started their down-thrust to complete the major kick downbeat - because that action combined with the arms doing the up-sweep, "levers" the front of the body up and propels it forwards - that should bring the mouth up well above the surface for a safe inhalation (for bods without back problems, that is).

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by cottmiler on Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:35 am

Yesterday I had trainee Bregor working on catch and throw.

He used the little fins and a single Agility paddle.

He liked the drill and had a lightbulb moment when he felt the sudden aceleration as he threw his body over the planted paddle.

Later with both paddles he put it into the full stroke.

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by SA on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:47 am

Don , throwing the arm forward can work.
Let me explain. Its an action reaction game.
First you have to accelerate he mass, then the mass is decelerated in the fornt half of the arc.
To accelerate the mass you need a foundation. Action= reaction. On land this the ground.
Suppose you can make a high drag surface for your foundation ( a paddle for instance), to push the accelerating mass forward from.
This high drag shape prevents the body from going backward.
Now the mass has velocity, kinetic energy and you are going to release that in the water.
If you do that with a low drag shape your body is pulled a bit forward by the deceleratin of the mass.
You can see this whole process happening in the catch and throw drill.

So you are building an aquatic ratchet mechanism. Cant move backward when accelerating the mass, slips easily forward when decelerating the mass.

If you dont alter the foundation shape during the aceeleration and the decelleration, then indeed the nett effect is zero, but you do while swimming, and anchoring at the right time.

another swim specific advantage can be that the armspeed is used  to drive the arm smoother into catch.

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by Don Wright on Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:03 am

SA wrote:Don , throwing the arm forward can work.
Let me explain. Its an action reaction game.
First you have to accelerate he mass, then the mass is decelerated in the fornt half of the arc.
To accelerate the mass you need a foundation. Action= reaction. On land this the ground.
Suppose you can make a high drag surface for your foundation ( a paddle for instance), to push the accelerating mass forward from.
This high drag shape prevents the body from going backward.

Now the mass has velocity, kinetic energy and you are going to release that in the water.
If you do that with a low drag shape your body is pulled a bit forward by the deceleratin of the mass.
You can see this whole process happening in the catch and throw drill.

So you are building an aquatic ratchet mechanism. Cant move backward when accelerating the mass, slips easily forward when decelerating the mass.

If you dont alter the foundation shape during the aceeleration and the decelleration, then indeed the nett effect is zero, but you do while swimming, and anchoring at the right time.

another swim specific advantage can be that the armspeed is used  to drive the arm smoother into catch.


Thank you "SA"!  That's an interesting explanation of why it works.  (It was "cot.."'s fault  Smile in "clobbering me", yonks ago, with Newton's Laws of Mechanics - dismissing the idea that there was any advantage to a "throwing action") Your final comment above ties in with what it "feels like" to me - its that part of the recovery just before water entry that this effect seems more noticeable - the recovering arm has built up more momentum by the "throw"!

As an aside! I've been looking at Sheila T's book on the various strokes and come to the conclusion that I need to go "back to the drawing board" with my arm action of back crawl.  I had got a bit lazy after discarding Maglischo's description of a 2-peak arm action with it's "double downsweep/upsweep" of the stroking arm - due to arthritic wrist discomfort in keeping on changing the orientation of the hand.  Have recently had a try at doing it the way Sheila's book recommends (by Aaron Peirsol's example) - and it seems much easier.  Before trying that I had just been doing a lazy semi-circular horizontal arm sweep just below the surface.  Whereas with the "Peirsol" way there is more concentration on the backward-facing hand orientation as the arm sweeps almost parallel with the body (i.e. bye-bye to the semi-circular arm sweep!).

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by cottmiler on Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:49 am

SA has invented the perpetual motion machine!

You can please yourselves but if you lie on the water with one arm forward and the other down by your side, and then throw the rear arm forward, you will not progress forward. Newton's Action and Reaction are equal and opposite.

On the other hand if your front hand is "anchored" and you try this then you have a mass of water to react against and your chest and arm will rotate and swing you forward.

But it is not the mass of the arm alone propelling you forward. If it were so then lead lined gloves would make you swim faster! Not.

Also if it was so then an upright single cylinder piston engine would rise upwards with every stroke!

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by Don Wright on Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:19 am

Ah Well - Crying or Very sad What a pity "facts" don't tie up with "feelings"/impressions! Still that's reality! Crying or Very sad

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by SA on Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:41 pm

Hey Cott, I dindnt say it doesnt use power!

I only say when you form a high drag shaped foundation on accelertion and let it decelerate on a low drag shape, it will move you forward a bit.
If you attach a one direction flap valve to your single cyclinder piston it will move through the water.

you know you can sit on a chair and shove yourslef forward accelerating your body forward and back?
Thats the same principle. High static friction from starting up, low dynamic friction once the chair start moving.
Also works like a ratched system.
Not a very efficient way to move around, but its possible.

You do agree it gives an extra push on the low side armpaddle if you swimg the high side arm forward dont you?
Its a small extra. Thats all.

regarding backstroke.
My biggest frustration in swimming is lack of flexibility.
It feels best if i take the shoulder all the way forward and back, and rolling up and down to take the paddle along making big strokes while staying streanlined.
But due to limited flexibility this causes internal friction. Costing force while the output to the water hasnt even begun.
Its almost the same as in freestyle. Yuo want a big paddle early and move that paddle while the upperarm stays in the front/backplane of the body during its movement.
Anchor that low arm early and throw the rest of the body forward from it.
I dont think so much about sweeps etc.

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by cottmiler on Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:19 pm

It is exciting to discover a new experience in the pool with this never ending reseach project that we are involved in.

As you said some time ago, throwing a straight arm foward gets the body onto the new side in a reasonably straight manner ready to reach for the catch.

Yesterday I was getting a feel for the body and leg undulation arising from trying to teach Bregor and Mrs Cott how to use their fins. Recalling Thomas Lurz and his Egyptian crawl drill. I might write a post on this sometime.

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by SA on Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:42 pm

Yeah, there always is something to find out in the pool haha. Certainly for procrastinators...

That arm throwing thing is not only about the mass itself I believe too.
Its also the total fall of the body in the water together with that arm.A bit of a butterfly thing.
Slipping into the water with that whole body and mass and then at the right time the right way into the catch.
And then bouncing back forward from it.
That feels really powerfull. There is a bit of an undulating thing going on there.
if its any good i dont know. At least it feels good.

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by Don Wright on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:15 am

SA wrote: Its also the total fall of the body in the water together with that arm.A bit of a butterfly thing.
Slipping into the water with that whole body and mass and then at the right time the right way into the catch.
And then bouncing back forward from it.
That feels really powerfull. There is a bit of an undulating thing going on there.

Re "cott..."'s test : -

cottmiler wrote: if you lie on the water with one arm forward and the other down by your side, and then throw the rear arm forward, you will not progress forward. Newton's Action and Reaction are equal and opposite

That is the little test that "clobbered" my optimistic "feelings" yonks ago!  At the time, I was so certain that a vigorous arm recovery in back crawl aided forward movement - that the reality of no forward movement came as a big disappointment!  However, I'll try it again (keeping close to wall tiles or lane rope "bobbles" to observe any consequent motion  Smile ) - but this time by attempting to create a "temporary anchor" to effectively "push against".  So will lie floating on my back, as "cott"'s test suggests, but drop my lower legs/feet downwards until the lower legs are vertical - before flinging an arm over, as if doing a vigorous back crawl arm recovery!


We need something to push against to get forward motion - even if that "something" is only a transient thing.  IMO the answer is to create momentary "temporary anchors" at various stages in a stroke cycle, as we strive to move forwards.  Could it be that this business of the so-called "temporary anchors" to exert force against - is in fact almost as important as trying to ensure a moving limb is mainly backward-facing when pulling/pushing??? 

If we are "obeying" M's body roll mantra ("Roll towards the arm going down - and away from the arm when it's moving up to the surface") - I don't know about you - but I begin to roll towards the recovering arm shortly after the mid-recovery point - by that time, if it's on the inhalation stroke I should have finished sucking in air (having started inhalation during the latter part of the stroking arm's up-sweep.  What I am getting at, is that the body roll augments the throwing forward of the almost fully recovered arm, about to make water entry!  So there are other factors like torso rolling/"twisting" to be considered - which can provide a small but very smooth quickly-varying "momentary anchor."

OK I know it is only a small temporary/momentary anchor - but think what happens in the case of underwater body dolphin!  Thinking about the "old-fashioned" method (* see footnote) of doing that, by initiating each dolphin undulation by doing an "arm shimmy" or wavering up/down of the outstretched arms through a small angle (10 degee-ish!) at the appropriate time in an undulation.  From a dive (or push down) the first action is to start a dolphin undulation by pressing the outstretched arms down  slightly, which raises the shoulders, which then fall under gravity, but in rising/falling, the undulation continues so that, in turn, the hips rise.  They in turn fall under gravity but by that time the legs have risen higher only to fall, but in doing so the lower legs/feet rise. The action finishes with the lower legs/feet thrusting down to do the actual kick.  I see that in M's great tome he says in effect that as each part of the body rises (only to later fall an instant later under gravity) the body moves forwards - he does advocate that at the appropriate time, the outstretched arms stretch or reach forwards, to aid this body movement forwards.   But although I know this works (having done this before moving and using a shallower pool and always wearing B.S. now - which "kills" the UW body dolphin action due to the upward tug of buoyancy) - it still mystifies me why forward motion can be produced, except for that final lower legs/feet down-thrust which is clearly a kicking action!  I think the whole action entails a succession of "temporary anchors" used in the undulation to raise the next flexible part of the body upwards!  So here again, we have this "creation of a temporary anchor" against which to exert force and hence produce forward motion!  Obviously not as substantial as firm ground, but nevertheless, providing a little instantaneous resistance to press against!


I know next to nothing about the newer "wave-style" breaststroke in which during arm recovery - the head, shoulders, arms and hands are elevated above the surface to give a drag-free recovery of the arms.  I did read somewhere that the actual rise of the upper part of the body above the surface - was followed by the inevitable fall under gravity - and this, like the UW body dolphin action - contributes to some forward motion (P.E. converted to K.E.?).  Some of you others may be able to put me straight on this matter! Smile  I hasten to say that I think the "wave-style" of breast stroke looks to me, most ungainly (a bit like a "praying mantis") - so you won't catch me trying it, despite the great increase in speed possible by using that technique - and which I think requires a lot of stamina, that oldies like me do not possess!!!

( *  The "up-to-date" method of doing UW body dolphin is beyond my little experience.  It seems to be aimed at keeping the outstretched arms, without any wavering at all, streamlined and pointing always in the desired direction of motion.  All the undulatory action comes from "waggling" the hips alone (quick pelvic thrusts up/down!  Rolling Eyes ), as far as I understand.  With this sort of action, it is difficult to assess where the forward motion is coming from - it just seems to happen, possibly from the final down-thrust of the lower legs/feet doing an actual kick, at the end of each "waggle"!)

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Re: Catch and Throw Drill

Post by Don Wright on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:53 am

Well I can just imagine "cott " chuckling and saying "I told you so!" Laughing

No movement forwards from vigorously flinging the arm over, initially by the side, to join the other outstretched arm - while floating on my side from a static position (so that I could observe more easily any movement past side wall tiles, without any sudden turn of the neck).

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