SwimmersBest Drill of the Month: Reverse Catch-Up

SwimSwam thanks SwimmersBest for sponsoring “Drill of the Month.”  This is a SwimSwam recurring feature that brings drills and idea submissions from various creative and innovative coaches all over the world.

January’s drill comes to us from triathlete Eliot Scymanski, former Franklin & Marshall and Dartmouth College assistant swimming coach, now assisting at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Scymanski qualified for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, placing third overall and first in the 25-29 age group, and competed at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

“It’s finding a connection between the rotation and the kick, and the rotation and the pull,” Scymanski said of his drill of choice, reverse catch-up.

To sum it up succinctly: “Reach, pull, rotate.”

How to learn reverse catch-up:

1. Kick while wearing a snorkel, hands at your side, just rotating with a continuous kick.

2. Continue to kick and rotate, adding in a one-arm freestyle stroke. “Roll to reach the arm forward, then roll to pull,” said Scymanski.

3. To put the parts together, start with both arms “in your pocket.” As your right shoulder rotates up, pull your left arm up, roll to reach, roll to pull, and then add the extra rotation when both arms return to your side, which drives the other arm up. “The only difference between single arm and reverse catch-up is that there is an extra rotation at the bottom,” Scymanski explained.

Eager to advance the drill? Take off the snorkel. As one arm extends, breath to the opposite side every-other rotation.

“If you’re just looking from your hips to your shoulders, you should never be able to tell whether you’re doing just kicking, single arm, or swimming,” Scymanski added. “The rotation should remain consistent throughout that whole thing.”

Watch the full drill progression below:


SwimmersBest is leading the way for the future of swim training equipment.  The company offers a broad range of solutions for improving stroke technique, kick technique, and breathing technique.   They provide swimmers, coaches, and teams with the tools they need to balance technique training with conditioning training.  By combining the best drills with the best tools, the SwimmersBest products give swimmers instant tactile feedback so they can adjust their technique efficiently.   The old way of having coaches constantly remind swimmers of their individual problems has proven to offer very little improvement in technique.  All SwimmersBest products are designed to constantly ‘talk to the swimmers’ so they can feel the problems and make corrections.   This unique approach means the swimmers are given negative feedback for incorrect stroke technique, which compels the swimmers to quickly correct the problem on their own. With a constant flow of new innovative product designs, SwimmersBest is a company that will continue to deliver solutions you need.

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Swimming gear news courtesy of SwimmersBest, a SwimSwam partner. 

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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