7 Best Freestroke Drills


Head Lead/Arm Lead

Learn to be balanced in the water in a horizontal position. Learn to ROLL your body / TURN your head to breathe, NOT lift Head. Stay on your side. Upper arm “dry” (out of the water).When not breathing look straight down.
With Arm Lead: Arm touching Head at all times (when breathing back of head, when not breathing touching goggles).

Straight Arm

Fast, high speed recovery of the arms above the water, with the arms straight. To increase arm turn over rate for sprinting.


Finger tips “Drag” lightly through the water to emphasize High Elbow & Swimming on Side. Relaxed Recovery.

Catch Up

The Lead Hand stays extended until other hand touches it or reaches the same extension level, then start the Stroke/Pull. Emphasizes staying Long.

Fist Drill

Learn how to pull with your Forearms. Emphasizes high elbow, and keeping Forearm perpendicular to bottom. Then when you open your Hands, you will feel a huge increase in power, as if you are swimming with Paddles.

One Arm Freestyle

Also known as “Arm Acceleration Drill”, this was Doc Councilmans favorite Drill. Emphasize Underwater Pull (Hand pointed down for initial Catch, High Elbow for forearm catch, Accelerating your Pull). The other arm stays Extended in front, Roll from side to side, as do drill Head touching extended arm at all times.


Aggressive Stroke , followed by Streamlined Glide (1001..1002…) so you Coast forward Without using energy. Learn to link these three Elements: Thrusting your Upper Arm forward into water / Rolling your body to the other side / Accelerating your arm pull.