Front Scull

Arms are out front, elbows nearly straight, buoy between legs, head down with face in the water. Arms are angled down about 20 degrees from the shoulders, wrists bent down another 20 degrees on top of that. Hands turn out 45 degrees from the wrists, sweep out 6 to 8 inches from the shoulder (not the wrists or elbows). Hands turn in 90 degrees from where they were (45 degrees from flat) and sweep back in. Keep pressure against the hands at all times. This drill is a little hard to describe with words. The main thing to focus on with sculling is keeping pressure on your hands at all times, and then making sure that pressure is actually moving you across the pool. Sculling gives you a good feel for the water (the ability to either slide through a liquid, or the ability to hold on to a liquid), and it also builds the necessary strength in the arms to hold on to that liquid for extended periods of time. We don’t do sculling wavy motions when pulling (what used to be referred to as an “S” pull), but our hand and wrist do make little micro corrections as we pull and that helps us hold on to the water better. Your feel for the water is similar to your feel for balancing a bike. Once you get it, you’ve got it. A good feel for the water probably takes at least 1000 hours in the water. The way that feel for the water is different that balancing a bike, is you can’t ride a bike without being able to balance, but you can swim without feel for the water – you’ll just swim slower.