[UPDATE: This post is being bombarded by spammers, hence I have had to disable commentsjust for this post. Feel free to comment on other posts within this blog.]
I was helping someone with their freestyle one night and their arms were crossing over so badly that it was painful on my shoulders to watch.
Each of their hands would enter the water directly in front of their opposing shoulder and then catch water directly under their opposite side of their body in very asymmetrical, wiggly, way. Consequently their rotation was as wobbly as a worm on a hook and there was an amazing amount of wasted effort and oxygen.
When I would tell the person they were crossing over, they were surprised and tried to correct it but there was no change during the next few hundred yards this person swam.
I then told this individual to swim "straight arm catch-up" making sure their hands entered the water thumb first and directly in front of their shoulders. The ensuing results were both quick and astonishing. There was an immediate speed improvement and a well defined rotation which rendered the swimmer with less fatigue and fewer strokes per lap. They could feel it immediately and this person just wanted to go swim lap-after-lap enjoying the ride.
As for me, though there was terrific improvement in their stroke, I felt guilty because I was in "violation" of the "higher elbow" maxim that Eddie Reese, David Marsh and others evangelize. I ended up telling myself that at least this particular swimmer only has one problem now with their stroke rather than half-a-dozen.
Now, after seeing this trailer, I am reminded that swimming is just as much as art as it is a science and that stroke styles are about what your own particular body and mind can accomplish and nothing more. Also note that this particular person is a bit uncoordinated and over simplifying the stroke with a set of directions that they could follow made swimming really fun for them.
I am buying this DVD for this person for the Holidays [Link]