View Full Version : Correcting Fishtailing In Freestyle

September 26th, 2003, 01:44 PM
How do you correct "crossing over" or "snaking" in a freestyle stroke? Are there drills? I can't shake it.

I finally filmed my stroke and was told before to do so to see that my entry arm (on a right stroke) is entering the water across near my left ear. From my vantage point, I see the right hand when I'm swimming at 1 oclock or slightly to the right of my right shoulder. I look at the film and sure enough, my right hand is coming across, near the left ear. In the water, I'm feeling the hand is entering the water and catch at 1 oclock.

My gliding arm, the left, I see is not straight, but angles a bit back to my right side. It looks like m right arm is coming over my left hand. And I'm really over rotating on my left shoulder. Right elbow is way up, almost immediately vertical to my right ear. Alot of this is effected by total immerssion book I read, to swim on your side.

Not sure how to fix this, or what the culprit is.

September 26th, 2003, 02:45 PM
Two common culprits for fishtailing are (1) "crossing over," hand entry past the centerline, and (2) improper body rotation (for example rotating at the shoulders more than at the hips, rather than as a unit).

September 26th, 2003, 04:21 PM
Bearcat is correct. Too much cross over will result in fishtailing.

Pretend you have an imaginary glass wall running down the center of your body from head to toe. Your hand is never allowed to pass over the center of this wall.

Also try to keep the arm extension moving in a forward direction. Reach, and Stretch during the entry right before you begin the catch. Not only will your reaching force a nice roll during the stroke, it will also keep that momentum forward, and not side to side.

The TI method is reinforced by the side kicking drills. The answer to your problem may lie in not actually trying to swim and drill kick at the same time. Try reaching with your hands as if you're about to come into a touch pad at the end of the pool. Do this on each stroke, and take the focus off of the kicking on your side. The roll which is promoted by the drills will happen naturally.

One last thing...the hips and shoulder are one. They should move as a unit. As bearcat stated, they have to work in tandem. The hips roll, and the shoulders go with them, Always!

September 26th, 2003, 11:22 PM
is when I'm swimming on the stroke, why would I see my right hand enter at 1 Oclock

Makes no sense.

September 27th, 2003, 05:49 AM
I'm not sure if this helps,but I had a very siimilar problem.I thought that when I was swimming that my right hand stroke was correct.Also I was really rolling my body a lot.However,I was developing pains in my shoulder as I tried to compensate for this over-reaching of my right hand/arm during my stroke cycle.Then I decided to switch to bi-lateral breathing.I have now found that:
1.My right hand now doesn't over-reach or cross the centre-line.
2.Most importantly,the shoulder pains have gone completely.
3.I no longer over-rotate my body and now breathe by a slight movement of my head as I feel my fingers enter the water in front of me.
Mark Varney

September 27th, 2003, 08:23 AM
You may very well see that entry hand hit the water at one o'clock because the left (underwater arm) is pulling while your body is riding on the left side. The right arm (recovery arm) is riding high, up in the air due to a nice roll. When it wants to enter the water, it can't exactly come in at twelve o'clock (straight on) because you're busy in the side lying position with the pulling arm.

Same is probably true with the left arm to some extent. Maybe you just don't notice it, or you're rolling more on the pull with the left than you do with the right. Perhaps if you started pulling a bit sooner with the left arm, your torso will rotate and thus allow the hand to enter more straight on. Does that make sense?

September 27th, 2003, 12:47 PM
The cross tailing is in all lymph nodes.

I do it on the left side as well. I now think it's just fatigue or I have not much flexibility or stamina when I'm sticking out my gliding arm. My natural tendency is to have a relaxed gliding arm, and it's more relaxed if it is angled in.

I bilateral breath, in the sense of, in a 25 yard pool, right breathing, back down, left breathing. But as far as right breath, turn, left breath, not balanced enough to do that. I can do it every third stroke, but I have to get air on every stroke, and the CO2 builds up.

Just a minute ago, I did the catchup drill and consciously tried to keep the straight arm, straight on the black line, stroking on the right, and off I go to the right, off to the right of the black line.

There's just no sense swimming a mile or so, every other day, until I fix this. I'm just going to start doing the TI drills and swallow half the pool.

September 29th, 2003, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by GoHogs

There's just no sense swimming a mile or so, every other day, until I fix this. I'm just going to start doing the TI drills and swallow half the pool.

HA! I'm doing TI drills at the moment (also fishtailing, as it happens), and the swallowing half the pool comment hits home! A nose clip helps a bit, but I still find myself with a need every forty minutes or so. And I don't want to lose my lane!

September 29th, 2003, 11:47 AM
I had a tendency to cross my arms...
My coach told me to swim on 10 and 2 o'clock arm positions.

The trick is that if you have a tendency to cross, straighter stoke will FEEL like swimming on 10 and 2, but in reality, you will just trick yourself into not crossing.

Then... lather rinse repeat, till it becomes a habit.


September 29th, 2003, 02:18 PM
call me an idiot (just kidding, please don't call me an idiot), but what in the world is fish tailing?

Jerrycat :rolleyes:

September 29th, 2003, 03:07 PM
I'll just call it crossing over. I know I've heard that problem being called "snaking."