It does not matter if your stroke is aesthetically pleasing or doesn’t look like the person in the lane next to you as long as it feels right for you.
There are really 4 critical points to remember:
1. When you extend your arm at entry ensure your hand catches below shoulder level but is inline with the shoulder.
2. The hand should pass under your face but not over the centre line, elbows pointing at the walls and the hand is at a 90 degree angle to elbow.
3. Finish the catch phase when thumb is next to the middle of the side of your thigh, arm is straight and locked.
4. As your arm recovers, your hand should be in line with the shoulder and your finger tips shouls be pointing at surface of the water. Your elbow should be pointing to the sky, try to do this as relaxed as possible.
Play around with these guidelines and start to feel your stroke rather than thinking it, especially during the catch phase where you should really feel the pressure of the water against your palm and forearm. Above all, enjoy it! Practice makes perfect!
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