Totally off topic for you, perhaps. But not for me.
Here's a tip for photographers and swimmers alike. It's hard to work on pure technique while you are in the middle of a workout or in the middle of a shoot. You default to what you know. That's why it's important to walk around with a camera during leisure times and work on seeing and combining the seeing with the eye/hand/brain interfaces. In swimming you go back to the pool, slow down the pace and work on one piece of your stroke at a time.
We worked on our "catch-up" drill this afternoon. Swimming continues to evolve as we understand more and more about the physics of hydro dynamics. We've learned that "longer boats" go faster in the water. With one hand fully stretched out above your head you represent a longer boat. If you exchange hands at shoulder level you've shortened "the boat" and now resemble more of a tug boat. This slows you down almost immediately and isn't good for the streamline you are trying to maintain. In the 1980's a Russian swimmer, Andrei Popov, changed the face of freestyle swimming by introducing what has become know, in the competitive swimming world, as "front quadrant swimming." This technique takes full advantage of your streamlined glide and helps you maintain a lengthened body profile throughout the stroke.
The catch-up drill makes you keep one hand out in front of you while the other hand cycles through it's full stroke. When the moving hand catches up with the front hand you then repeat the pattern with the other hand. Once you practice the technique 10,000 times you'll find that you're swimming faster without expending nearly as much energy.
Ben and I worked on the catch up drill for a while, modified his head position and then worked on the cadence of his interchange for a bit. He could definitely feel a difference in his stroke by the end of our practice session. Tomorrow we'll put in a a little extra time over at Barton Springs. Just for a change of perspective. Should be just what a 15 year old wants to do on his summer vacation, right?
It's important to take some interest in your kid. Especially when it comes to swimming.