To lengthen your freestyle stroke try to splash water at the ceiling every time your hand exits the water. To do the drill correctly, you will have no choice but to finish at your hips. If you try to exit the water early, you won’t be able to splash water up.
Encourage beginner swimmers to press the water from entry to exit building a feel for the water. Then encourage big straight arms by using "from thigh to sky" which works on gross motor skills. You can work on this when standing, walking, walking with eyes in and continue when you add the stroke to the automatic kick.
Balance a bottle of water on forehead while performing backstroke. This helps to keep the head still and inline with the spine whilst performing the whole stroke. Start off with kicking to get a feel for balance then add in streamline arms. When ready add in the stroke!
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