Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
To improve your feel for the water, hold a tennis ball in each hand while you swim or drill. Instead of feeling the water with your hand, use your forearms to catch water. This drill is particularly good for freestyle or butterfly, but can be used for back and breast as well. The effect is similar to anti-paddles, but in cheaper and more convenient form. After using the tennis balls for a few minutes, put them away and go back to swimming with an open hand. The shifting sensation can be instrumental in improving feel for the water.