While attending the Legends of Texas Clinic last month I had the idea of using paddles to help teach under water push-offs to new swimmers. We have all run up against the challenge of teaching under water push-offs to the young and/or novice swimmer. When learning the exit from the wall, uninitiated swimmers often find it challenging to submerge.
I have found that by putting a large paddle on the bottom hand (ie - the left hand when pushing of on the left, the right hand when pushing off on the right) swimmers are better able to catch the water and submerge. The paddle encourages the correct hand position and hand pitch when initiating the process of submerging at the push-off of a set, rep, turn, etc.
Since the paddle is not being used for any significant pulling, there is no need to worry about the size of the paddle in relation to musculature of the swimmer. In other words this is an appropriate drill for swimmers of all ages. This is can be used as part of a progression when teaching swimmers the skill of exiting the wall in a streamlined and efficient manner.