Photo via Visual Hunt
It's all about how you catch and push the water and not how fast you catch. A slower, more effective catch will help you swim faster than if you do a faster but poorly executed catch pull.
At The Swimming Room, this has been one of the fundamental teaching principles when we start teaching front crawl to our students.
When you master this at slow speed it becomes easier to keep the form at speed. Watch this video for tips to master and improve your catch!