Starts and Turns

Fig.1. The importance of streamlining. “Dead Swimmer’ sequence from ‘The Swim Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman

Warm Up

50s FC and BC with emphasis on smooth swimming and long legs. I run through in a multitude of adjectives:

  • Slinky
  • Smooth
  • Silent
I draw on drills from Ruben Guzman’s ‘The Swim Drill Book’
  • Smooth
  • Sneaky

Send them on a secret mission

What works wonders with the younger swimmers is to tell them that they are ‘secret agents’ on a ‘secret mission’ and have to swim in the dark without being seen or heard.The result can be highly controlled, smooth swimming – just the kind of thing you’d hope for from a squad rather than a teaching group.

I centre everything on streamlining in starts and turns so start off where I usually end with a streamlined bounce, a handstand with emphasis on long legs and pointy toes, then a cannon ball and somersault.

Fun activities include:

  • Streamlined bounce off the bottom. Jack in the box style trying to touch the 5m flags, or the length of the pool.
  • Mushroom float
  • Summersault
  • Canon-ball summersault over the side of the pool – taught in an ASA Course
  • Canon-ball backwards fall over the side of the pool
  • Sea Otter – a series of playful duck dives the length of the pool

The formal sequence into starts and turns:

  • glide out to the flags (or beyond)
  • glide and add a few dolphin kicks
  • then glide, dolphin kick a single stroke of FC and tumble (flip)
  • then glide, dolphin kick and two strokes.
  • do Fly here as it is appropriate to do so

Repeat on the back with backstroke

Then with breastroke.

From the centre of the pool do turns into the wall, potentially with swimmers heading off to opposite ends of the pool and meeting in the middle. This can be done as a relay. A large float can be used for bouyancy.

Fig.2 Dive, flight, entry, glide. From ‘The Swim Drill Book’ by Ruben Guzman.

From a dive:

  • Glide
  • Glide and add the BR underwater stroke
  • the full BR transition
  • And from 10 m out all the turns.

And with time spare some fun activities and efforts to fault correct.