It’s always humorous to me when my senior age group swimmers ask, “Coach, can we spend some quality time on flip turns?” Really!? Not doing enough?!? 7,000 yard practices aren’t getting the job done!? Our competitive groups do between 3,000-7,000 depending on the group. This means our swimmers are getting around 80-240 flip turns/turns every practice. Why would we take out time when we are already doing so many. It’s all about the FOCUS.
However, sometimes it’s good to spend a little time on them. Maybe do some 50’s from the middle of the pool (Texas 50s) so that they can get 2 turns per 50. Here are some tips and drills that I find helpful for better turns.
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Yes! this law does pertain to swimming, especially flip turns. Example: If a swimmer glides into the wall losing most of his/her momentum, the swimmer will push off the wall with that same momentum losing a lot of distance and speed. However, if a swimmer swims into the wall with the same pace never losing speed, the swimmer will push off the wall with that same speed and momentum.
A couple things to keep in mind when swimming into the wall. First, use the “T”! It’s painted on the bottom of every swim pool for a reason! Depth perception can be boggled when trying to determine how far away you are from the wall. Use the T! It is always the same distance from the wall!! Once you have learned to use the T, it will be easier to transition into your turn. Swimmers must keep their head down and press with their chest. Now, the swimmer is getting ready to tuck into a tight ball. It is really important to press down with your chest because that will lift your hips to the highest point before you tuck.
Now, the swimmer is about to make the turn. Here are a couple pointers that will help you keep your momentum. First, do not use your arms to make the turn. A common misconception is that your arms will help you make a faster turn. Not true! Arms should stay strait and go from your side to streamline in one motion. The swimmer is becoming a tight ball and turning with their core. Get the feet to the wall!
Once the feet hit the wall, get off the wall!! A lot of swimmers stay on the wall and turn, then push off. No!!! Act like that wall is hot lava (I use this statement everyday). Swimmers need to push off on their back getting proper depth. As they are pushing off on their back, with their hips, turn to the stomach. This video really shows the proper way to push off the wall!!
Hope you enjoyed! Comment or advice- Always trying to learn more!