When working with new swimmers, it’s very important they start to understand that everything they do in practice has a purpose.
Why do it:
No matter which turn you’re doing, you’ll leave the wall in a very similar fashion. You’ll either be on your side, or on your back, you’ll never be on your stomach (or shouldn’t be). When you practice a proper pushoff, you’re building the skill of balance and rotation into the first stroke.
How to do it:
1 – Hold on to the wall with one hand, eyes will be looking at the hand on the wall, and the other hand is directed to the other end. The feet will be even with the hips.
2 – Without pushing off, let go of the wall, raising the releasing hand over the shoulder. Allow your body to fall back into the water.
3 – Let go of the wall, lift the hand over the shoulder to meet the other hand in a streamline position, push off and rotate toward your stomach.
4 – Let go of the wall, lift the hand over the shoulder to meet the other hand in a streamline position, push off on your back.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
When you look at your turns, you’ll see these positions nearly every time. See how similar the start of each movement is, and when practicing, make sure the first part of your push is the same, no matter if you’re going to be doing free, fly or breast… or backstroke.
Practice with purpose, and make sure what you do in practice, is something that you’ll use in a meet.