If you’re like most competitive swimmers, the majority of your training is freestyle. This is great, but it doesn’t give you much chance to practice your butterfly or breaststroke turns. This drill can be incorporated into any standard freestyle set. It provides the benefits of distance training, and allows you to practice your two-handed turns.
Why Do It:
The key reason for this drill is to improve your two-handed turns. A great secondary reason is conditioning. Try to stay on the SAME interval as you would for a normal freestyle set. This will make the set a little tougher, AND it will push you to make your two-handed turns FASTER (to make the sendoff).
How to Do It:
1. This is pretty simple. Start swimming freestyle like you normally would.
2. Pick a spot where you will "make the change" to butterfly or breaststroke. If you need to work more on the "timing" of the turn, tell switch strokes at the flags. If you need to work on a faster turn, switch at the LAST possible second.
3. Place BOTH hands on the wall, just as you would for ANY breaststroke or fly turn, and proceed to turn as if you were doing either stroke.
4. Follow that stroke through the push and drive into either dolphin kicks, or a breaststroke underwater pull.
5. Switch back to freestyle, and get ready for the next turn.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Hit the wall at a higher rate of speed than you normally would during practice doing these turns. Use freestyle to allow you to come to the wall at closer to race speed and get OFF the wall fast, too.
If you’re a coach, the next time swimmers complain that they don’t get to practice enough turns, throw this at them. If you’re a swimmer, and you don’t think you’re doing enough turns, throw this into a set, but continue swimming the same freestyle times you usually do, and make your intervals. Sure, it’ll be tougher, but did you think being great was gonna be easy? 🙂