If you have a tendency to push off right at the surface of the water, here’s a drill that can help you get down to the proper depth.
Why Do It:
Each time you push off the wall, you have an opportunity to create power and momentum. The DEPTH at which you push off plays a key role in how well you MAINTAIN the power of the push.
If you push off right at the surface of the water, you may FEEL as if you’re getting a strong push, but it won’t last very long.
Pushing off at the surface creates a lot of resistance, and holds you back at what SHOULD BE the strongest point in your swim.
These swimmers, on the other hand, are pushing off BELOW the surface of the water.
A good rule of thumb is to push off about SHOULDER WIDTH below the surface.
Pushing off at the right depth, combined with a great streamline, helps you maintain all the power of your pushoff, and sets you up for a clean breakout and good speed on your first few strokes.
How To Do It:
You’ll need a partner for this one, and two kickboards.
Have your partner stand in the shallow end and hold two kickboards end to end so that one end is about 3 feet from the wall.
You should stand with your back near the wall and one foot ON the wall. If you have a cross on the wall, try to have your foot within the cross.
Take a deep breath and sink down. Your rear end should be almost on the wall, and now BOTH FEET should be planted on the wall within the cross.
As you sink down, place one hand over the other and get ready for streamline.
Now it’s time to push off and slip UNDER the kickboards. Hold your streamline and try to get past the kickboards without touching them.
You can add a small, fast kick, but make sure you don’t hit the kickboards with your feet.
If you are still popping up and hitting the kickboards, check the position of your feet as you push off. If your feet are too low on the wall, this will make you pop up.
If you keep heading for the bottom, it usually means your feet are too high on the wall when you push off.
If your feet are within the cross, you’ll usually push off at just the right depth, and will send more of your energy FORWARD.