Here’s Step #3 in our 4-step sequence for learning the open turn.
Even if your turns are pretty good, this drill will help improve your turning speed by making you more aware of your hands and arms.
Why Do It:
In Step #1, you learned how to fold into the wall, rather than use your hand to pull you in and UP.
In Step #2, you learned how to get comfortable with falling back and letting go as you turn.
In Step #3, you’ll learn what to do with your turning hand AFTER it touches the wall.
Here’s what many swimmers do. They drag the turning hand UNDER the water and UNDER their body as they spin to the side for the pushoff.
Dragging the hand through the water creates a lot of drag and slows you down.
Here’s a better way to use the hand. The swimmer falls straight back and the hand travels OUT of the water, just past the head, and right into streamline. No drag. No wasted motion. Very efficient.
How to Do It:
Kick gently into the wall with both arms extended. Touch just below the edge, and collapse IN to the wall, just as you did in Steps 1 and 2. This time, after you push away from the wall with your hands, and just as your feet are getting ready to push off the wall, let your hands come back toward your face and push off on your back, in STREAMLINE.
Here it is again. Let the head collapse in to the wall. After the hands push back, let them fall almost onto your forehead, and then push them into streamline as you push off the wall.
Try to push off just under the surface rather than on top of the water. Exhale a steady stream of bubbles to keep the water from going up your nose.
Keep practicing with both hands extended until you feel completely comfortable with this part of the drill.
When you feel like you’ve got it, try the same drill with one arm extended and the other arm back.
Let your turning hand come right to your forehead and then into streamline. And push off directly on your back.
Try it with one arm.
Then try it with your other arm.
Try it dozens of times, and be sure to come back for Step #4.