Starts – Cord Breakouts

Want really fast breakouts from your starts?  Here’s a quick drill that will help.

Why Do It:
Maintaining your speed from the blocks is one of the most important aspects of fast swimming. Slow down too soon and you may have already lost the race.

How to Do It:
  Take a normal stretch cord, and shorten it by looping it around the back of the blocks.  This length can be varied depending on the strength of the swimmer, and what part of the breakout you want to work on.
2.  Have the swimmers do a start to test the resistance of the cord.  You want the cord to work either on the initial dolphin or on the breakout.  Today, we’re working on the breakout, so the cord is a bit longer.
3.  Do a bunch of starts, with the swimmers taking a couple strokes through the breakout, and this should be against very strong resistance.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
You can time them, or vary which stroke you use on your breakout.  Where is your shoulder when you break out, and are you popping up or creating a smooth transition to the surface?  When doing this correctly, with full explosion and intensity, you should only do 5 – 10 of these.  Don’t keep doing them if you’re not able to maintain full speed through the entire exercise.

For safety, whenever a cord is wrapped around the block or used with part of the cord out of the water, use a cord with a safety strap INSIDE the cord, or double check that nobody is behind the block.  Swimmers rarely get hurt if a cord breaks because the water dissipates the energy of the snap.  Bystanders or people behind the cord are generally the ones who get hurt.  Be very careful.