After spending a week in London watching the Olympics and seeing an old friend, Coach Dave Durden, we were reminded of a drill Dave shared with us.
Why do it:
Making sure the set up for your turn is direct, helps improve the speed into and out of the wall. Using the water as a substance, and your momentum to help you through the turn also saves energy and eliminates extraneous movements.
How to do it:
1) Push off the wall underrwater with your hands held down to your sides.
2) Very soon after your push, tuck your chin so the water hits you on the back of the head (like standing under a waterfall and leaning forward).
3) Allow the water to push you around without using your legs or arms. If you don’t make it all the way around, that’s fine, this is just to teach you the initial sensation.
4) Move to directly on the surface, pushing off the same way, and tucking your chin to allow the body to flip around.
5) Finally, swim into the wall to gain some momentum, stop swimming a bit sooner than normal to allow both arms to be behind you, tuck your chin and roll into a flip turn.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
Make sure you never pop up prior to the turn, but submerge into the wall on each turn. Make sure you’re not lifting your head as you approach the wall, but practice looking at the bottom to start building an awareness of turning without seeing the end. Most of all, when learning this, don’t muscle the first couple of steps, stay soft and slow, and feel the water pushing you around.
Finally, congrats to Dave and his swimmers Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin on great swims in London.