We all know the importance of great walls, so Tennessee Turns are something that should be in every team’s stable of drills.
Why Do It:
This drill teaches the importance of how to think about WALLS. Not really how to approach them, but developing the awareness that any time you’re near the wall, your focus is intensified.
How to Do It:
1. The typical mark is to go under water BEFORE the flags.
2. Stay under, performing an open turn while completely submerged. We’ve seen people try flip turns with this, but we prefer open turns.
3. Push off and stay under until you’re past the flags again.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you’re the coach, you can tell a lot about a swimmer by where they go under, and where they come up. Give the group the understanding that the flags are the MINIMUM requirement. It’s not that you go under AT the flags, or pop up AT the flags… always do just a little bit more than what’s asked. Those swimmers who understand that the minimum isn’t what’s going to make them great will go under BEFORE they get to the flags, and stay under well past the flags.
Encourage the swimmers to watch where the person next to them comes up, and to always try to be better than everyone else around. If everyone is trying to win, then ultimately… everyone wins, because everyone will end up being better than they thought they could be. While all can’t win everything, we can continue to improve.