So you’ve got a big group of kids you’re trying to teach starts to, but you have to be safe, and run them all through a skill quickly and repeatedly… start from the end.
Why Do It:
Teaching a rigid body on entry will help your swimmers pierce through the entry and carry huge momentum into the water. This simple drill teaches them if their body is loose, or tight, as they enter. The deeper they go, the better they’ve done.
How to Do It:
1. With all start work, safety is key. The swimmers can send themselves off, but they have to wait for the swimmer in front of them to come up past the flags and start swimming.
2. The first step is to simply JUMP into the water. Hands at your sides. Jump UP not out, so your body can stay in a perfectly vertical orientation. No leaning back or forward.
3. Stay in this rigid stance and have your body travel as deep as possible, hopefully to the bottom of our 16′ deep pool.
4. Next, have the swimmers do the same exercise, initiating the jump in a full streamline position. Jump UP not out, and try to stay in line the entire way to the bottom.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
The biggest thing is to POINT the toes. When you’re going to do the actual start, you want to make sure the feet are cleaned up as well, and you want to build a feeling of slipping through the surface. If you can keep your body in a perfectly straight line in this drill, and head all the way to the bottom of a deep pool, you’re going to start to understand just how rigid you need to hold your body off the blocks.
Any leaning will throw you off line on entry, and those who make almost no splash on entry are starting to understand.