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When trying to get large groups of swimmers practicing proper pushoffs, sometimes NOT giving them a choice is a great way to teach.
Alert - Make sure you only try this with your more advanced groups. Younger swimmers may not have the body control to safely do this drill. Or start with two groups instead of three.
Why do it:
If you're not practicing better pushoffs and underwater dolphins, then you're going to be left behind by the swimmers that are. This is a fun, team building exercise, that demands that all swimmers get a chance to practice deeper, longer pushoffs.
How to do it:
1) Set up nine swimmers in the lane, three groups of three swimmers, all swimming next to each other down the lane.
2) Each group leaves close behind the group in front of them.
3) Swim directly in and out of the walls.
4) When the swimmers get to the turn, the lead two groups have to push off UNDER the groups following them.
5) Switch leaders and go again.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
Short rest, but all focus goes to the turns. The interval will be however long it takes the groups to reorganize between the 100s. After the first swim, the second group moves to the leader position, and the third group goes second. Switching each time allows each group to lead, and demands they get under the two groups that are following.
This also means you'll be swimming sets in multiples of 3. We typically do six times 100s on sets like this. It's not too demanding physically, but the swimmers can't relax mentally.
Thanks to Coach Rachel Stratton-Mills for sharing this with us.