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There’s no better way to train a narrow, consistent kick than with vertical flutter kick. And, coaches: There’s no quicker way to improve a swimmer’s kick than to film them doing this drill and SHOW THEM how they’re moving their legs and feet.

The model looks like this. The legs are long, yet supple. The toes are pointed, yet the feet and ankles are flexible. The kick initiates with the hips and thighs, and not with the knees. The kick is quick, narrow, and continuous. The swimmer maintains a long bodyline, and avoids the common mistake of folding into a “bicycling” position.

The kick should be so narrow and continuous that when the swimmer’s hands are held out of the water, the body remains steady, with no “bouncing.”

To add a fine point to this drill, try making sharp, 90-degree turns using only the hips and kick to power your rotation. Make sure the hips are creating the power. As your timing improves, your turns will become more precise.