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The fastest part of your race is the start.
The second fastest is your turn.
I work on starts and turns at every practice, so that I can learn to take full advantage of the speed generated by pushing off a solid surface.
We’ll cover starts in the bonus section of this video. In this section we’ll focus just on the flip.
Let’s watch it first at full speed.
Then slow it down so we can focus on the details.
For me, the key ingredient to a fast turn is not looking up at the wall before you flip on it. If you look up, you lose most of your momentum, and this slows you down on every part of the turn, including the pushoff.
You want as little a pause before you flip as possible. Try to take your last pull and follow it immediately with your tuck.
Flip straight over, and keep your body in a tight tuck. The smaller the ball you are in, the faster you can get over.
Try looking for your knees to help you get in a tight tuck.
Try not to use your hands and arms when you flip. Flip from the abs – from your core.
Once you take your last pull, leave your arms at your sides and they’ll be right above your head, ready to go into streamline, when your feet hit the wall.
I like to let my knees go apart when I flip because I think this gives me a better base when I push off. It’s kind of like jumping to dunk a basketball…you get a stronger push if your feet are apart rather than together.
Once I push off – and I push off on my back rather than angled on my side -- my feet immediately come together into streamline.
I aim slightly deep so that I can take a few dolphin kicks before I start to flutter kick into the breakout.
To go a bit deep, make sure your legs are planted a bit high on the wall.
You have a lot of speed and momentum coming off the wall. To hang on to this momentum, you don’t want to start your kick too early.
Get a good streamline, then take a few quick dolphins before you flutter kick into your breakout.
My favorite drill for practicing turns it to take 3 to 5 strokes down the pool and then go right into a flip.
The good thing about this drill is that you can imagine the wall is always the perfect distance away.
Take your strokes and immediately flip, making sure you’re in a tight tuck and your knees are a good distance apart.
Then push into streamline and end up on your back.
We do this over and over again down the pool, and it really helps to perfect the technique without tiring your legs out with constant pushes off the wall.
Remember: Sprints are all about speed, so you need to take advantage of the parts of your race that will give you the most speed.