Fine-Tune Your Open Turns

Last week was our first meet of the Men’s season, and we absolutely crushed it. The team as a whole looked pretty solid, and everyone swam great, but we still need some fine-tuning.

“Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.”

– Knute Rockne

Meets are a great time for coaches to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both individuals (which we will tell you post-race) and the team as a whole. This lets us design practices with specific skills in mind to work on turning weaknesses into strengths.

At this point, LHS is weakest between the flags and the wall in either direction.

  • Starts
  • Turns
  • Finishes

Our open turns and backstroke turns are particularly hard to watch.

Over the next few practices, we’ll be working on all of our weak points, starting with open and backstroke turns.

While Ryan Lachte isn’t my favorite person to have do these examples (he does some odd things that don’t work for every swimmer), these vids do offer some really good basic tips that everyone should get familiar with.

Open Turn (Fly)

Backstroke Turn

Backstroke to Breaststroke “Bucket” Turn

I realize this girl is MAYBE 13 years old, but this is the best example of a high-school legal bucket turn I could find.

Stay Motivated

It can get tough working on skills and drills in practice. Often times these sets are the most boring, or most technically challenging, and the tired mind will start to wander. Well, don’t let it!

While drill sets might be dull, they are one of the most important parts of practice. Developing good techniques leads to more efficient swimming and faster times in races, which is the whole reason we’re here, right?

One of the best ways to get motivated and stay focused is to watch some fast races. So here you go!

Michael Phelps Wins 200m Individual Medley Gold – London 2012 Olympics



Starts and Turns: Do Them Faster

Starts and turns. They can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. You can win or lose races with your start and turns, and it’s way more fun to win.

Below this week’s info you’ll find videos. Several for turns, several for starts.

I suggest watching them and writing down key points to think about while you’re swimming during practice. I’ll give you a few bullet-points from the videos for you to keep in mind, but it’s always better to write down the specific points that stick out to you individually. Writing specific, key points down is the best way to memorize them for easier recall later while you’re in the water.

We’ll be working more on fast turns and clean starts as the season ticks on. In order to make the most of your time, please come to practice having watched these videos and with ideas for things to work on already in your brain!

This Week

Loveland vs. Greeley West

This Tuesday we swim against Greeley West High School at the Greeley Recreation Center. Athletes please wear your team shirt to school on Tuesday to show your team spirit!

  • Athletes will be released from class at 1:15
  • The bus will leave at promptly 1:30
  • We may have some down time, so if you have any homework, do it!
  • Warm up’s start at 3:00
  • Meet starts at 4:00
  • We should return to the school by 7:00

2015 Keith Wiedemen Invite

LHS will be competing alongside a good number of teams this weekend, so lets show some Indian pride! This meet has a different format than most, with diving on Friday only, and the swimming events on Saturday.

Friday – Diving

Due to the number of divers we have, athletes are asked to find their own transportation to the Greeley Recreation Center on Friday.

  • Divers will be released from class at 12:50 on Friday
  • Leave LHS by 1:00
  • Dive Coach Jim Toomey will meet you at the pool before warm ups
  • Warm up starts at 2:00pm
  • Diving starts at 4:00pm
Saturday – Swimming

Unfortunately, I don’t have any information yet for warm up times, so some of this may change. For now, plan on…

  • Bus will leave LHS at 6:30am
  • Warm ups start at 8:00 (Complete guess)
  • Meet starts at 10:00am (This is correct)



Where to Place Your Feet

  • Dominant foot forward, toes over edge of block
  • Feet should be one hand width between feet laterally
  • Back foot should be about one foot size behind front
  • Base should feel steady and powerful

The Slingshot Start

  • Begin in a RELAXED position with your hands on the block
  • Keep head lowered, stare at the back heel of your front foot
  • On mark, shift weight to rear foot and add tension to arms by pulling upward
  • On the push off, initiate movement from rear foot

The Backstroke Start

  • Get airborne
  • Place feet side by side, high in the water, shoulder width apart
  • On mark, pull in an upward to a balanced position with your bum out of the water
  • Keep chin up and spine in a line



The Approach

  • Accelerate into the wall
  • Keep eyes at bottom of pool

The Flip

  • Tuck into a tight ball
  • Rotate to your stomach AFTER the flip
  • Keep arms straight, pulling into streamline
  • Keep head down, tucked to chest

The Push and Breakout

  • Push straight off the wall
  • Rotate to your stomach at a steady pace
  • Kick hard and fast right off the wall
  • Hold streamline tightly
  • Do not breathe on first stroke