coaching the details turns underwaters and breakouts steve haufler orinda country club n.
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Coaching the Details: Turns, Underwaters, and Breakouts STEVE HAUFLER Orinda Country Club. General Comments Teaching the Streamline Teaching Progression for Beginning Freestyle Flip Turns What to Watch For with More Advanced Swimmers Freestyle Turns – Common Mistakes Breakout for Freestyle

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Presentation Transcript
General Comments
  • Teaching the Streamline
  • Teaching Progression for Beginning Freestyle Flip Turns
  • What to Watch For with More Advanced Swimmers
  • Freestyle Turns – Common Mistakes
  • Breakout for Freestyle
  • Teaching Progression for Backstroke Approach and Cross-Over
  • Breakout for Backstroke
Teaching the Ready Position and Push-Off
  • Teaching Progression for Two-Hand Open Turns
  • What to Watch For with More Advanced Swimmers
  • Open Turns – Common Mistakes
  • Breakout for Breaststroke
  • Breakout for Butterfly

Workout Tips for Open Turns

  • Teaching Progression for Back to Breast
  • What to Watch For with More Advanced Swimmers
turns general comments
TURNSGeneral Comments
  • Turns are gymnastics in the water with a wall
  • Think of coaching turns like coaching a stroke (progressions, drills, discipline)
  • Think of the turn as the transition from the approach stroke into the wall to the breakout stroke, rather than just the turn on the wall (from flags to flags)
  • Teach technique - be willing to make the trade off of technique now for speed later
  • Teach world-class technique to swimmers at every level
  • Start teaching proper turn technique with 8 year olds
  • Emphasize legality for all turns during workout (two hand touches, backstroke turns, pull downs)
Slow, good turns are O.K. in practice (until technique is perfected!)
  • Assess which part of a turn is weak: technique, turn speed, underwater speed or breakout?
  • Engrained bad habits are hard to fix for turns (likewise with any stroke)
  • Proper technique turns will ALWAYS be better (in the long run) than a fast, bad turn
  • For fast short course swimming, turn efficiency is critical
  • Teach the backstroke turn before freestyle
  • Teach the Fly-to-Back turn before the other open turns
  • Always use a ready position when pushing off the wall in practice
  • Work on streamlines everyday
teaching the streamline
Teaching the Streamline
  • Head in the neutral position
  • Flat Back
  • Two squeezes: hand over hand with top thumb squeezing the under side of the bottom hand and the biceps squeezing your ears
  • Point your toes
  • Measure the Total Streamline
teaching progression for beginning freestyle flip turns verbal cues with pool demonstration
Teaching Progression for Beginning Freestyle Flip Turns(Verbal Cues with Pool Demonstration)
  • “Practice blowing bubbles out your nose.”
  • “Do a straight over flip and blow bubbles out your nose.”
  • Mid-Pool: “Swim 4-5 strokes, stop your hands by your side, one arm at a time (head lead position) turn palms down and glide.”
  • Repeat #3 with “now add submersion at the end or your last stroke by leaning on your chest.”
“Float face down, I will place a pipe on the back of your legs with your fingers over the pipe (palms down.) Slide the back of your knees under the pipe. You will see your legs.”

Repeat many times

Swimmer must come close to their legs

With the swimmer standing on the bottom, set the Abe Lincoln Hat on the swimmer: “Push the tall hat back a few inches.”

Repeat many times

Other prompts:

“Use both hands”

“Keep your elbows in front of your face – where you can see them”

“Keep fingers straight up the hat”

Mid-Pool: “Swim 4-5 strokes, head lead position, palms down, submerge, then flip straight over.”

“Think Pipe-Hat (land on back)

“As soon as you see your legs, your feet come out of the water, right after they come out, they go back in”

  • Same as #7 but add streamline

“Think Pipe-Hat-Streamline” (still on back, tight at back of ears)

Practice approach to wall by using step #4

(submersion at the end of last stroke by

leaning on chest)

10. “Swim toward wall, submerge on last stroke in the head lead position, turn palms down and think Pipe-Hat-Streamline-Push (still on back)”

11. Repeat above and roll to side after push off

12. Add roll to stomach and when you see the bottom of the pool, then pull from the streamline position without breathing

what to watch for
What to Watch For
  • Maintain speed and avoid deceleration into the wall
  • Hold breath inside flags on approach
  • Use “submarine or blind” approaches to avoid looking up and dolphin motioning into turn
  • Know pool markings or use bottom edge of pool
  • Roll begins during the final stroke
  • Lean on your chest to lift your legs
  • Spring your heels at the target
The sooner your feet hit the wall the better
  • Nose stays close to the legs
  • Hands are used for leverage, elbows remain narrow
  • Hands in streamline before the feet hit the wall
  • Hit the wall with balls of your feet
  • Spring off the wall
  • Rotate to front during streamline
  • Break the surface before finish of first arm stroke
freestyle common mistakes
FREESTYLECommon Mistakes
  • Breathing into the turn. The swimmer loses speed and loses sight of the wall/edge/bottom
  • Lifting the head into the turn, creating a slow spin (wider arc.)
  • Getting too close to the wall. The hands usually flair/scull out causing a pause on the wall.
  • Turning the body on the wall to push off on the stomach.
breakout freestyle

Start with dolphin kicks (2 to ?) followed by flutter kicks, then a breakout stroke. Dolphin kicking and going into a breakout pull, without flutter kicking, usually causes a loss of speed during the breakout.

Magic Words:

“Feel your back come out of the water,

the pencil stays in.”

“When you start swimming don’t stop kicking.”

teaching progression for backstroke approach and cross over
Teaching Progression for Backstroke Approach and Cross Over
  • Mid-Pool: Start with hands by side.

Right-Left-Right-Left Cross Over & Pull

  • Mid-Pool: Start with hands by side.

Left-Right-Left-Right Cross Over & Pull

  • Practice Finish – know stroke count
  • Subtract two hand hits, then Cross Over and pull

5. Make necessary adjustments

backstroke breakout
Backstroke Breakout

Start with dolphin kick (3 to ?), then flutter kicks, then 2 breakout strokes.

The first breakout stroke should start when the head is one foot below the surface.

The second breakout stroke should start before the head breaks the surface and should bring the first stroke out of the water aggressively.

Magic Words:

“Go kick, pull, breathe” (Not kick, breathe, pull)

“Think of the cup right before your face comes out of the water.”

ready position and push off
Ready Position and Push Off
  • One hand on the wall
  • Balls of feet planted on target
  • Feet planted upward for Free and Back and toward the side wall for Breast and Fly
  • Chin near wall side shoulder, eyes looking down the arm toward wall, head straight
  • Non-wall hand extended toward other wall palm facing up
  • Hand-elbow-chin-shoulder elbow-hand in LINE
On Push Off
      • Hands leave wall, head maintains position
      • Elbow stays in the water until hand almost touches ear
      • Face goes under as hands find each other above head for streamline
      • Push in streamline
      • Maintain a straight body line off the wall
teaching progression for two hand open turns
Teaching Progression forTwo-Hand Open Turns
  • Review Ready Position
  • Review correct sequence for push off from Ready Position
  • Swim toward wall and touch with two hands while keeping eyes down
  • From this extended position, bring knees up together and place feet on the wall with toes pointed to the side. Simultaneously, pull one arm back under water (elbow the robber) and extend arm towards other end of pool with the palm up (holding a tray.)
Freeze in Ready Position (100% correct)
  • Wait for coach clearance of “GO”
  • Practice freezing in Ready Position, and pushing off correctly (100% correct)
  • Do the turn without stopping
what to watch for with two hand open turns includes fly breast fly to back breast to free
WHAT TO WATCH FOR WITH TWO HAND OPEN TURNS(Includes Fly, Breast, Fly to Back, Breast to Free)

Acceleration to the wall

Approach the wall on stroke

Know when to use 2 long vs. 3 shorter strokes

Eyes looking at bottom of pool

Knees fast to head (a small ball spins faster)

Use momentum to help spin speed

Head stays neutral/some may tuck

Elbow the robber and call the police

Feet pointed to the side corner gutter (ready position)

Late breath or none at all

Back of the head in first (try knee to head backspin)

Find streamline immediately

two hand open turns common mistakes
  • Tucking the chin as the knees are pulled up
  • Taking a short stroke into the wall
  • Pulling into the wall (let the arm absorb the wall like a shock absorber)
  • Lifting the head up
  • Turning head around to side or front
  • Spinning feet to a “toes down” position
  • Big arm over the top
  • Circle swimming turn, leg flairs out
breaststroke breakout

The pull part of the pull-down should angle the body slightly to the surface. The approach should start with the hands recovering tight (against the body.) The kick should be fast and late – as the hands are shooting into the streamline. Bringing the heels up early causes the body to slow down.

Magic Words:

“Keep looking in the mirrors through all 3 ZOOMS. The kick gives the 3rd Zoom.”

“Stay in the water when you press out.”

butterfly breakout

Build the kick speed to the surface. Kids often slow the kick rate down as they approach the surface. Try to get them to build their kick speed into an aggressive kick on the

breakout stroke.

Magic Words:

“Keep looking in the mirror when you start to swim.”

“Feel like your face is on a skateboard

when you start to swim.”

“Start first pull before your back comes out of the water. Keep holding your breath.”

workout tips for breast fly turns
Workout Tips for Breast/Fly Turns


(from when the hands touch to when the toes leave the wall)

  • 1.4 slow
  • 1.2 ok
  • 1.1 good
  • 1.0 very good
  • < 1.0 excellent
teaching progression for back to breast turns
Teaching Progression for Back-to-Breast Turns
  • Review Ready Position and Push Off
  • Approach wall, then grab with palm down
  • Bring knees up and around and place feet on wall, chin moves from shoulder-to-shoulder
  • Assume Ready Position and freeze
  • Wait for coach clearance to “GO”
  • Do the turn without stopping
what to watch for in back to breast turns for more advanced swimmers
  • Swimmer maintains speed on approach (stroke count and flag angles)
  • No peeking for the wall on approach – use the now game to see if they know where the wall is
  • Treat the approach as a backstroke finish, except turn palm down for hand touch
  • Legs stay on surface during the approach
  • Use momentum to help spin speed – bring knees to chest and keep legs shallow to spin fast
Keep head position “in-line” but use the “spot points” for turn (shoulder-to-shoulder)
  • Trailing hand “scoops” to bring body underwater
  • Wall hand leaves from Ready Position “calls police” and returns to streamline
  • Hands are in streamline when feet plant on wall