October 17, 2013
Dolphin Kicks in Races
By Russell Mark//High Performance Consultant
Dolphin kicking has transformed from a fad of the 90s to a skill
that is essential to success in today’s racing. It’s
especially prevalent in the 100 and 200 events, but it is growing
as a factor to achievement in the 50 free all the way up to the 800
and 1500 free. It’s also not just an important skill to
mature elite athletes, as more and more athletes at Junior
Nationals and the USA National Junior Team are making it a part of
their craft. A good dolphin kick can translate to success at any
level in every event except breaststroke (kind of).
This chart shows the average number of kicks for the top 8 performers at the 2012 Olympic Trials, as well as the top 8 performer with the most kicks in their event. One observation is that the men are averaging more kicks in the second-half of their races than the women.