August 19, 2015
Mechanics of the flip
This weeks Tip of the Week is an excerpt from the May-June 2003 issue of Splash, in which Charlie Yourd of the Bloomington-Normal YMCA offers some advice on flip turns. Yourd was named Illinois Age Group Coach of the Year in 2002.
As you approach the wall, snap your head down on the final stroke, tuck your knees up quickly, flip straight over on your back and leave the wall in that position. What slows kids down most is when they turn their body as their feet are on the wall,Yourd said. As you push off and leave the wall, streamline, roll over on your side and then onto your stomach for free style. If you're doing backstroke, streamline and stay on your back.
Just before you begin to lose speed from the push-off, begin your kick. Again, if you're doing a dolphin kick, make sure you are using a smaller, faster dolphin kick.
Break out from the turn the same way you would from a start. On backstroke, do not lift your head. Keep your head back to maintain your speed off the wall. Your strokes should get you into your shoulder and rotation rhythm,Yourd said.
One final pointer Yourd, like most coaches, recommends not breathing into the wall in any freestyle races. The faster you go into the wall, the faster your turn is going to be,he said. No breathing out of the turns on shorter races, either. Whether or not to breathe on the first stroke out of the turn in longer races (400 meters and up) is up to each individual swimmer and his or her coach. You need to get as much air as you can in longer races, Yourd said. But you need to get your arms moving off the first stroke without losing speed.