Starts & Turns


In short races ( 50 yards), your start and turn may be as much as 1/3 of your race. It is important to get the maximum out of your start & turn.


A good start takes you out 8 yards and a great start takes you out 10 yards. That leaves you 15-17 yards of swimming before you have to do your turn. you never take a breath until you have done at least 2 strokes/


What makes a good start?

  1. Leaving quickly after the Start Signal

  2. A hard driving push thru the air

  3. A streamlined entry into the water at a perfect angle

  4. Appropriate kicks for Free, Back & Fly (underwater pullout for Breast)

  5. Strong Breakout Stroke


The speed of a start & turn is always faster than you can swim until the water slows you down. You have to understand and feel the instant that your streamline is slower than you can move if you are swimming. 


What makes a good turn? You never take a breath until you have taken at least 2 strokes after turning.


  1. Enter the turn at full speed

  2. Bounce thru the turn like a ball bouncing off the wall

  3. Leave the wall as quickly as possible

  4. Streamline and follow steps 3-5 noted in Starts (above)


A good turn should leave you with your feet on the wall a maximum of 0.4 seconds or faster. If a turn takes you 1.0 seconds (or slower) you have sacrificed too much time and given your opponent an advantage. A good turn will take you 5-8 yards out from the wall.


Good swimming is smart swimming.  WE ARE CHINOOKS


Coach Jim


Split Times are Important

There are a number of opportunities in a swim meet for a swimmer to get a personal best time.... even one that may be a Regional qualifying time.

A qualifying time is defined as a race that begins with A) a Starting Signal, B) ends with a correct finish for the stroke, and C) has the proper number of watch times: at least 2 handheld watches or better. There are a number of races where the intermediate split time can actually be used as a qualifying time. This is especially helpful to our swimmers who need a 50 yard race time for Regional.

What are these races that could count?

  1. The LEAD OFF swimmer in the 200 yd Medley Relay (50 yd backstroke) and in the 200 yd Freestyle Relay (50 yd freestyle). The 2nd, 3rd & 4th swimmers are not initiated by a Starting Signal, they do a flying start so they are not usable.

  2. The 1st 50 yards of a 200 yard Individual Medley may be used. It is the Butterfly leg of the race; begins with a Starting Signal and finishes with the butterfly correct finish.

  3. The 1st 50 yards of the 100 yard Butterfly and 100 Yard Breaststroke also qualify

It is potentially possible for a swimmer to be able to record many PB’s in a meet if the swimmer is strategically placed in events where this can happen. Enjoy your swimming and look at all possibilities!

Coach Jim