As apart of our E-Learning Experience, we will provide you with important information on water safety and learn-to-swim skills, as well as swimming technique, breaking down the mechanics and explaining why these skills are most efficient. Additionally, test your knowledge with a short quiz at the end of each worksheet. These online exercises will help us think about the approach to each skill and the proper technique of all four competitive strokes, as well as racing starts, turns and finishes. Below is some helpful information on the most important points. We should always be thinking about and practicing these fundamentals until they become good habits!
This worksheet focus is Starts! A swimmer’s fastest moment in competition is experienced at the start with the momentum of their dive into the water. If we want to have fast starts when we race, we need to practice these skills every single time we do them in our daily training. We MUST make a habit of doing them well! A streamlined body position off the wall or block and the underwater butterfly kick or breaststroke pull-out are critical for great starts and turns.
Forward- Dive Starts: Once a forward dive is mastered a swimmer can work on specifics of the forward start for each stroke. A perfected start for each of the four strokes is an important factor in racing success. Track Start Position (most used)
• One foot forward, one foot back (strongest leg forward)
• Chin towards chest, eyes looking at rear foot
• Hands grasp block shoulder width apart
• Weight on ball of lead foot
• Hip is lined up in front of toes of rear foot
• BE STILL! NO false starts
• Quick reaction to starting signal
• Pull hard on the block – this moves the body forward and down towards water
• As the body straightens out extend arms in front of head in a tight streamline
• Stack hands with thumb wrapped around bottom hand
• Strongest arm should be on bottom as this will be the arm that pulls first
• Maintain tight core, tight streamline in the air • Fingertips enter first, with head down between arms, FLAT NECK
• Enter water through a small hole with all our body slipping through that one small hole
• FAST, FORWARD breakout (achieve as much momentum as possible in the first few strokes – this sets you up for racing speed) Keep head down without breathing on these first few strokes of Freestyle and Butterfly for maximum speed and maintained momentum
Backstroke Start: There are several kinds of backstroke starts – just as with forward starts. Traditional Backstroke Start: head down, arms bent, legs bent with hips near heels
• At the start signal, pull body up with arms, throw head back, extend arms by pushing down and forward against bar or gutter
• Throw hands back overhead and extend legs
• Arch back, streamline body for entry
• Lift legs as you enter the water, so they go in the same hole opened by your hands
• Snap legs down to get body moving forward
• Bend knees to start dolphin kick – at least 4!
• Begin flutter kick as you surface. Remain streamlined
• Begin first arm stroke as you near the surface
• Complete first arm stroke as head comes through the surface
• First two breakout strokes are powerful and set the rhythm for the rest of the length
**Attached is a short quiz on Freestyle and Backstroke starting position and head and body position. Remember our body position is determined by the position of our head – if our head is up our legs go down. This creates resistance against the water which will make swimming difficult and slow.
1. A swimmer’s fastest moment in competition is…
2. Which is correct?
3. Should we move on the starting block once given the command to "Take Your Mark"?
4. Where should you chin be during a forward racing start?
5. When doing a track start...
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