Speed at the Start, Speed at the Finish

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. We timed the first 15m from a dive with a target time from our pace cards. The next 70m was focused on good turns, breakouts, and underwaters. With 15m to go, swimmers paused and floated/sculled at the surface. When 1 swimmer in each lane was ready, a coach yelled “Go” and they commenced a sprint to the finish.

The next issue of “the wake-up swim” is coming soon. Check out the archives here to see what you’ve missed or you can sign up here.

How To Finish Like a Champ

Ryan Woodruff

The finish is among the least frequently practiced skills in our sport, in my observation. This drill serves as a mini-progression to help swimmers adjust to the presence of the wall appropriately during a finish, thus practicing for that gold medal moment.

We did this as a set of 16 x 50, 6 done like phase 1, 6 in phase 2, and the final 4 in phase 3. Here’s the progression.

Phase 1
At the conclusion of the 50, the swimmer takes his last stroke at the backstroke flags and then positions his body for the finish, kicking strong all the way to an extended touch.

Phase 2

Same idea as the first phase, just move everything closer to the wall. Take the last stroke halfway between the flags and the wall. Make sure the swimmer is paying close attention to the spacing with the wall.

Phase 3
Now do an all-out finish, touching with the body at maximum length. The swimmer should touch with the fingertips. With the wall-judging ability honed in phases 1 and 2, the swimmer should be able to time his finish very precisely.

Try this progression for any stroke. You never know when your finish will make the difference between gold and silver!

Thank you to Heath Hudgins (the swimmer in the videos) for being a willing example.

The Chunker

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

18 x 15 meter sprint @ 2:00

#1 – from a start
#2 – 7.5m in and out of a turn
#3 – from mid-pool into a finish

All start and turn sprints are timed to the head crossing the line. Swim easy between the repeats. Use this chart to see how fast your 15m “chunks” need to be based on your best time.

The Anti-Piano Set

Scott Dunn and Mary Young
Northwest NC YMCA Riptyde

12 x 50 “Fly”

Odds: 25 Fly controlled speed- around 15 sec for girls, faster for boys. They stop to hear time, then 25 Free.
Evens: “Phelps, not Piano”. 25 Free, 25 Fly. How often have you seen a great 90 yd fly ruined by a PIANO dropping on the swimmer somewhere around the flags? they build a strong 25, surging to the wall from outside the flags,then must “stick the landing” exactly- a la PHELPS v. Cavic.