By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Monday, December 9, 2019
Although the start and dive take only a fraction of the time of the overall swim race, having a great reaction, underwater streamline and breakout can set you apart from the competition and propel you to a lead before you’ve even taken a stroke.
Ethan Hall, head coach of the Crow Canyon Sharks, who claimed the 2018 Winter Juniors West women’s team title, is here to share a few tips and drills that his team uses to improve one of the most important parts of any race – the start.
- Black Line Races – We match up evenly-skilled swimmers in heats in practice, and have them race to the black line (we only have one line on the bottom of our pool, at about 17 meters). We call out winners to make it exciting. We do multiple strokes, and underwater dolphin.
- Deadlifts and Hip Lunges in Dryland – Coach Joe Natina has developed a great hip hinge/explosive deadlift progression using kettle bells. It starts very light and easy, so we can get the form down for novices, and then it becomes progressively more explosive. We find the combination of flexibility, posture and explosive hip drive in these exercises is very applicable to the starting blocks.
- Streamline Olympics – Dive and glide as far as you can until you float to a stop. No kicking! This measures power off the block, entry, line of travel and balance. This is just one event in the Streamline Olympics.