Here’s a great drill for mastering flip turns. It comes from our friends over at GoSwim. This drill uses the concept of a waterfall to teach the move where you drive your head to your knees. Pretty cool, and definitely something you can do on your own.
Step by step instructions that go with the video are:
Why do it:
Making sure the set up for your turn is direct, helps improve the speed into and out of the wall. Using the water as a substance, and your momentum to help you through the turn also saves energy and eliminates extraneous movements.
How to do it:
1) Push off the wall underrwater with your hands held down to your sides.
2) Very soon after your push, tuck your chin so the water hits you on the back of the head (like standing under a waterfall and leaning forward).
3) Allow the water to push you around without using your legs or arms. If you donapos;t make it all the way around, thatapos;s fine, this is just to teach you the initial sensation.
4) Move to directly on the surface, pushing off the same way, and tucking your chin to allow the body to flip around.
5) Finally, swim into the wall to gain some momentum, stop swimming a bit sooner than normal to allow both arms to be behind you, tuck your chin and roll into a flip turn.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
Make sure you never pop up prior to the turn, but submerge into the wall on each turn. Make sure you are not lifting your head as you approach the wall, but practice looking at the bottom to start building an awareness of turning without seeing the end. Most of all, when learning this, donapos;t muscle the first couple of steps, stay soft and slow, and feel the water pushing you around.
Coach Cokie’s note:
I would add one more “fine point”. When you flip, be sure and flip straight over, not off to one hip. On the video, most of the swimmers do flip straight over onto the wall. However, a few flip slightly to one side and come out on one hip. When really trying to master flip turns, get yourself to flip straight over. You’ll use your dolphin kicks (or flutter kicks) to corkscrew you onto one hip and your first breakout stroke finishes straightening out your body. That comes in a future lesson!