Flip turn schooling - Advanced (Competitive Freestyle Flip Turn)

Be a Safer Swimmer - 360swim SaferSwimmer

Apr 8, 2006

Flip turn schooling - Advanced (Competitive Freestyle Flip Turn)

Here are a few special tips and tricks if you are already a flip turn professional :) and you have mastered both phase 1 and phase 2 of the flip turn school.

Let's focus on the glide into the turn first:

When you start your glide, you should be slowly submerging yourself underwater, so you do not start your flip turn with your head and back out of the water. This drill is called The Submarine. So, to practice this, swim freestyle to the wall as normal and a 1 meter or so before you are ready to flip start slowly submerging at a very wide angle, so your head and back are getting under the surface. Once you get right below the surface with your upper body, and then initiate your flip. If this drill is mastered perfectly, you will feel how your legs flip totally on their own at higher speed than normal.

Second tip would be the positioning of the feet on the wall:
Many swimmers think that they have to flip their feet as fast as possible in order for the turn to be fast. That is a big NO NO. The motion of the feet is smooth and there shall be no splash on the pool deck from your turn. So, it is very important that you keep your legs bent (not straight) and when your feet are reaching the wall, they are basically in right angle to your shins. So basically, your heels create a beautiful hole in the water for the rest of your feet to follow and no splash is created. I don't have a real practice trick for this, except maybe trying the flip on the wall, where there is a dry spot on the deck and try not to get the pool deck wet :)

Last tip would be the breakout:
When you push off the wall and are rotated back to your stomach, your streamline should be perfect as this is the time when you go the fastest in the pool. You still carry the momentum from the wall, so by minimizing drag, you will increase the distance you will travel at this pace. Important thing to remember is that if you are too deep or too shallow, you do not go the fastest as there is some turbulence from the bottom or from the top of the water. Every swimmer needs to find the best depth for their breakouts (I'd suggest starting at about 80 cm). Ok, now the trick comes into play once you start feeling yourself slowing down a little. Only thing you need to do is to add a little dolphin kick (or more) right before you surface. In reality, you should start your dolphin kick right after you push off the wall, but this is a bit tougher exercise. This will give you the final burst of energy and will make your breakout a success. The breakout itself is for another post, however, keep in mind - head is down, no breath on the first pull and no jumping out of the water - keep it right at the surface.
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.


Tom Broadbent said...

I wonder if I could trouble you and any swimmers out there for advice. I am not a serious swimmer, but am building a pool for the family, and on either side of the steps into the shallow end wanted to build pads you can kick turn off of-- roughly how far below the surface should they be-- almost at the surface, a foot below, 2 feet-- where do a turning swimmer's feet hit? Thanks for any advice you may have!

libor said...

Hi Tom, well, I am not sure if there is one answer to your question. It varies based on the type of a swimmer one is, however, I guess as you have suggested 2-2.5 feet below the surface is probably sufficient. Most beginner swimmers push off the wall higher though and then they try to make up for it, so they push down in order to be deeper in the water. Or on the other hand just push off right at the surface and stay there which causes them to loose all the momentum off the wall due to the extreme wave action. I am not sure what your pool design will be, but if you can, I'd try to have the pads start at the surface and go down to about 3-4 feet. Be careful though, so you don't leave space under the pads, so your kids could swim under and potentially get caught there. Don't want to scare you away here :). Swimming is a great sport for the kids. They say, you excercise every muscle in your body when you swim :). Good luck and let me know if you need any other advice.

Anonymous said...

lol. some swimming pool have slippery walls. flips turns just killed it lol. it tooks me 3 days to get the flip turn right. now i am loving it. i can swim 25 laps on a 25 meter pool. with flip turn, i can only do 3. lol...

swimator said...

Good job. It should be easier to swim with a flip turn. You can gain a lot of momentum pushing off the wall, so to swim 25m should take less time. Keep practicing. If your feet slip off the wall, make sure you are hitting the wall in perpendicular motion, so your feet hit it straight.