Mental Physical Technical Swimming


: Three Keys to a Fast Start

Three Keys to a Fast Start

30 Oct

There are three keys to a fast front start: 1) the speed of departure off the block, 2) the total distance traveled throughout the entire start, and 3) the depth of entry.

To achieve a fast departure, swimmers must execute the blastoff phase of the start in the blink of an eye. In addition reaction-type drills must be performed frequently in practice.

To achieve the desired distance, the maximum amount of power via the legs, arms, and head must be generated off the block.

To achieve the desired entry depth, the fingers must point to the desired point of entry. Fingers pointed more downward than forward result in a deeper start while fingers pointed more forward than downward result in a shallower start.

Note: The holistic coach offers various types of reaction-type drills in practice. Two of the most popular include:

  1. At the coach’s command swimmers take their marks. From here the coach counts out loud from one to ten or ten to one slowly, quickly, or using a variation of speeds, placing greater emphasis on one particular number. Swimmers are expected to depart the block once that number is called.
  2. The drill involves the use of a kickboard and is performed one swimmer at a time. The swimmer takes his or her mark while the holistic coach stands nearby with a kickboard in hand. From here the coach taps the kickboard on the side of the block, then immediately swings the kickboard in the direction of the swimmer’s butt. The tap on the block is intended to represent the starter’s signal. A swimmer with a fast reaction time will depart the block before the kickboard reaches its intended target while a swimmer with a slow reaction time will feel the impact of the kickboard. Swimmers quickly learn to depart the block at a faster rate and find the drill a good deal of fun.

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