Open turns are one of those things that age group swimmers just do not generally do very well. It is one of those "forgotten skills" that we talk about. Those are the skills that coaches generally know what swimmers need to do, but for some reason (especially at the age group level) they forget about. Maybe they go over them at practice but they just do not demand that the athlete do them in the competition. Swimmers forget to do them. Coaches forget to look for them. It is all about best times. It is becoming a lost art at the younger end of our swimmers journey.
Sit back and watch at a meet. They MAKE A DIFFERENCE. At every single meet you can find a few swimmers who are very polished. When you watch a meet those swimmers POP. Things (especially approaches into the walls, turns, and breakouts) start stand out to you. These athletes seem to do things with greater ease. Less motion. They are smooooooooth. They are fast! They make up ground and they increase leads on their competitors in these areas.
Put down the ipods/ipads/iphones and watch a few heats one meet. You will see.
Imagine if you demanded great turns from yourself on every wall at tonight's practice? Tomorrows? All week? All month? How much better would you be? A lot.
Now, for the video:
One of the awesome (and unintentional) things about this video is looking at Paolo's hands. He likes to have his left hand on the wall when he does an open turn. Everyone has a favorite! This is fine for Breaststroke, Butterfly, Fly/Back, and Breast/Free turns. When you do a Back/Breast turn - you may touch with your right, you may touch with your left. Being good with both arms is awesome. When Paolo does his Back/Breast turn he actually touches with his non-dominant hand. His right! Could you tell? I couldn't at first. Watch it again-
He did an awesome job with his non-dominant arm. Now, if he could just throw a 95 mph fastball with both arms.....THEN we really have something!
**One more note about the Fly/Back turn which we did not cover in the video. It is the Exact same as the Fly turn demonstrated with one exception: When leaving the wall you look at the wall and then you continue to keep your nose up as you push off. You still drive your knees up and slide under the water for your streamline. Keeping your nose up will leave you on your "side/back" as you push off for backstroke.
Let's get a little better with these turns!