The other "toy" that we used were these orange hockey pucks. I think I got them for a dollar or two online somewhere. I have 12 of them and I have certainly gotten lots of use out of them. You could use heavy cones as well - but those are big and bulky and difficult to store. These pucks you can be seen easily and they fit nicely in a drawer in the pool office. -Plus even the youngest swimmer is strong enough to bring them to the surface for me!
I coached two groups today and we did a few things with these together. First, we put the rope under the flags (5 yards from the wall). Then I threw the hockey pucks in the water about 6-7 yards from the wall. You can see the rope and a hockey puck a little to the right in the picture below.
We can do many different things with the rope and hockey pucks. In one group we did some 25's where the odd ones were Freestyle with a awesome streamline and breakout. You have to go under the rope! Once you make it to the hockey pucks, you know that you have gone far enough. On the even ones we had the really fun ones. Today we did a 25 choice where you had to dive under the rope and swim underwater the last 5 yards. I encouraged our more experienced swimmers to do a streamline kick the last 5 yards. Generally everyone would have to do that - but since we are in the first week of the season I am a little more relaxed with some of our activities. Here is a picture of the set up and a swimmer going under the rope:
In another group that I had we did some 50's where we did a 25 Freestyle and then a 25 Butterfly. We generally do them this way (or going 25 Free/25 Breaststroke with Fly Kick). The distance from the wall the flags is the FAST STREAMLINE KICKING ZONE. When you are in that zone, you are kicking fast! Below is a video of that.
The possibilities of drills like these are endless. You can make a game out of it if you want. It takes a minute to set things up, but hey, it is something different and it is either fun or challenging for swimmers (or both!).
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