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Improve your technique

Frontcrawl Turns

  • Approach fast, holding your breath for last three strokes into the wall

  • Drop the head down to bring the legs over faster and stay in a tucked position for the fastest roll

  • One arm stays by the hip while the opposite arm pulls the body over

  • Both feet hit the wall with the feet facing slightly sidewards, with the swimmer on his back but ever so slightly angled to the side

  • The legs should be flexed at 90º to allow for a maximum drive off the wall

  • The push off from the wall should see the body about 1.5 feet deep making sure you push forward, not down or up

  • The arms should be squeezed against the ears, one hand on top of the other, fully extended, and the eyes should be looking straight down (NB: Don’t tuck the chin in)

  • Begin the kick slightly after the push away from the wall using 3 to 4 powerful Butterfly kicks and ascend to the surface with a flutter kick.

  • Begin the stroke after the body has reached the surface and not before

  • On a longer distance race it is recommended to breathe immediately after each turn but sprinters should keep the head down for one stroke after the turn

Common Mistakes

(1)    Throwing the legs straight over

(2)    Breathing into the approach    

(3)    Gliding into the turn 

(4)    Poor streamlining off the wall

(5)    Turning the body around at the wall and onto the front

Backcrawl Turns

  • From the flags learn to know exactly how many strokes to the wall before you turn

  • On the last stroke bring the arm over whilst turning over onto the front

  • At this point you basically complete a Frontcrawl turn but end up on your back

  • It is a slightly deeper underwater push off the wall with the body approximately 2 foot under the surface

  • The rules allow you to kick 15 metres underwater on the start & turn. Having a strong Butterfly kick is a huge advantage, but most swimmers will not kick this far. The danger is that fatigue may set in at the final part of the race

  • Again, make sure the body reaches the surface before you begin your first pull

Common Mistakes

(1)    Turning too early                             

(2)    Turning onto the front which will     

        lead to disqualification

(3)    Poor streamlining off the wall

(4)    Beginning the first armstroke when too deep under the surface.

Butterfly Turns

  • Approach the wall at speed and keep the head down on the last stroke

  • Both hands must touch the wall simultaneously, but keep the shoulders in line with the surface until the touch is made

  • Use a powerful kick on the last stroke, trying to touch the wall with the arms fully extended

  • On touching the wall, lean back keeping the head and chin as close to the surface. The legs are brought up under the body together and placed on the wall (pull the knees into the gut)

  • Flex the arms on the touch but avoid pulling the body into the wall, release one arm as quickly as possible and tuck into the side

  • The opposite arm releases from the wall in a high elbow manner close to the head, entering the water with as little splash as possible

  • Before the push the feet are facing sidewards approximately 50 cm under the water

  • Bring the arms and hands together and push off slightly down if doing a lot of fly kicks under and horizontally if doing fewer kicks off the wall (approx 1.5 feet under the surface)

Common Mistakes

(1)    Pulling the body too high out of the water

(2)    Turning the body onto the front before pushing off

(3)    Pushing off too near the surface of the water

(4)    Taking two breaths on the turn

Breaststroke Turns

  • The Breaststroke turn has the exact same approach and turn off the wall as in Butterfly

  • Push slightly down to a depth of approximately 2 feet

  • Drive off the wall, hold for a moment in a streamlined position, and begin the pull out

  • Keep the pull out narrow and drive the hands back to the legs. One dolphin kick may be executed during the pull out phase

  • Recover the arms in under the body and use a strong narrow kick and rise to the surface

  • The head must break the surface for a breath before the end of the outsweep of the first stroke

Common Mistakes

(1)    Pulling the body too high out of the water

(2)    Turning the body onto the front before pushing off

(3)    Pushing off too near the surface of the water

(4)    Taking two breaths on the turn

(5)    Using more than one Breaststroke kick during the pullout

(6)    Kicking Frontcrawl legs whilst pushing off

Individual Medley Turns

Butterfly to Backcrawl

  • This is the same as a regular Butterfly turn but on the push off you go from the side onto the back and use your Butterfly kick as normal

Breaststroke to Freestyle

  • Again this is the same as a Butterfly turn to a Backcrawl turn except on the push, where the body is on the front and use your normal freestyle kick

Backcrawl to Breaststroke

  • Normal touch turn

  • Somersault turn

  • Modified Naber turn


*These turns will be covered by the Coach to avoid any confusion

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