Coaching Age Group Swimmers the Crossover Turn can be a challenging process. It’s not a turn that’s “intuitive,” plus it’s been constantly evolving over the past few decades. That means it’s important for us coaches to stay up to date on the fastest way to get from Backstroke to Breaststroke AND the best way to teach it to our swimmers. Today, I’m going to give you 3 Steps to Coaching Age Group Swimmers the Crossover Turn!
Let’s Get Started…
But First… Are you an ASCA Member?
Hey Coaches! Are you an ASCA Member? I’ll be giving an ASCA Live Talk on July 18th at 1 PM EST! The talk will be going even more in depth on the How of Coaching Age Group Swimmers the Crossover Turn. Register HERE!
Step 1: Take the Pressure Off and Work On the Lane Line
The #1 problem that comes up when Coaching Age Group Swimmers the Crossover Turn is FEAR! This makes sense, as we’re essentially asking swimmers to go full speed ahead into the wall while not being able to see. That’s why it’s best to get the technique DOWN in the middle of the pool before ever moving on and trying to turn on the wall.
Step 1 is to have swimmers start swimming on their back, hovering close to the lane line. Instruct them to take 1 stroke, 2 strokes, then reach for the lane line with their right hand or whatever the preferred arm is that they’d like to touch the wall on. Normally the easiest way to figuring this out is going with what a swimmer’s dominant arm is and using that arm.
As they’re reaching with their preferred hand, they’ll naturally start to turn onto their side. Coach swimmers to turn on their sides as they make contact with the lane line, then PULL. My swimmers always love this because usually we are yelling at them for pulling on the lane line. In this drill, it’s actually the point!
Step 2: Add The Flip
For Step 2, swimmers are going to still be using the lane line. This time, they’ll be working perpendicular with the lane line rather than swimming along it parallel like in the first drill. Watch it HERE!
1.) Take your preferred arm up over your head and hold onto the lane line. You will start this drill on your back and eventually, roll more onto your side.
2.) From there, drive your head down and forward – towards the arm that’s at your side or the open armpit. This will help you learn the spin portion of the turn.
3.) Flip as FAST 💨 as you can and allow your legs to roll over your head!
4.). If you’ve done this drill correctly, your knees should be right over the lane line when you land!
Step 3: Head to the Wall… SLOWLY
Finally, it’s time to take the Age Grouper’s Crossover Turn to the wall! First, show them this video and ask them to identify which is the correct technique to use. When they understand the technique, and have practiced it in the middle of the pool, they should practice on the wall. We encourage swimmers to start this process slowly. You can see in this video that the swimmer has an extended stroke then kick into the wall. That shouldn’t always be the case, but it should be used to build up confidence in your swimmers.
Crossover Turns for Age Group Swimmers Don’t Have to Be So Scary!
That’s it! Follow these 3 easy steps, and watch as your swimmer’s confidence grows. Don’t forget to review how swimmers should choose which type of Crossover Turn is BEST for them, and direct swimmers on how to make the most of their pullout AFTER their turn.
Until next time,
Abbie Fish and the Swim Like A. Fish Team