3. Approaching the Wall

Video Transcription: So As far as the Approach is concerned, there’s a couple things you want to do when you’re thinking about an Approach as you’re coming into the wall. The first one is you must know your stroke count. This isn’t as heavily Coached and preached as your stroke count in a Backstroke Flip Turn, but you really should know your stroke count from either Flags to wall or that color change in the lane line or from T to wall. Whatever makes sense to you. For the most part, it’s probably like two or three, but for some of y’all who are younger or Coaching younger Swimmers, you’re going to see higher counts than three. 

As you’re coming into the wall, you really want to make sure you’re dropping your chin down. You start initiating the Flip and you start submerging the head and upper back. That way you already kind of start the Flip itself as you’re finishing the Approach step. You want to finish this step with both hands at your side with straight arms, continuing to kick yourself through to the wall, until your feet hit the wall. You shouldn’t see a stop in your legs, which is what’s in this video and you don’t want to lift your head up, which is one of the most common mistakes on Freestyle Flip Turns. 

You’ll see here. I’m coming into the wall. Right as I transition to this last stroke, you see my goggles peek forward because I’m double checking where I’m at. You also see that my legs have effectively stopped kicking. Two out of the four things that I’ve stated that help you carry your speed into the wall, I’m not doing on this Turn. From there as you finish that last stroke, you do want to drive the head down, which you see a little bit of that happening at the very end of that last stroke. My head starts to push down through the water surface, but I don’t tuck my chin. So, it’s important to make sure that you understand where you are in the pool. That starts with knowing your count. You want to drop your chin down on that last full stroke. You want to finish both of those Strokes with your hands totally at your side while you continue kicking yourself towards the wall. 

For eyes, it’s best to place your eyes looking at the T at the bottom of the pool versus the cross that’s on the wall.