Which Type of Crossover Turn is for YOU?

Woof – it almost feels like two lifetimes have passed since I wrote my last blog post. I’m happy to be back at it and ready to bring you all Part II of our series on Crossover Turns!

In today’s post, we will be dissecting which TYPE of Crossover Turn is for YOU. If you didn’t read Part I and learn all about the 3 styles of Crossover turns, I highly recommend doing that before reading this part.

Let’s get started!

There’s no doubt that adding in any type of spin on the wall – helps make a swimmers turn FASTER. The reason I’m so confident in saying this is because of Freestyle Flipturns. If an Open Turn was FASTER, we would all just do that for every stroke – but it’s not.

When we broke down the types of Crossover Turns, we found 3 main kinds: Backstroke Flipturn Modification, Top Arm Spin Turn, and a Bottom Arm Spin Turn. All of these types of turns have their own pros/cons between them – so how do you decide which is best for you?

Here’s a good place to start!

Ask yourself these 3 questions and write down whether it’s an immediate YES or NO in your answers:

1.) Is your Backstroke Stroke Count Consistent? (i.e. you can hit the wall well 9 out of 10 times, if you tried)?

2.) Are you a Natural Breaststroker? (i.e. is Breaststroke a strength of yours?)

3.) Are Pullouts YOUR JAM? (i.e. you understand the benefit of pullouts and maximize the use of them in your races?)

Three YES Answers:

If you answered, YES to all three of these questions– you should learn the Backstroke Flipturn Modification Turn (BFMT). This turn is the BEST turn for swimmers who are wanting to get to their highest level in the sport, and they specialize in Breaststroke + are consistent with their stroke count.

Two YES Answers:

If you answered, YES to just two of those questions – you should learn the Top Arm Spin Turn. This turn still gives you a leg up from the competition – but doesn’t put as MUCH emphasis on proper stroke count into the wall.

If you mess up your stroke count on a Backstroke Flipturn Modification Turn, the entire turn will be a train wreck. The stroke count component is really the KEY component of a great BFMT.

So until you get more confidence in your stroke count – you should start with the Top Arm Spin Turn and progress from there.

One YES Answer (or NONE):

If you answered, just one YES or NO to all the questions above – you should learn the Bottom Arm Spin Turn (or sometimes called a Touch & Go Turn) to help give you a little boost in speed through your Backstroke to Breaststroke turn, but not making anything too technical.

Look at lanes 3 and 5!

Let’s Work Together!

At SLAF, we offer different kinds of virtual coaching – whether you need help with Dryland or your own Swim Training, we have your back! Check out our virtual coaching packages below!

Teaching Order:

If I were to invert those answers above, that’s actually the order I would teach the Crossover Turns to my swimmers as well. Always start your youngest ones learning and comprehending how to do the Bottom Arm Spin Turn (ages 6-10). Then, as they get better at Breaststroke and Pullouts, progress them to the Top Arm Spin Turn (ages 10-14). And finally, teach your higher level kids the Backstroke Flipturn Modification Turn (14+). Obviously, there can be some variability in within those ages – but you get the picture.

Backstroke Flipturn Modification Turn Drill:

Also, if you’re in the transition between the Top Arm Spin Turn to a Backstroke Flipturn Modification Turn – this is my favorite drill. I use this drill all the time to help teach my swimmers how to do a proper BFMT! Enjoy!

Also, be sure to stay tuned for next week, where we discuss the difference in push-offs from each of these 3 turns!

Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish

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