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Wednesday – breakout technique and sharpen up

Moving to our last session before the ACAMIS swim meet, even though swimmers are tapering off with a decrease in volume and heavy training work, there is still a need to keep the swimmers fresh and sharp. To do this, we can focus on some mechanics that complement high end speed in order to get every bit of speed into the race. Specifically, we focus on breakout speed from both the start and turn, combing this with some 15 to 25m high speed efforts.

I particularly like the drill below, where swimmers really work on there kick before commencing that first stroke in freestyle. The key is to have swimmers ensure that they breakout before they lose speed. The fastest that swimmers move through the water in a race is when they enter the water from a dive and push off the wall from a turn. Maintaining momentum through holding speed is crucial to fast swim times.

The above freestyle breakout drill can also be performed in backstroke, though I am thinking of introducing our swimmers to the Tennessee backstroke breakout drill, shown in the video below.

With the start work, we will have swimmers sprinting for 15-25 metres. For the turn breakouts, we start swimmers 10 metres out from the wall and have them sprinting into the wall and then having them work hard for 15 metres coming out of the wall.

Have fun experimenting with these breakouts but remind swimmers that it is not enough to have a beautiful underwater dolphin kick if it loses time versus speed that is maintained on the surface of the water. Get the swimmers to determine the threshold point for where they need to hit the surface.

Richard Bruford View All

Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology.

With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools.

Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin.

In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)

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