When working on flip turns with junior swimmers it is important that we do not make the turn too complicated to begin with, so that the basic movement patterns are in place and the swimmers can get a good push off. I break the turn down into 3 distinct phases:
- Entry to the turn – the final arms stroke commences the turn, so that the swimmer’s head follows the arm over into the turn. The head the comes through in a tight turn by looking towards the belly button.
- Foot plant – we want swimmers to have their knees at a 90 degree angle for the best possible push-off. Less than 90, the swimmer is too close and will waste unnecessary time on the wall, slowing them down overall. Beyond 90 degrees, the swimmer cannot maximise the force needed for propulsion off the wall. The better the push-off the more speed the swimmer has to commence the stroke.
- Exit from the turn – swimmers need to have their arms in the extended streamline position before pushing off if they wish to maximise speed. Try to not breathe on the first stroke.
photo credit: Sum_of_Marc 50m Freestyle, Heat 6 – London 2012 Olympics Swimming via photopin (license)
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)