Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Crossover Turn for Back-to-Breast in IM's - Everyone should be doing this turn!

I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed this, but in the Women's 400m IM at the FINA World Championships I noticed a huge advantage to performing the crossover turn for the Back-to-Breast turn.  World record holder, Stephanie Rice (AUS) had a nearly 3/4 body length lead over Elizabeth Beisel (USA) going into the turn at the back/breast transition.  Rice did the traditional open turn while Beisel performed the crossover.  The difference was astounding, and they left the wall at the same time.  With the momentum of the turn, Beisel went on to pull away in the breaststroke and free and take the gold in the race.  Check it out the video below, there is a great shot of the back-to-breast turns from underwater:

I learned the crossover turn, as a swimmer, over 20 years ago (for the purposes of Back-to-Back turns), and, as a coach, I have tried to teach it to swimmers every season, with limited success.  However, after watching the above race, I believe it has to taught...to every swimmer.

The turn is not as easy to learn as some of the other tumble turns, but it is obviously a technique that, when mastered, is superior to open turns.  In an effort to find better ways to teach the crossover, I have stumbled across two great videos.  First, on YouTube:

The breakdown of each part of the turn is meticulously outlined.  All in all a great video.

The 2nd video is a GoSwim.tv DVD "Teaching Progressions with Steve Haufler".  The entire video is filled with amazing progressions for teaching young swimmers skills and turns for all strokes.  One of the progressions is for the crossover turn.  I recommend the entire DVD; it is a must for all club coaches.

The bottom line is that if we are not teaching our swimmers this turn we are holding them back.  Even Michael Phelps has started doing it (I think he was inspired to master it when Ryan Lochte started challenging him).  Check out the videos...let me know what you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment