At The Race Club we see swimmers of all ages and ability levels. In this backstroke start video Race Club head coach Devin Murphy teaches 11 year old swimmer Layne use the backstroke bar.
Layne begins her backstroke start like a lot of young swimmers using the gutter. This is often taught to younger swimmers who don't yet have the strength to pull themselves up. One of Layne's goals was to learn to utilize the backstroke bar. Coach Devin teaches Layne how to place her feet properly on the backstroke wedge. Layne also learns how to engage the ready position.
We often allow our younger swimmers to pull in slightly closer to the block until they develop upper body strength. Layne like most beginners had difficulty using her leg strength to push up and off of the wall. In order to build her confidence we practiced a dryland drill that helped Layne with the athletic movement necessary for a good backstroke start.
We also like to use a swim drill for the backstroke start that is demonstrated by Olympic hopeful Amy Bilquist. She has her feet high in the water utilizing the backstroke wedge and is able to get an amazing arch in her spine. As Amy leaves the blocks she throws the head and hands back and clears the surface of the water and enters cleanly.
We hope you enjoyed this 3 part video series on the backstroke start that features most every level of Athlete. We take a slightly different approach with each Athlete.