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FireRox21
March 8th, 2010, 07:57 PM
I have officially given up trying to do a flip turn on my 50 Back. I was DQ'd this past weekend as I tried to turn over, flip and push off. I DQ'd because my feet couldn't find the wall and I just kinda floated there for a second, did a double arm pull, and went on my merry way. This has occurred at every meet so far, and I'm over it.

I noticed a lot of folks were doing open turns for their backstroke. I tried to find some videos online to show this, but I couldn't. Can someone explain to me how to properly perform an open turn for backstroke? I can do the back-to-breast turn just fine, so I'm guessing that back-to-back is kinda the same, except instead of pushing off on your belly, you push off on your back.

I have a lot of problems judging distance (always have, even as a kid...I used to run into a lot of walls when I figure skated), and this seems to have been the problem with swimming as well. Thanks ahead for any advice.

Lump
March 8th, 2010, 08:29 PM
All it takes is practice (like anything). Has anyone told you how to count your strokes into the wall? Its just like doing a freestyle flipturn (with the added twist from your back to stomach).

Once you know how many strokes it takes from the flags to the wall, do some 100's back from mid-pool to work on turns. Don't give up though!

Karl_S
March 8th, 2010, 09:00 PM
Before the requirement that a hand touch the wall on every backstroke turn was removed, we used to do a "pivot turn." It is actually quite quick if done properly. There appears to be a video of one on sportplan.net, but I can't make the video work. There is a terse description of one there.

I agree with Lump though, don't give up on the current backstroke turn. I cut 10 s of my 200 back repeats in practice in one week when I learned the turn. Read Ande's SFF tip on turn cues:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

orca1946
March 9th, 2010, 12:33 PM
Some one needs to help you ! Can you do regular free flips ?
If you can then it is your stroke count. If it is 5 to the wall from the flags , then on 3 you should roll over & take 1 more last pull thru.
Try it & tell us how you do .

knelson
March 9th, 2010, 12:42 PM
Can someone explain to me how to properly perform an open turn for backstroke? I can do the back-to-breast turn just fine, so I'm guessing that back-to-back is kinda the same, except instead of pushing off on your belly, you push off on your back.

That's really all there is to it. One thing to keep in mind is that you must touch the wall on your back and you must leave the wall on your back, but in between those two events you can do whatever you want. So don't worry if you turn over toward your stomach after you've touched the wall. It's faster if you just pivot around and remain on your back, but you won't be DQed if you turn over.

fritznh
March 9th, 2010, 12:49 PM
I have officially given up trying to do a flip turn on my 50 Back. I was DQ'd this past weekend as I tried to turn over, flip and push off. I DQ'd because my feet couldn't find the wall and I just kinda floated there for a second, did a double arm pull, and went on my merry way. This has occurred at every meet so far, and I'm over it.

I noticed a lot of folks were doing open turns for their backstroke. I tried to find some videos online to show this, but I couldn't. Can someone explain to me how to properly perform an open turn for backstroke? I can do the back-to-breast turn just fine, so I'm guessing that back-to-back is kinda the same, except instead of pushing off on your belly, you push off on your back.

I have a lot of problems judging distance (always have, even as a kid...I used to run into a lot of walls when I figure skated), and this seems to have been the problem with swimming as well. Thanks ahead for any advice.

I don't know if there is much you can do about depth perception, but you can get your stroke count from the flags in. That distance to the wall is always the same. That's the good news. The bad news, of course, is that your distance per stroke is probably not the same in a race as it is in practice -- you're tired, or fresh, or wearing a different suit or ...

So to get a race speed turn down, practice the turn at race speed so you get a feel for it. I'd suggest at least one practice per week for a while before the meet (at least six weeks to two months) that you devote time to recreating the conditions under which you've got to turn. Warm up like you'd do at the meet, then do a set of 25 backstrokes at full speed. Play with the stroke count (3, 3.5, 4, etc.) and then when you've found the right count, practice that turn at full speed. When you get tired, you can try fins to generate some additional speed. The idea is that you want to get used to the distance and timing of a full out turn.

I've done (and had my swimmers do) Ethan Hawke's sprint set. It is not a lot of yards, but if done properly it is *hard*. It goes like this:

4 x 50
1. 20 all out from block/ 30 easy on 1:30 (work start)
2. 30 all out from push/ 20 easy on 1:30 (work turn)
3. 50 easy on 2:00 to 2:30 (pulse back down under 100)
4. 50 from blocks all out for time.

and we do a couple of cycles through that, holding the same stroke through each round of the set. With SDK's this set is really exhausting for backstroke. The Auburn guys do this set and produce 19's in practice on the last one for freestyle -- truly amazing swimming and extremely impressive. I think there is a video on the Auburn web site of the practice.

Best of luck...

Ahelee Sue Osborn
March 9th, 2010, 12:51 PM
I have officially given up trying to do a flip turn on my 50 Back. I was DQ'd this past weekend as I tried to turn over, flip and push off. I DQ'd because my feet couldn't find the wall and I just kinda floated there for a second, did a double arm pull, and went on my merry way. This has occurred at every meet so far, and I'm over it.
Thanks ahead for any advice.

Jen -
Can you make a trip to Thousand Oaks for one of my workouts?
Connect with Jinxi and carpool up here.
Or grab me at a meet - I'm at almost all of them.
I'll show ya how to do a backstroke turn - in person!

knelson
March 9th, 2010, 01:23 PM
I've done (and had my swimmers do) Ethan Hawke's sprint set.

Not sure Ethan Hawke does much coaching, but Brett Hawke does. :)

nkfrench
March 9th, 2010, 03:56 PM
I never have mastered counting strokes for backstroke turns. Too much to think about, I guess. I start the turn when my toes are inside the flags.

The really weird part about it is that when I drive to the pool, I have to count FREEWAY LANES to figure out if I'm in the correct lane to take my exit. I can't sight it even though I've swum at that pool since 1991. It has to be the 4th lane out of 6 or 7. :confused:

fritznh
March 9th, 2010, 11:15 PM
Not sure Ethan Hawke does much coaching, but Brett Hawke does. :)

Doh!

Right you are -- I would bet that Brett swims a lot faster than Ethan as well!

FireRox21
March 10th, 2010, 01:40 AM
Thanks for all of the advice folks! I think what makes a big impact for me is that I practice in a pool that does not have flags. It's a pool inside a gym. I use my peripheral vision to note the lane line color change in order to anticipate my turn. I played around with my turns today, as it was backstroke day, so I had a good number figured out as to not crash into the wall.

But as someone else mentioned, I forget all about counting my strokes when it comes to a race. It's like my brain just shuts off that part and only focuses on the go fast part.

Oh, and Ashlee, Thousand Oaks is a bit far for me, but if you could PM me with some info as to carpooling, I would love to attend!!!!

art_z
March 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
I don't know if there is much you can do about depth perception, but you can get your stroke count from the flags in. That distance to the wall is always the same.

I thought that Yards and Meters meets are different for the distance to the wall from the flags?

Chris Stevenson
March 11th, 2010, 11:37 AM
I thought that Yards and Meters meets are different for the distance to the wall from the flags?

You are right: 5 yards for SCY, 5 meters for SCM and LCM.

fritznh
March 13th, 2010, 02:03 PM
Sorry, haven't checked back in a few days.

You guys are right on target, it's five yards for short course, five meters for long course. Messes me up for a couple of weeks when we switch the pool from short to long course (25y x 25m facility). But those are the standard distances.

When I was an age grouper, I'd judge the turn by how high the flags were which, looking back, was not a very good way to do it. The angle will vary based on the lane you're in, but the distance to the wall when the flag is over your head is the same unless they've messed something up.

If you don't have flags, you're going to have trouble, though. If you have something you can use as a reference, start a count when you pass it. But do this every backstroke turn, every time you do it. Once you have that as a habit, you won't need to think about it in your race because it will be automatic. Then, when you're in a pool with flags, use them as your reference, but you're already in the habit of starting your count, that will be automatic.

Best of luck

orca1946
March 13th, 2010, 03:07 PM
NO FLAGS is a problem for counting , as we said. You could put a kick board close to the edge of an outside lane to help at 5 yards.

fritznh
March 13th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Agreed, no flags is a problem. But I'd maintain that getting in the habit of counting your strokes in from a reference is as important. I'd think it would be easier to change your reference queue than it would be to develop the habit of counting once you are at a meet...

funkyfish
March 13th, 2010, 03:19 PM
We don't have flags where I swim, unfortunately. I wind up using the ladder at the side of the pool to tell me when to turn. When I see the ladder it's time to turn over. It's not 100%, and there are some times when I misjudge either too far or too short, but it works most of the time and I get to practice turns.
:banana:

Chris Lowe
March 13th, 2010, 06:39 PM
Don't forget the lane lines typically change to a solid color at the 5 yd/m mark. And unless you are outside (lucky bastidge!), you can also establish markers on the ceiling. Finally, as we learned in flight school, one peak is worth a thousand calculations. Extend and arch and look for the wall/blocks/scoreboards, then roll, stroke and FLIP.

knelson
March 13th, 2010, 07:11 PM
but the distance to the wall when the flag is over your head is the same unless they've messed something up.

Or you're at an outdoor meet and it's windy. The catenary distance can be pretty significant in the middle lanes!

Chris Stevenson
March 15th, 2010, 10:16 AM
The catenary distance can be pretty significant...

You were just looking for an excuse to use "catenary" in a sentence, weren't you. :)

ande
March 15th, 2010, 10:23 AM
Ethan Hawke or Brett?
http://auburntigers.cstv.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/c-swim-coaches.html



I don't know if there is much you can do about depth perception, but you can get your stroke count from the flags in. That distance to the wall is always the same. That's the good news. The bad news, of course, is that your distance per stroke is probably not the same in a race as it is in practice -- you're tired, or fresh, or wearing a different suit or ...

So to get a race speed turn down, practice the turn at race speed so you get a feel for it. I'd suggest at least one practice per week for a while before the meet (at least six weeks to two months) that you devote time to recreating the conditions under which you've got to turn. Warm up like you'd do at the meet, then do a set of 25 backstrokes at full speed. Play with the stroke count (3, 3.5, 4, etc.) and then when you've found the right count, practice that turn at full speed. When you get tired, you can try fins to generate some additional speed. The idea is that you want to get used to the distance and timing of a full out turn.

I've done (and had my swimmers do) Ethan Hawke's sprint set. It is not a lot of yards, but if done properly it is *hard*. It goes like this:

4 x 50
1. 20 all out from block/ 30 easy on 1:30 (work start)
2. 30 all out from push/ 20 easy on 1:30 (work turn)
3. 50 easy on 2:00 to 2:30 (pulse back down under 100)
4. 50 from blocks all out for time.

and we do a couple of cycles through that, holding the same stroke through each round of the set. With SDK's this set is really exhausting for backstroke. The Auburn guys do this set and produce 19's in practice on the last one for freestyle -- truly amazing swimming and extremely impressive. I think there is a video on the Auburn web site of the practice.

Best of luck...

knelson
March 15th, 2010, 10:39 AM
You were just looking for an excuse to use "catenary" in a sentence, weren't you. :)

Surprisingly a search shows the word "catenary" has been used in two other threads! I think at least one other usage was in reference to measuring a pool using a steel tape.

fritznh
March 15th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Hey Ande: Yep, it was Brett, who swims fast, not Ethan, who doesn't. How's that, for extra commas, eh? :)

Mr. Nelson, I was also under the impression that the catenary curve is the solution to a cable hanging under its own weight uniformly. It is ideal, but a real wind load outside wouldn't give rise to a catenary solution, it would just flap around like a cable in a stiff breeze, complete with vibratory modes from the supports. I believe mathematicians call that the TTCAE or "time to call an engineer" solution. But perhaps I've forgotten my statics and vibrations classes, they get fuzzy after so many years.

It was a superb use of catenary, though.

That Guy
March 16th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Ethan Hawke did some swimming in the movie Gattaca. I don't remember him being particularly fast though.

Karl_S
September 7th, 2010, 08:27 PM
Before the requirement that a hand touch the wall on every backstroke turn was removed, we used to do a "pivot turn." It is actually quite quick if done properly. There appears to be a video of one on sportplan.net, but I can't make the video work. There is a terse description of one there.


Hey, I know this is an old thread, but I just ran across a video of the pivot turn. It's the very last turn shown in this video:
YouTube- Swimming Faster Series - Turns for all Strokes

gdanner
September 9th, 2010, 08:50 AM
Hey, I know this is an old thread, but I just ran across a video of the pivot turn. It's the very last turn shown in this video:
YouTube- Swimming Faster Series - Turns for all Strokes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU-z6Nc4uHQ&feature=grec_browse)

and in action: YouTube - 1984 Olympic Men's 100m Backstroke final - Rick Carey

FireRox21
September 11th, 2010, 04:26 AM
Wow, I didn't realize how old this thread was! Thanks for the video. I've been working pretty hard on my turns this summer. Finally started counting strokes and have done really well getting the flip turn down.

Karl_S
September 11th, 2010, 01:35 PM
Finally started counting strokes and have done really well getting the flip turn down.
Great! Keep up the good work. BTW, keep in mind that the stroke count and DPS can be quite different at race pace, so if you intend to race backstroke, practice *plenty* of race-pace turns in practice.

evilwatersprite
September 28th, 2010, 11:47 AM
I "retired" before the advent of the backstroke flip turn. I learned it by watching Natalie Coughlin's NCAA underwaters over and over on my DVR.

On the rare occasions that I compete, I spend the last week or two leading up to the meet swimming back at race pace and making sure I only take 1 stroke to get myself over and none after I'm on my stomach. It worked the first time I raced Masters -- I swam every distance of back and didn't get DQ'd.

Now that I'm working out with a team again, I've been focusing on doing legal turns ALL the time.