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Ray Looze, Indiana University Head Women’s Swim Coach and the Coach of 5 Big Ten Championships, presents a great demonstration of a Backstroke finish with two of his All-American athletes. The common element in a great finish is to continue kicking until you reach the wall.
The first athlete finishes with a dolphin kick on her last stroke into the wall. This allows an athlete to get one more push for the wall and can mean the difference between taking first or second. The second athlete continues to flutter kick all the way to the wall. Coach Looze explains that one of the common errors in finishing is not keeping your kick going all the way until you actually touch the wall.
Ohio State Head Men’s Swimming Coach, Bill Wadley, teaches youth swimmers techniques of the backstroke turn. They will learn to try to take a last breath before rolling over to their stomach to begin the turn. This drill emphasizes rolling over without pausing for that last breath, which will break up the necessary rhythm and speed of the turn.
Each athlete has to decide a direction they will turn by which side they feel more comfortable turning toward.