Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That Turn!

Remember back in the day when we used to have to touch the wall during the backstroke flip turn?  I like to tell my swimmers how lucky they are that they never had to do that.  It was so much slower than what we do now that Mark Tewksbury broke the world record 53 seconds after FINA signed the paperwork saying we can just go ahead and flip without staying on our backs until we touch the wall with our hand.  (Of course, we were allowed to stand on the gutter back then for the back start so I guess we didn't have it so bad.)

Lately we have all seen the bucket turn and the crossover-touch turn coming back with some top notch IM'ers for the transition from back to breast...  my swimmers always comment on it when they see it and we spend a little time practicing it, but the cross-over is really only worth the time for the absurdity because the kids take forever to get it even when I demonstrate.  (Or maybe, because I demonstrate.) It's like watching a blooper reel.  Of course, it is probably not fast enough to justify skipping the open turn or even the standard back flip anyway, right?  I mean, we were pretty good at it back in the early 90's but it was really just a fancy way to go just about the same speed as the open turn...

Then again, none of us were quite the level of athlete Ryan Lochte is.  Watch him break that SCM 100 IM record.  Sorry that the video is a little blurry, but at about 3:29 on the video you will see the greatest back to breast transition ever.  Yes, it is even better than the one Phelps did in London that made you nearly burn up your DVR remote when you re-watched it so many times.  Did he really even touch that wall?

Go ahead... watch it again.

and again.

and again.

And now show it to your swimmers so they can waste a half hour of practice time trying to figure out how in the hell he did that.


  1. It's a bucket turn. It's not that hard but, the one he did was good!!:)

  2. It's not a bucket turn, thats the one where you finish as a backstroker and do a reverse flip, this is the crossover turn or the old-school touch/turn from the 80s.

    You are right, the bucket turn is not hard, but in terms of oxygen and effort, not nearly as efficient as the turn Lochte did. This turn is easy to learn, hard to perfect. What he did is poetry in motion, everything went right on this turn.