FINIS Tip Of The Week: Spin Drill


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Welcome to the “FINIS Tip of the Week.” Swimming World will be bringing you a topic that we’ll explore with drills and concepts for you to implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), each tip is meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s tip looks at one of the best backstroke drills to get to practice high tempo: spin drill. This is a great drill to use with any backstroker to teach them how to move quickly through the recovery phase of their stroke and start each stroke with a strong catch.

This drill puts swimmers in a poor body position as a means to work on ripping through the water at a high tempo. Have your swimmers “sit up” in the water with their head out of the water and looking toward their feet and will move their arms as fast as they can for about 4-5 stroke cycles, or about 12.5 yards. While their hips will be dragging through the water, the focus on the drill is on getting as high an arm tempo as possible.

This drill is not about subtly — encourage your swimmers to enter the water as fast and aggressive as possible on each cycle. The focus is not necessarily on technique, but more on speed and generating power quickly.

This drill is a great reminder to accelerate into your catch at the end of the recovery phase and maintaining tempo and power from stroke to stroke. When they transition back to a correct body position, they will have a better awareness of their tempo and how they are accelerating into their catch. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.