Set Of The Week: Transition Turns

Photo Courtesy: Josh Kuckens/ Bates College

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is an IM set that is focused on having consistent and fast transition turns. This is a great set to use with your mid-distance or stroke group in club, high school, or college swimming! Take a look below and see the set and read about it below:

3 x (4 x “25’s” mid-pool transitions)

Round 1: fly to back

Round 2: back to breast

Round 3: breast to free

3 x (4 x 50 build into transition turn on 1:00)

Round 1: 25 fly/25 back

Round 2: 25 back/25 breast

Round 3: 25 breast/25 free

8 x 100 IM on R20

→ focus on transition turns and the technical skills!

The set begins with 12 x 25’s from mid-pool, focusing on each transition turn in groups of four. This allows swimmers to have consistency with each turn at the beginning of the set, and also provides them to make corrections and changes from the feedback of your coaching staff. The focus at this point of the set is purely technical. With a large group, it may be helpful to have your swimmers continuously go one at a time while you provide feedback to those who need it.

Next, the swimmers move on to 12 x 50’s that are again focused on each transition turn in sets of four. This should be where they add a little bit of speed to their practice, building into the transition turn within each of the repeats to try and maintain their technical consistency with more effort. Finally, the set ends with 8 x 100 IM’s where they put it all together. This part of the set can be done with more rest to provide an opportunity for feedback or, conversely, could be done on an interval to challenge your swimmers to maintain fast turns with greater effort.

This is a great set to introduce IM work and the concept of transition turns to younger club swimmers or to incorporate as part of warm-up for older athletes. Regardless of the group it is used with, the emphasis should always be on focused efforts both in and out of the wall. Transitions between the strokes are just as important as the turns themselves, so make sure your swimmers are able to settle into “the feel” of each stroke as they move through their IM work. Happy swimming!

3 Comments

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Sue Brown

    Luke Brown

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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