Swim Drill Of The Week: Tombstone Swimming


Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can 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), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill progression is Tombstone Swimming, a great drill for your 8 & under or beginning swimmers that works on rotation in freestyle. To perform the drill you will need a kickboard that will be placed between the legs with the rounded end facing the sky (like a tombstone).

The object of the drill is to swim down the length of the pool while holding the kickboard between your legs, hitting the kickboard with your hand at the end of each stroke before starting the recovery phase. This will force your swimmers to exaggerate their rotation with each stroke and rotate from their hips in order to put the kickboard at the right angle to hit it with their hand.

Make sure your athletes are rotating from side to side to hit the kickboard, as opposed to wiggling down the pool or reaching back and doing a side crunch to touch the kickboard. Doing this drill after some drills that work on sustained side balancing (such as 6 kick switch) will help get your swimmers in the right frame of mind to rotate correctly with this drill. 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.