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by Author Unknown

January 4, 1993

Drills for groups


~All drills require two to five swimmers of equal or near-equal ability
~The length of the drill may be varied; time allocations are suggestions
~All build a sense of teamwork and cooperation in swimmers
~Warmup may be added before beginning the first drill

DRILL # 1: "CATCH UP" (2 swimmers per lane)

Description: Two swimmers of near-equal ability start swimming freeestyle simultaneously from opposite ends of the pool. Both swim continuously (circles or sides) until one swimmer catches the other. Finish out the length together. Then, the swimmer who has been caught must swim one length of butterfly as a "punishment" lap, and the winner takes a "rewarding" rest. This will again place swimmers at opposite ends of the pool. Begin again simultaneously after thirty seconds rest. Length of drill: 15 minutes.

"L.A. FREEWAY" (3-5 swimmers per lane)

Description: Swimmers push off three to four seconds apart swimming slowly and circling counterclockwise. The last swimmer to push off will sprint past the swimmers ahead of him/her by swimming on the left side of the lane. The swimmers' speeds should be such that the sprinter reaches the opposite end of the pool and flip turns just ahead of the "train" of slower swimmers. At that point, the sprinter slows down and takes the lead for the next length. The swimmer at the rear is in the sprinting position. With four swimmers per lane, each will sprint one out of every four lengths. Continue the rotation for 15 minutes.


Description: Divide swimmers into pairs, placing together swimmers of near-equal kicking ability. Swimmers go to middle of the pool and face each other standing roughly six feet apart. A kick board is placed between the swimmers and both grab, with arms extended, the near end of the board. At the starting signal, both swimmers begin kicking at top speed. The objective is to move yourself forward or to push your partner backwards. Kick for :30, rest for :30. Do ten times. After each :30 kick, return to middle of pool, or reverse positions. For variety, change style of kick - both swimmers should do the same kick.


Description: Once again, swimmers should be placed in pairs. Both swimmers place a pull buoy between their legs. Swimmer A pushes off the wall easily and Swimmer B grabs ankles of "A." Swimmer A will "pull" Swimmer B a length of the pool. Swimmer A strokes freestyle for a length while "B" is simply pulled along. Change positions after a length. Continue for 10 minutes.


Description: This drill works best with three swimmers per lane. Swimmer A pushes off and sprints 50 yards (two lengths). Swimmer B pushes off five seconds after "A" and swims at an easy-to-moderate pace. Swimmer C waits at the wall (rests).

When Swimmer A completes the 50 sprint, Swimmer C (resting swimmer) pushes off for a sprint 50. Swimmer A moves to the second position, pushing off five seconds behind the lead swimmer. Swimmer B rests on the wall.

The same rotation occurs when Swimmer C finishes the 50 yard sprint. The resting swimmer sprints in the lead position, followed by the swimmer who just finished the sprint, and the remaining swimmer rests on the wall.

The rule to remember is first goes fast, second swims easy, third rests, and rotate first to second to third to first. Continue rotation for 15 minutes.


Description: This drill works ideally with three to four swimmers per lane. It requires a high degree of concentration and awareness. Mistakes prove costly!

Swimmers push off the wall at 10 to 15 second intervals in order to space out swimmers equidistantly. All swimmers at all times will swim directly down the middle of the lane. On odd-numbered lengths, swim freestyle. On even-numbered lengths, swim breaststroke, submerging underwater to avoid an oncoming freestyler. Once you have swum under the freestyler, return to the surface to swim breaststroke or stay underwater to avoid the next oncoming freestyler.

Be careful on your freestyle to begin each length by pushing off on the surface so that any oncoming breaststroker may swim underneath you.

Just remember the rule-of-thumb: Going down, swim freestyle on the surface. Returning, swim breaststroke and submerge to avoid the freestylers.

For a more advanced version of the drill, replace freestyle with backstroke.

Do continuously for 10 minutes.


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