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Blueprint for Turns and Starts

Blueprint for Turns and Starts

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A scientific approach to teaching and training fast, efficient turns for any stroke
  • Master the 7 parts of the turn by learning how to develop each and how to put them together to create faster turns
  • Improve turns by using muscles from the inside out - not the outside in - to maximize power, speed and quickness off the walls
  • Learn drills that help swimmers manage drag forces, rotational forces, biomechanics, breath control, drive line, underwater harmonics (dolphin), and much more

with Matt Kredich,
University of Tennessee Head Swimming & Diving Coach (men and women);
2x SEC Women's Coach of the Year;
coach of 2x Olympic Silver Medalist, Christine Magnuson

and Bill Boomer,
University of Tennessee Assistant Coach; 2000 US Olympic Team Assistant Coach;
Pioneer of balanced swimming (using core muscles to minimize water resistance) with more than 50 years coaching experience

Bill Boomer is a revolutionary figure in the sport of swimming, who has incredible insights into how people swim and the best way to get them to move faster. He developed the language of Posture Line and Balance that is so instrumental in teaching correct movements in the water. After 50 plus years of coaching he continues to build on his own ideas and terminology while looking ahead to the future of swimming.

Swimming has evolved from a surface event to an underwater event. Learn how to take advantage of the fastest part of each swim and increase velocity without scarifying energy.

This program is revolutionizing the way elite athletes are understanding the sport and taking it to the next level.

Matt Kedrich and Bill Boomer provide an in-depth look at starts, turns, and underwater swimming referred to as harmonics. Then they take their top athletes through the drill progressions they are using to build the fastest, most efficient turns and starts.

Importance of the Turn

Elite swimmers are maximizing the underwater portion of their swims - causing the turns to account for up to 60-70% of a short course race. It is no longer enough to have a vague plan to "spend some more time on turn work." Coaches need to incorporate turn work into every practice. Learn how to do that in a way that benefits surface swimming, rather than competing with it.

Seven Parts of the Turn

This video breaks starts and turns down into basic parts and uses skill development to strengthen each part before putting them all back together for a great start or turn. Using some science and some art, Kredich and Boomer breaks down each part to define what each should look like and why it looks like that before introducing some skills to show you and teach you what to do.

  1. The Approach - Swimmers learn how to line their body up during the approach to the wall to minimize drag and maximize momentum into the wall. They perform drills to learn to use the competing pressures of gravity and buoyancy to find their own natural float layer. Drills also build breath control - purposeful exhalation - and comfort at various underwater depths. By taking speed into the right depth of water, they are set up for the next step.
  2. The Rotation - One of the biggest mistakes in the rotation of the forward turn is the athlete's taking theirs heads down and too deep. With a special somersault drills progression Kedrich and Boomer help swimmers understand how body position can make or break a good rotation. Coaches learn what to expect when they introduce the drills, and how to help the athletes make natural corrections that lead to greater speed and less resistance.
  3. The Landing - Coach Boomer teaches the body position on the wall through what he calls the force line and the power triangle. Classroom instruction with help from classic drawings by the great Milt Nelms help coaches and swimmers visualize the importance of a great power triangle on the landing of a turn.
  4. The Jump - From a strong landing, swimmers learn to use their glutes to power the jump while their abs control the motion - drive with your butt, manage with your gut - for power that holds a good body line to create maximum propulsion. Drills like Target Bobs provide swimmers with instant feedback and allow coaches to make corrections swimmers can feel and incorporate quickly.
  5. The Flight - It is important to have balance as you are moving forward as the body is fighting buoyancy and gravity. If everything has been done correctly to this point, the swimmer can ride the good body line they have developed by holding core tension and controlling buoyancy.
  6. Subsurface Travel - Boomer and Kedrich explain why they call underwater dolphining harmonic, and share drills to help swimmers find their own maximum harmonic motion.
  7. Transition - More than just a "breakout" - they share tips for making the transition from underwater to surface swimming as smooth and efficient as possible.


Boomer and Kedrich cover forward starts - including a discussion of how and why swimmers develop their own approach to the blocks, and why the same swimmer may approach the blocks differently for different races. They demonstrate the keys to getting a stable set up and perfect entry. Coach Boomer uses the kneeling start on a kick board to teach the athletes about sighting their entry, pointing to their entry and having their legs move to the line all before the entry.

They address backstroke starts and relay starts. Boomer urges swimmers to think about "winning the exit" or focusing on building maximum momentum and distance in minimum time - as the way to evaluate a great racing start.

Kedrich and Boomer are natural teachers who use every kind of audio-visual tool at their disposals to help swimmers understand how to perform every skill with precision. Boomer's special vocabulary, developed over 50 years of studying and teaching swimming, helps make important scientific concepts easy to understand. Coaches come away with verbal and visual cues they can use to diagnose and correct start and turn flaws and reinforce important concepts.

Starts and Turns are not afterthoughts anymore. This video takes underwater swimming front and center right where elite swimmers need it to be.

347 minutes (3 Videos). 2016.