Connect each part of the backstroke with easy-to-follow drills that result in a smooth, flowing, powerful stroke!
- Establish a still head and correct a "bouncy" stroke or dropped hips by staying connected from catch hand to opposite foot
- Learn to maximize underwater dolphin kicks with strong follow-throughs to keep ideal body alignment
- Get drills that train for minimal water dispersal on entry and eliminate unnecessary body motion into the wall for a fast finish
with Kate Lundsten,
Aquajets Swim Team Head Coach (a USA Swimming 'Gold Medal' Club);
Head Women's Coach for Team USA at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships; has coached many swimmers to many levels of success including: an Olympic Gold Medal, a Division III National Championship & state/national records;
former Eden Prairie (MN) High School Head Girls' Swim Coach - 4x MN State Champions;
member of the MN Swim Coaches Association's Hall of Fame;
as a swimmer, was a 24x All-American, a Division III National Champion and national record holder in the 200 backstroke (Hamline University)
The backstroke is one of the most complex strokes, with the need for a unique balance in the water. Let Kate Lundsten teach you the drills she's used to help guide her swimmers to national championships and a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. From the fingers entering the water to the toes finishing the snap of the kick, Lundsten gives a detailed breakdown of the backstroke. She teaches you the drills she uses every day in practice, working on improving all segments of a backstroke race.
Using a progression of drills, Lundsten introduces techniques and drills to work on body position, catch, underwater kick, starts and turns. Superb in-water demonstrations give you a good look at how each drill should be done and how improvements can be made.
Body Position Drills
World class backstrokers ride high in the water with little lateral motion for minimum drag and maximum efficiency. Common backstroke flaws such as a "bouncy" stroke, low hips in the water, and head movement often result from a failure to keep a strong connection diagonally through the core from the catch hand all the way to the kick. These body position drills will help your swimmers develop the connection that is key to balance and power.
You'll see three drills to develop a smooth stroke by focusing on:
- Getting hips and shoulders to roll at the same time while maintaining balance for an ideal body line.
- Maintaining tight tone through the core, but relaxed extremities for sustainable speed and power.
- Shoulder and hand position and how they affect balance and timing.
You will recognize how a swimmer's size, strength, flexibility, and strength of kick affect each swimmer's unique balance point. Swimmers who master this progression will learn to initiate rotation from the core and find the proper hand and shoulder positions to correct the common problem of over-reaching.
Catch and Finish
The catch drills build on the body connection and balance to develop proper timing and maximum leverage. Using these drills, Lundsten breaks down common errors and how she coaches her swimmers to improve. She teaches the importance of keeping the opposite shoulder relaxed during the catch to maintain balance and conserve energy. Still head drills reinforce the importance of the body connection during the full stroke.
The finish drills build a strong "push-and-snap" finish for timing of the hip rotation and full acceleration through the recovery. The tempo training portion uses a spin drill, with and without fins and tempo trainers, to improve turnover rates.
Coach Lundsten's attention to detail takes a familiar drill up a notch and helps you adapt it to athletes of different sizes and levels of flexibility.
Underwater Dolphin Kick and Breakouts
Teach a strong follow-through that equalizes the upward and downward power of the underwater dolphin kick to keep the hips in line for body alignment and to hold momentum off the walls.
Help your swimmers find the exact size and tempo of underwater kicking that works best for them; learn how swimmers can get the right angle of approach to the surface, and, use the first two strokes to set a fast tempo for the race.
Backstroke Starts and Finish
The fastest a swimmer travels
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