When it comes down to kick sets, it’s not surprising that some swimmers lose focus.
Perhaps this is because with kick the work is happening behind them and out of sight. Without their arms to focus on they get a little restless and disengaged.
Jeanie Neal of Brownell-Talbot Aquatics recently shared a kicking drill/set with us that solves this dilemma. The drill has swimmers focused on the coach in order to do it properly, has them changing directions in the middle of the pool repeatedly (great for that core section!), and has the swimmers kicking at various speeds and intensities.
Here is the set.
The “Walk Along” Kick Set
- All swimmers start with their backs against the wall, fins on, kick boards in hand. The coach stands on the side of the pool, also holding a kickboard.
- When the coach starts walking, the swimmers start kicking. All together, side by side, in a straight line across the pool. The objective is to stay directly opposite – “with” – the coach.
- The coach varies his/her speed, direction, and method/location of holding the board. Swimmers have to react by kicking faster or slower, turning around or laying back on their backs to go the other direction, holding the board above, below, or at the surface of the water, board on end or flat, holding it with one or two hands.
- Sometimes vocalizations are added, barking, singing, call-and-response, etc.
- Occasionally, the coach stops, then everyone stops while we wait for slower kickers to catch up, but mostly we keep everyone together by strategic changing of direction.
The benefits of the set include sustained kicking for a long period of time with bursts of speed and core work from the frequent changes in direction. (It’s not easy.)
It’s also a lot of fun. When ever Walk Along Kick appears on the workout board I hear a lot of groaning, but see a lot smiling.
A special thank you to Brownell-Talbot Aquatics head coach Jeanie Neal for sharing the above kicking drill with us. You can stay up to date with Coach Jeanie and her swimmers on Twitter.
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