How to improve your start: Part one

Starts are a critical part to any race, especially those that are short distances.

Starts are a critical part to any race, especially those that are short distances.

When it comes to competitive swimming, most athletes know that the mental game is just as important as the physical one on race day.

Those who compete in short races – like the 50 or 100 meter – know that races can be won or lost right at the start. Most swimmers, except for a select few, compete with a track start – one foot forward and one back with their weight centered over one or the other. One of the most important things to do as a swimmer is to practice these starts until they are as close to perfect as you can get them.

While most coaches will have their own technique for helping you to get off the block, today we will discuss two ways that you might try to improve your swimming starts, according to Ryan Turner of Swim Swam:

Hula Hoop - Take over an end lane, and have a peer or coach stand at the side of the pool with a hula hoop extended in parallel with the flags. The swimmer on the block must then jump through the hoop when they dive. This exercise will make them conscious of their body as they move through the motions of their start.

Jump - "Jump the River requires two jump ropes," Turner writes. "Here, players take turns jumping across the "river" formed by the two ropes, which gradually becomes larger by round. By the end of it, the "river" has become massive, and requires players to get a running start. This game helps to develop leg strength, and like Leapfrog, can be a great addition to dryland workouts."

For more swimming tips and advice, stay tuned to this blog. Tomorrow we will have a few more start tips for you, and remember, no matter how great your start is, you simply cannot perform if you don't have the gear that you need. If you are in need of the best racing swimsuit, visit Swimmer's Choice today.