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Waterworks Aquatics’ Offers Dives and Turns Clinic

Competitive swimming isn't just about swimming fast. Details such as dives and turns are just as important, if not crucial, to one's success in the pool.

Published on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 | 5:57 pm

Darting through the water is just half of what competitive swimming is all about. It doesn’t matter if a swimmer can slice through water like a sailfish, if one can’t dive and turn, one lose.

Competitive swimmers spend just as much time learning and training how to dive and turn. Just like the swim stroke, it can vary from swimmer to swimmer, depending on which technique works for them.

The dive, or the start, is broken down into three components: the block, the dive, and the pullout. All swim events, save for the backstroke, begin with each swimmer on the starting block. At the block, swimmers get maximum speed from the start if their centers of gravity are as close to the edge of the block as possible. The leg drive and a push with the toes upon hearing the starting gun (or whistle) are also important for a smooth and effective start.

After pushing off from the block, swimmers must dive into the pool with as little resistance as possible. Angle of entry is considered here to balance speed through the water and to transition to the stroke cadence. This transition is called the pullout.

When turning, it is important to note that there are two classifications: the open turn and the flip (or tumble) turn. The turn to use, and the amount of time a swimmer can remain underwater after the turn, are written in the rules of the sport as laid out by FINA.

Flip turns are very important in freestyle swimming. A coordinated change of direction is needed to maintain speed and cadence of stroke. When flipping or somersaulting under the water, swimmers must keep a long, slender profile to reduce resistance. After the turn, swimmers then push off the wall as strongly as possible to propel themselves through the water, with the help of the dolphin kick.

The open turn, on the other hand, is when swimmers use one hand to push off a wall while keeping feet and legs in a tucked position. As they push off, the body is entirely under water, and extends from the tuck to streamline the body and resume the stroke.

For swimmers who are looking to learn all the skills needed for competitive swimming, Waterworks Aquatics is offering a Dives and Turns Clinic that provide 40-minute group classes where the focus of instruction is solely on improving a swimmer’s racing-starts, flip-turns and open-turns for all four competitive strokes.

Students are taught by instructors with strong competitive swimming backgrounds and those who enroll are encouraged to take as many classes as possible to ensure a continuing improvement in these crucial skills.

Class dates and times are as follows:
Saturday November 2nd at 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Sunday November 17th at 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Sunday December 8th at 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Saturday December 14th at 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Sunday January 12th at 1:00 p.m.– 1:40 p.m.

Saturday January 25th at 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Cost is $20 per swimmer in each class.

For more information, visit or call (626) 836-1200.

Waterworks Aquatics Pasadena is located at 2290 East Foothill Boulevard.



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