Why We Teach Tumble Turns
Tumble turns are an important skill for young swimmers to master – especially as they start to increase distances and perform repetitive sets of 50m or 100m and beyond in their sessions. This is an important skill for swim teachers and coaches to teach, as it will allow swimmers to keep moving without interrupting the flow of the class group by having to touch the wall and go again.
It is a skill that helps achieve maximum practice time within a lesson and assists in improving the speed of young swimmers as they start to work on timed sets.
Tips for Swim Trainers for Tumble Turns
As always, skills should be broken down and added to as each element is mastered. By following these simple steps as a swim trainer, your swimmers will be using tumble turns in no time.
Somersault to Streamline Stand
Line swimmers up altogether (double arm width apart) and simply get them to practice a somersault and finish by standing with their arms in the streamline position. Repeat until mastered.
Somersault to Streamline Feet on the Wall
Swimmers should start from a position where their hand is almost touching the wall or end of the pool. As the swim trainer, instruct them to tumble and aim for feet to touch the wall. If swimmers’ feet hit the wall squarely encourage them to push off in a streamlined position. Allow swimmers to push off on their back in these early stages of learning to tumble turn. Focus on using their feet and legs to push off from the wall with power. Repeat until mastered.
Add a Twist, Push and Streamline Kick
Once swimmers hit the wall with their feet consistently and they can push off with power in a streamline position, add a twist so they push off on their side and rotate on the push off to face the bottom of the pool. Repeat until mastered.
Using the Flags
Once swimmers are competent at this skill, allow them to practice it as a relay in 2 or 3 lanes if you have pool space. Swimmers can race each other for fun and it will allow them to understand they should approach the wall with speed to help get a powerful push off as they head in the other direction.
Many swimmers find this skill difficult at first. Here are some tips swim trainers may find useful when teaching tumbles turns.
Patience is the Key
As a swim teacher and coach teaching a new skill, teaching tumble turns will require lots of patience, practice and repetition. Each individual step may take several lessons for swimmers to get it right. Make sure you allow time for learning each step in your lesson plans and practice, practice, practice until it is perfect!
The following underwater photo sequence shows a competent swimmer practising turns after swimming from the flags and returning to repeat the process.