Swim Team Prep; Pace Clock and Open Turns

What is a Pace Clock?

As with many inventions, the pace clock was born out of necessity.   Forbes Carlisle, a pioneer in the world of swimming, created and installed a “large 60-second pool clock” at two pools in Sydney, Australia in 1946.  These “clocks” were created so that swimmers could see them without getting out of the pool.  His first clocks were one meter in diameter, and they had a single second hand that ran continuously around the dial, with no controls. In 1959, James “Doc” Counsilman designed and sold his first pace clock in the United States (reportedly drawing his inspiration from track and field). Today, pace clocks are found at pools around and are the most useful tool for establishing and control the pace of each swimming set.

Before beginning todays workout, explain and demonstrate how the pace clock works! This will be used in every lesson going forward as well as instructing swimmers as to when it is their turn. 

WORKOUT

Warmup

10 Second Intervals

  • Beginner – 10 Seconds Rest
      • 2×50 Freestyle
        • Rotary breathing, 3 strokes breath to the right, 3 strokes breath to the left
        • Alternating strokes
      • 2×50 Flutter Kick
        • Straight legs, should be kicking from the hip, with slight knee flexion 
  • Intermediate – 5 Seconds Rest
      • 4×50 Freestyle
        • Arms need to come out of the water alternating each stroke, start working towards bent elbows as if they were pointing their elbow at the sky
      • 4×50 Flutter Kick
        • Straight legs, should be kicking from the hip, with slight knee flexion
  • Advanced – 5 Seconds rest.
    • 6×50 Freestyle
      • Arms need to come out of the water alternating each stroke, start working towards bent elbows as if they were pointing their elbow at the sky
    • 6×50 Flutter kick
      • Straight legs, should be kicking from the hip, with slight knee flexion 

Main Set

10 Second Intervals. 

Instructors will go over & Demonstrate Open turns to team. 

Students will then practice Open turns as a group while doing Texas 25s. 

(Start in middle, swim to wall & open turn then swim back to middle)

  • Beginner – 30 Seconds Rest
    • 2×50 Freestyle
      • Rotary breathing, 3 strokes breath to the right, 3 strokes breath to the left
      • Alternating strokes
    • 2×50 Breaststroke
      • Focus on timing: stroke, breath, kick, streamline, repeat

Incorporating Freestyle and Breaststroke Open Turns!

In swimming, a turn is a reversal of direction of travel by a swimmer. A turn is typically performed when a swimmer reaches the end of a swimming pool but still has one or more remaining pool lengths to swim.  Practicing the proper Freestyle and Breaststroke Open turns and incorporating them into each swim will greatly increase a swimmers endurance and speed.

1. The Freestyle Open Turn

2. The Breaststroke Open Turn

3.  Mastering Turns and Using the Pace Clock

  • Practice a variety of techniques with freestyle and breaststroke to allow students to gain comfort with swimming the strokes with turns and keeping pace with the clock.