SIP 039: Revisiting Position 11

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How we use it in swim lessons and how we use it at swim practice.

What is it:

Position 11 is:

  • A drill we do to establish a good quality body position and long reach.
  • Something we do every day in every lesson
  • Used in every stroke
  • Looks like this:Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Go here for a free sample:

How do we do it in lessons?

In Level 2:

  • On the deck we do Streamline into position 11
  • We review what it is and the three things you use it for
  • We do it with a noodle, or a kickboard
  • WE talk about it as the target or goal body position arms should travel through on FREE and Back
  • We use it when teaching Breaststroke
  • When teaching butterfly
  • When doing short distance training

How do we use it at swim team?

  • Every day we do 2 x 25 position 11 where we review all the steps and goals. And the 3 things to make it easier, which you can find detailed with the Starter Kit and the Complete package
  • We talk about it for all 4 strokes
    • I demo each stroke and ask when position 11 occurs.
  • We build it into every stroke we can as a basis point. It is a lodestone or a reference for most proper hand entries.
  • We use it as a pause position for more complicated drills for breaststroke: 2k + 1 pull, fly: P+U+P+U and stroke
  • Sometimes we ask them to do a front float and lift their heads up and keep it there and “find out what happens” (you sink).

It is NOT easy to do position 11 while kicking free, but when we do it really works on teaching quick breaths, realigning the body to a balanced straight position, and feeling how lifting your head makes you sink.

I love position 11. It works so well we literally use it constantly.

How you can use it in your lessons:

Show someone position 11 in your class.

Ask them to come up with a name for it.

We say position 11 because the arms are like 11’s and I couldn’t think of anything better than what Steve Haufler said.

When you have your swimmers in your lessons do an activity repeatedly (like go from bench to bench 5 times) have them streamline first, then do position 11 the rest of the way. Encourage them to keep their face in the water the whole time (move benches close enough together).

Use the new name, or call it position 11. Then when you do a front crawl a short distance, or you do butterfly, you can say, always return to position 11 before you do your next stroke. It gives swimmers a good start point or foundation to then do their other swimming moves.

Better swimming.
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