5 Checkpoints for a Great Start

The goal for a great start is to get as much speed as possible when you leave the block, enter the water, and begin swimming.  Russell Mark, National Team High Performance consultant reviewed starts in a recent clinic I attended.  

5 checkpoints I came away with are listed below:
  1. Check front foot.  The big toe and sometimes the next two should wrap over the edge of the block to help with stability and balance.  
  2. Check back foot.  It should slide back directly in line with the shoulder on the same side of the body, rather than lining it up behind the front foot. 
  3. Check hips.  They should be higher rather than lower.  You may need to work on flexibility in your hamstrings to achieve a better position.  
  4. Check thumbs.  They should be forward (hidden) to help you get a better hold and "load" your arms, pointing elbows back rather than out to the side.    
  5. Check arms.  Arms should be "loaded" or tight, not flimsy and relaxed.   
Others points of interest:
  • Push your chin and chest forward rather than up as you start.
  • Most of your weight should be on the front foot. Use your back foot to push you forward.
  • Eyes should be down in a neutral position.