Backstroke Finish

Finishing a backstroke race is probably the most difficult stroke from which to end a race.  Because the swimmer is blind to the wall and on his or her back, it does not lend itself to being easy.  Because of its difficulty, a swimmer who is skilled and practiced at the proper technique can gain up to a second on his or her less skilled competition.  As a result we have listed below some of the basics that you will want to practice when finishing.

The key elements to the backstroke finish are:

The Approach.  Never ever look at the wall!  The speed of backstroke is highly dependant on the position of the head.  If you decide to sneak a peek at the wall, you are guaranteed to loose precious time.  Plus, real backstrokers don't do it.  They hang those flags over each end of the pool for a reason.  They are always the same distance from the wall, no matter what pool you are swimming in (unless you are swimming at Joey's pool down the street).  Know exactly how many race speed strokes it takes for you to get to the wall perfectly.  Many really skilled and/or highly anal backstrokers know exactly how many strokes it takes them for an entire lap.  Use whatever method that floats your boat.

The Lunge.  At your pre-determined point, you will make a lunge for the wall.  This is why practicing the strokes into the wall is so vital.  You want to be able to predict almost precisely how far you are from the wall so you can make a lunge for the wall that nails it as you stretch out your body, all the way to your fingertips.  A short stroke or a glide into the wall can be disastrous in a close race!  

On the lunge you will want to pull as hard and as far back with your final stroke as possible.  You should be kicking like a crazy person.  As you pull, you will want to roll your body on your side as far as possible without your hips passing the invisible vertical line.  Going too far means you are deeqed.   The roll should be substantial, however, in order to allow for a huge final pull and to get the most stretch out of your body.  It is also believed that your body is more streamlined when on its side.

Check out the pic below to see what it should look like.



Backstroke Finish 1.5 Kb