Drill Inventory

Coaching Resources: Planning and Delivery Best Practices Limiters and Fixes Drills Analysis Workouts


Drill Inventory


Desert Island Drills (Coach Geordie's Big 3)

  • Kick​ ​with​ ​board​ ​and​ ​fins​: front, vertical, back

    • Efficient, balanced kick, relaxed, increase ankle mobility

  • One​ ​Arm​ ​with​ ​Paddles​: bottom goggle, stroke phases

    • Builds strength, practices body position, focuses on phases

  • PBPB​: pull buoy/paddles/band

    • Forces upper body to balance without compensation from legs, core/arm powered


Most Used Drills

  • Standing position (for new swimmers):

    • finger tip drag

    • entry

    • all phases walking

  • Side Swim (with fins)

    • Side Swim Head Up

    • Side Swim Head Down

  • One arm (breathe same side as stroke) focus on:

    • Entry (distance, depth, delay)

    • Pull – set elbow

    • Pull pattern

    • Finish

    • Recovery

  • One Arm Off Side

    • stroke with one arm, other at side, breathe to non stroke side

  • One Arm Fist Palm

    • 6 strokes fist, 6 strokes palm

  • One Arm with Dolphin kick

  • Hypoxic 5: symmetry

  • 6 strokes hypoxic with pbpb

  • PBPB: pull buoy paddle band

  • Band only

  • Recovery

    • Touch top of head with thumb during recovery

    • Zipper - drag thumb up side while recovering

    • Finger tip drag - drag tips on surface of water during recovery

  • Deck up for high elbow and width

  • Deck ups to stand then jump/dive back in

  • Mid lane flip and build

  • Kick

    • hold wall static

    • fins

    • front

    • back

    • vertical

    • grave stone

    • one leg

    • dolphin

Other Drills

  • Elevator

  • Log Roll

  • Back Side Back w/ head up

  • Finger flick for finish

  • Shark pause, 3 stroke shark

  • 3 stroke glide

  • Catch up

  • Dog paddle catch drill



Start Smart Progression for New Swimmers

Always fins – ankle flex and kick mechanics

  1. Kick

    • front w/board

    • back w/board

  2. Intro to Breathing: both hands on deck, exhale, turn to breathe

  3. SSHU w/ board

    • long body, bottom goggle, reach mouth, hips forward/linear

    • initially change sides once at 12.5

  4. SSHD w/ board

    • breath timing, eyes straight down, push ear as turn to breath, goggle/mouth

    • initially change sides once at 12.5

  5. Slow Mo Swim (SMS) w/ fin and board sideways

    • long body, pause high elbow (thumb to side), wide reach, core activation on rotation

    • at first head up to head up other side, later head up to head down other side

    • rhythm = start with five taps on hip and progress to 3

  6. SSHU and HD with paddles instead of board

    • adjust for buoyancy

    • maintain width

  7. SMS w/ paddles and fins

    • maintain width, 3 second rhythm

    • go through check list each 50m

      • kick, head position (up, down), wide entry (linear body/hips)

      • watch for entry point and angle (not worked on to this point)

    • go to 2 second rhythm

  8. One arm drill with board

    • Hold tail of board with one arm extended in front

    • Stroke with other arm focusing on all phases

      • Force air out so lungs empty when turn and no whiplash head

      • First goal: get comfortable

      • Next: wide entry + head timing to breathe + counter rotate

      • High elbow catch, forearm pull, finish, recovery

      • Rotate partially hip to hip while stroking

      • *Turn your head to breathe as the body rotates on the pull

  9. Swim with Pull Buoy Paddles Band (No Fins)

    • take deep breath and float on stomach for 5 seconds

      • shows them they can relax and float without kick

    • width to avoid snake

  10. Swim

    • replace PB with small kick

    • maintain slow 30 stroke rate, swim well, go through check list