Tips to Improve Your Backstroke

7 Tips to Improve your Backstroke

Among all strokes, the backstroke is the second slowest. Butterfly and freestyle are quicker than it.

The backstroke has a remarkable similarity with the freestyle, also known as front crawl. In both, the arm pulling motion alternates, with the aid of a flutter kick.

  1. Point your face straight up: While performing backstroke we have a natural urge to look around. This tendency results from sheer curiosity about many things at the same time. However, your head should not rotate in the first place. You can follow the water bottle balance drill to maintain a straight head position. Swimming with your head straight and up helps you swim faster.
  2. Relax your neck: Most youngsters lose alignment as they tuck their chin while backstroking. Do not forget to keep your neck nice and relaxed whenever you swim backstroke. It will ensure a straight line from head to down to the spine. This means you maintain a low profile in the water and causes less drag. It also makes you feel smooth and relaxed.
  3. Relax your ankles when kicking: We do not kick our ankles to push water up and down; rather we should try to push water back. All champion swimmers have one thing in common – they maintain a vertical forearm all the way through and plant the top of their foot to push the water back.
  4. Your hands should be in contact with just outside of your shoulders: The reason why we enter our hands in water is to avoid the criss-crossing resulting from pull. This also helps you to be in the pulling motion a lot faster.
  5. Your thumb is the first to leave water, while your back is the last: The first phase of arm recovery should include turning your palm to face the hips, thumb exits water first. As the arm comes up and over, rotate it to make sure your pinky touches the water first.
  6. When kicking, don’t break the surface with your knees: Newbies in the world of backstroke lodge kicks from their knees. This is a wrong practice. The hip is the place from where a kick should originate. It will spread a smooth and whip-like ripple all over the toes. Follow some basic drills to reduce stress on your knees.
  7. Hip rotation is just fine: If your hips remain all flat during backstroke, it will get harder. As a result, you will experience limited shoulder rotation, and cause a narrow pulling motion. So, a little mix of hip rotation will empower your pulling motion with more torque/power. However, you have to make sure that you are not rotating too much.

Holywell Meet Report

Congratulations to all who travelled to the Holywell meet today!
Out of 49 swims, there were 41 PBs and Emily French got a county time in 100m breaststroke. Swimmers enter this meet at either an AA or B grade, depending on their previous time, so there are two levels at which to compete. Hoylake gained medals in both grades, with Alex Poulston, Sam Scullion and  Evan Pilgrim medalling at AA grade and Emma Henrys-Gill, Holly Shirley, Edie Rogers, Zosia Rygielska and Sophia Tarleton gaining B medals. If a swimmer has not swum an event before, or has a slower qualifying time, they are automatically entered into the B category. If ,when the event is swum, the swimmer achieves a time faster than the B grade cut-off, ie: too fast to now compete in the B grade, then they are awarded a ‘speeding ticket’. Congratulations to Lucy Turner, Sophia Tarleton, Edie Rogers (3!), Sam Scullion, Evan Pilgrim, Zosia Rygielska, Alex Poulston, Sophie Wright and Annabelle Rogan for swimming too fast!Well done also to Millie Rice-Oxley, who confidently competed in her first gala and Millie McKeown, who gained 2 PBs. 
Annabel and Anna Underwood

Arena League Round 1

On Saturday 12th October Hoylake SC fired up the bus and travelled up the local Motorway network to race in the first round of the North West Arena League Division One clash in Leigh. In Round 1 we were up against some very strong teams. Hoylake, however, knows how to punch above our weight, and we knew we could get a good result to take us into round 2.

As always, the atmosphere was electric with all clubs bringing huge support to Leigh, all of which helped to produce some fantastic and exciting racing from all swimmers. The races throughout the night were very close with just tenths and hundredths of a second separating numerous swimmers, resulting in some outstanding swims. We literally were smashing personal bests out of the water with all our swimmers stepping up time and time again, racing with tremendous fight and determination. I am not sure what it is, but we always perform to an exceptionally high standard in the Arena League, maybe the team environment and the fact we are racing for our club mates brings out the best in us.

After 50 races Hoylake SC team had an excellent 1st place finish. More important though is that we clocked up a super number of points which puts us in a good position going into round 2.

The racing on the night was extremely fierce with all teams battling with all their strength to finish as high as possible in each and every race. For us, we didn’t gain many 1st places but at the same time, we didn’t gain many 5th or 6th finishes. What we did get was lots and lots of consistent middle place finishes, it was this consistent racing time and time again that was so very impressive, showing again we have superb strength across all ages and genders. What was also very pleasing was that in most ages we had swimmers in the bottom age group category, swimming a year younger, so in other words, next year we should, in theory, be even stronger. I am not going to mention individuals racing tonight because it is a team effort, but I will tell you this all now, every single swimmer stepped up to the plate and raced their hearts out, everyone did Hoylake extremely proud. What was also mightily impressive was every swimmer’s attitude, every single swimmer had a superb mindset, whether they were swimming one event or 5 plus events and everyone did their absolute best.

Many thanks to all our judges: Angie Taylor, Louise Johnson and Shane Gidman, and to Laura Horton for being announcer, to Dawn Harrison and Paula Corley, for being outstanding on poolside, ensuring all swimmers needs were catered for. We do have the best poolside team, there is no doubt about that at all.

Many thanks to all our amazing supporters on the balcony, it was wonderful to see so many of you up there. It really does give us all a tremendous boost, so thank you always for all your support.

The final thank you goes to all our swimmers, not just the swimmers who raced tonight but to each and every swimmer who trains and races for our fantastic club, I don’t often say it, but the camaraderie we have and the togetherness and love for one another is what makes this club so very special!!

A great night of racing and a superb result for Hoylake, Well Done to everyone, an outstanding team effort. 

Well Done again to all who raced tonight, outstanding, but the job is not done. We now look forward to the 2nd Round on Saturday 9th November, please, please, please we need a full-strength team. Don’t miss it, lots of drama and excitement to come!

See you at the pool.

Thanks  Craig