How to Do a Boost in Synchronized Swimming
Boosts (which you might call “jumps” at practice) are one of the most fundamental synchro skills you can learn. They are a required element for all levels of age group and technical routines, so you will probably have at least one boost in every single routine you ever do.
But jumps do more than fulfill a routine requirement. Performed correctly, a good boost can make quite an impression, whether simple, to display pure skill, or unusual and artistic. Either way, the goal is always the same: To jump as high out of the water as you possibly can.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to a basic boost, followed by ways to practice the new skill:
- Go about one foot underwater in a slightly bent forward eggbeatering position.
- Hold your hands up toward the surface (slightly above your head) as if you were going to climb out of the pool.
- Your legs should dangle down toward the bottom just like they would if you were swimming up to the surface after sinking from the hybrid before.
Hot Tip: Think Spring
Imagine yourself as a spring. The tighter you wind up the spring (your body), the more powerful you’ll be when you release it (your jump).
- Start to eggbeater and scull faster in order to rise and get closer to the surface.
- As you get shallower, bring your whole self into a more compact position: Bring your knees up towards your armpits and your hips closer to the surface. The trick is to keep your posture from getting too rounded as you crunch up your body.
- Reach your maximum speed and maximum compactness no sooner than one count before you actually jump.
- With your head breaking the surface first, push as much of your body up out of the water as you can. Do one big breaststroke kick as you press your hands (and the water) down toward your hips.
- Straighten out and stretch your body. Use your best synchro posture—shoulders down, long neck, and chin up!
Here are a few ways to practice and strengthen your boosts during your warm-up or workout:
Lying on Your Stomach
- Start crunched up like you would be setting up for a jump. Reach your hands out in front of you.
- Get some momentum by increasing your eggbeater and sculling speed (see Step 2 above).
- Now jump, pushing yourself down the pool instead of out of the water.
- Repeat steps 1-4 until you make it to the other end of the pool.
During an Eggbeater Lap
- Start traveling in eggbeater, just as you do for a regular lap of side eggbeater.
- During the time that it takes you to get from one side to the other, do five jumps starting from above the water in your regular eggbeatering posture and water level. You don’t get a full, underwater preparation so you won’t get quite as high.
- After you jump, return to your eggbeatering level and posture.
- As you get stronger, add more jumps per lap.
Every Time You Do One
The best way to improve your boost is to give 100-percent every time you practice them. This will make the proper effort, height, and feel of the jumps come more easily when you are swimming your routine in competition.
So when you get the opportunity to practice, do a good set up, and try to get as high as you possibly can every single time.