10 Ways To Get MORE Results Out of Land Drill Sessions

I find that land drill is not used as effectively as it could be. You need to be deliberate in training and planning land drill. In fact you can get real results from land drilling. Land drill should not be easy or an after thought. Land drill can fix synchronization errors, fix patterns and help with execution.

Here are some ways to use land drill to get results.

  1. Train small parts. Make sure you are training for perfection. You can approach this a few ways. Set one focus and ONLY correct those things. Or you can focus on everything. If you focus on everything your parts may be even smaller. I suggest whenever an error occurs stop and correct it. The coach can give the correction or the coach can ask questions to find out if the swimmers know the answer.
  2. ALWAYS set a focus before the land drill and then correct to the focus.
  3. When doing a standing land drill it should be full intensity and with full presentation.
  4. Train eggbeater arms properly. In land drill be aware of where the water level would be. Make sure swimmers arms are at the same level.
  5. Land drill every day. Even if there is no practise make sure to land drill. Hearing the music everyday will help your synchronization and automation of the routine.
  6. Land drilling before bed leaves your routine as the last thing you are thinking about before you sleep and your subconscious can think about it while you sleep. That’s why it is important to land drill perfect.
  7. If you make a mistake stop and fix it right away. Or after the full land drill stop and land drill the part until you have done it successfully 5x’s. This can be done with to without the music.
  8. Do a good land drill before performing to create a better focus before performing.
  9. If you have a new group training together use a good land drilling session to teach and solidify before wasting pool time.
  10. Have swimmers each other for team. You find out really quick who knows the routine versus who is watching others.

Coaches please watch your swimmers land drill and give them quality corrections to improve the routine. This is an opportunity for the team to improve. Swimmers land drill daily on your own to improve your routine confidence and to find out what sections you may need more help with.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

Happy land drilling. I would love to hear your land drilling ideas. Please share with others.

P.S. If you like these posts make sure to sign-up for updates that get sent right to your email so you don’t miss a thing. You can sign-up on the right hand side of the page.

Yours in Synchro,

Vanessa Keenan


  1. Ashley Tang on April 11, 2016 at 1:08 PM


    I am Ashley Tang in FVS (Freedom Valley Synchro in PA) and love your posts! I have been reading them. 🙂

    My question about land drill is — do you think it is more effective to count out loud or count inside of my brain while land drilling? I am asking this because I feel like no dancers counts, they dance to the music. Should we do our land drills as if we are dancing?



    • Vanessa Keenan on May 2, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      I think both are effective. I find in synchro most of us are not musically trained so counting out loud ensures that we are all counting the music the same. Over time you may just pick small sections that are consistently unsynchronized to count out loud. I hope that helps.Thanks for reading my blogs and sorry for taking so long to reply.

  2. Alva Torres on December 13, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    I think the posture of the swimmer its very important to have the hips and the shoulders in the good position, also clap with the hands all the count, patter change should be efficiently with only one step, counting loud for me its getting the energy that they need to have for the routine

    • Vanessa Keenan on December 15, 2017 at 10:26 AM

      Alva, I totally agree with you. Those are some keys points I’ll add. Thanks for the comments.

  3. Rachael on December 14, 2017 at 6:59 AM

    Hi Vanessa! I am a huge fan! My team (Windy City Synchro) is all novice and intermediate swimmers so we are constantly reminding the kids to deck with intensity. No noodley arms! This article is my favorite thing you have posted yet! Oh and I am using your pattern book to write our first combo routine. Thank you!

    • Vanessa Keenan on December 15, 2017 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks for being a fan. I’m glad this article resonated with you. Send me your combo video when your finished. Good luck.

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