Social Kicking: AKA one of the very best things that your coach could possibly add into a practice. Whether it be a 200 social kick warm-down, a kick set that you decided to make a social kick by “accidentally” pushing off the wall at the same time as your friends, or even the first practice of a season when the social kick is thrown in to have you break the ice with your new teammates, social kicking is always fun. I have put together a list of things that will help you maximize your social kicking experience:
- Wearing fins– You all should know by now how I feel about kicking without fins. This one is necessary to ensure that you can kick at a nice leisurely pace while you talk to your friends.
- Squeezing as many people across the lane as possible- While it makes the turns difficult to maneuver, fitting at least three people next to each other across the lane will maximize your social kicking experience. If you can manage to fit four, I’ll be impressed.
- A kickboard- This one may seem obvious, but every now and then someone will go in to a social kick and forget to grab their kickboard. If this happens, they are stuck sculling with their head above the water to be able to talk until they get back to the wall. Now, imagine the horror of forgetting your kickboard while also not wearing fins. That would not make for a pleasant experience.
- Sing along music- Hopefully, your coach, or someone on team, is already hooked up to the aux blasting some excellent tunes. Something fun that you can sing along to while social kicking with your friends makes for an excellent time. I would suggest 2000s throwbacks for this, a personal social kicking favorite of mine would be “Kiss Me Through the Phone”.
- No Interval– This one goes out to all the coaches out there. While I would have taken any opportunity to make a kick set a social kick set, having an interval on a social kick set can make it where you are working too hard to actually be able to keep up a conversation. In retrospect, however, it might have just been my lack of kicking ability making me huff and puff because everyone else seemed to be doing fine making the interval…
Bonus: Mastering the Buddy Boost- The buddy boost is when you are kicking down your lane when one of your friends happens to be kicking the other way. As you pass each other, each person grabs the others hand and gives a good pull. Doing this will give each of you a nice little boost down the lane. You can even do this across a lane rope! If your coach catches you doing it… I wasn’t the one to tell you how.
I hope these little tips and tricks will make your social kicking experience even better than ever!