Tag Archives: children’s swimming

Teach your child to swim – Freestyle

This is the last in the little series of lessons I hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be of some help.

The transition from catch up arms to conventional freestyle swimming is not a difficult one.

In this stage we will make sure they can do catch up correctly then show how to change the timing to resemble the freestyle you would recognise from the Olympics. Then show you additional drills to help improve this basic skills. 

There are 4 basic stages to developing this skill

1. Catch up arms with breathing

It is essential that your young athlete can swim 15m of catchup freestyle before you introduce them to conventional freestyle. Beginner freestyle develops the core and ensure the body is strong enough to kick and stroke at same time while maintaining good technique.

2. Conventional freestyle 

3. How to use flippers/bilateral breathing

We would advocate the use of flippers at this stage as a tool to help with stroke development but be careful they don’t become dependant on them and develop a lazy kicking action

4. Training to refine the stroke

Focus on the small things, body position, kicking and breathing. Make sure they are done correctly
Enjoy your swimming.

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Teach your child to swim – pat the dog or back kicking

By the time you get to this stage your child can kick on their back while holding a board to their chest.

When we start introducing a child to swimming with no board we use a skill called ‘pat the dog’.

Pat the Dog……not to be confused with the swim drill

This us where the legs kick, while the ares are placed at their side with the hands making a patting motion (hence the name)

This skill is all about using the correct muscles to kick, body position and relaxing the whole body to allow maximum bouyancy.

Never try to learn backstroke without first learning Pat the Dog

There are 4 easy steps in this skill

1. Standing Pat the Dog

2. Supported Pat the Dog

3. Supported elbows

4. Independant Pat the Dog

Each step is broken down in the video above

Teaching your child to swim – Beginner Freestyle arms (catch up)

This type of freestyle is different from what you will see at the Olympics. Catch up is when the hands reach each other after each stroke so only one arm is moving at a time.

The benefits of teaching catchup freestyel before Olympic or conventional freestyle is obvious to those who have done so. 

1. Children find catch up much easier to understand because only one arm moves at a time

2. Catch up prepares as strengthens the core so they can develop long powerful freestyle strokes

It is for this 2nd reason that I believe that teaching catchup before freestyle is so important.

When Olympic freestyle is taught too early the arms trash around and correct breathing technique becomes much harder to teach.

There are 4 simple steps to teaching catch up freestyle

1. Standing arms (feel the water) – the pupils arms moved throught the pull pattern 1st before doing it themselves. Depending on your pool it may b possible to lie on the deck and practice 1 arm in the prone position.

2. Arms on shoulders – start with head up and supported under the chest

3. Arms on board – exactly as above. Start with support under chest before attempting independantly

Remember a child will always find a drill more difficult when not in contact with the teacher and using a board instead.

4. Independant catch up arms – starting with chest support if need be.

Teach your child to swim – Safety Awareness

It is important, when teaching your child to swim, that you give them an opportunity to practice a wide variety of activities that different from the regular routine of lessons.

Kids are all individual and what some will find easy, other struggle with. 

Just as important as swimming well is beginning to identify what is dangerous and what is safe.

For example – its not uncommon to see kids who can swim freestyle but cannot climb out of the pool.

As parents, it will greatly enhanced your child’s enjoyment of water, and safety in that environment if you take the opportuning to challenge and educated them regarding how to be safe and back up the lessons they are having by practicing safety skills.
There are many steps to becoming safe but 4 keys ones are

1. Climbing out

2. Finding safety (changing direction)

3. Front and back transitions

4. Deep water recovery

Teaching your baby to swim (part 6 – Safety Basics)

At Peter Hill Swimming we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment in which your child can learn to swim.

Children will always be more safe when the become aware of what is dangerous. This may sound simple but it is often neglected by parents eager to get their child swimming.

Children should never enter the pool area without a parent’s presence or permission.

The skills shown here will hopefully allow you to condition your child so they will not place themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.

The barriers of protection you create the better.

There are again 4 steps to safety basics

1. Monkey monkey – holding onto the side of the pool shuffling along the bar or poolside.
2. Climbing out – elbows, knees then tummy.
3. Different swimming conditions – with Goggles and without for example
4. Communication – using the name, ready and go command

Important :- there is no such thing as a drown proof baby, you must always watch your baby.

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posted by Peter

Teaching your baby to swim (part 5 – Turning and resurfacing)

At Peter Hill Swimming we are passionate about swimming. We believe that a childs 1st experience of structured lessions should be a fun and enjoyable one.

In this little series we show you a few videos and steps that you can take before their 1st lesson to help make that 1st lesson as rewarding as possible.

It is vital that all parents teach their children skills they can use to get back to the side if they accidently fall in the pool.

The two basic skills needed for this are

1. The ability to turn in both directions
2. The ability to get back to the surface

Small steps are needed but practicing these steps is fun and very rewarding.

There are 4 progressions to this skill

1. Shoulder assisted (shallow)
2. Reduced support (shallow)
3. Shoulder assisted (deep)
4. Reduced support (deep)

Once your child can fall 1 meter into the water turn and recover to the side for a breath they are ready for the next skill

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