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.
To enrol in Peter Hill Swimming courses contact Marie on 07708544044 our contact us through the website or Facebook pages
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.
Torpedo kicking is a great tool to prepare a child’s body for freestyle swimming.
It involves placing both arms behind the head in a stralight line with the hands on top of each other. This position is maintained while the child kicks their legs.
Why is this drill so important?
It exercises and strengthens the core (abdominal) muscles as the arms are above the head.
If a child cannot perform Torpedo kick, they certainly do not have the core stability and strength to perform correct freestyle arms.
Therefore it is REALLY important to practise Torpedo kick even after the skill is mastered, it will enhance the quality of freestylessons arms by allowing the upper body and lower body to perform two different actions.
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