Tag Archives: swim lessons

Teach your child to swim – Backstroke


Once your child is confident with performing ‘pat the dog’, then backstroke arms can be introduced.

Just like freestyle arms we simplify the stroke when first teaching it and usr a technique called single-arm backstroke.

Just like catch up freestyle, single-arm backstroke makes it easy for a child to understand and perform the skill they are being asked. 

If they find this easy, then simply move to traditional (Olympic) backstroke.

Four easy steps

1. Standing single arem

2. Single arm drills

3. Standing Olympic backstroke

4. Olympic backstroke
At Peter Hill Swimming we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn to swim. If you have any questions or wish to enrol visit our facebook page below and hit the  ‘call’ or ‘text’ buttons or email us through the contact form on the website.

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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


How to teach your child to swim – Breath Control


At Peter Hill Swimming we do everything we can to ensure that your child’s experience is the most rewarding and enjoyable experience possible.

One of the major hurdles to overcome is breathing.

The skill of controlling one’s breath may seem obvious, yet it is amazing how many children are not taught this vital safety skill.

Ingesting or breathing water into the lungs accelerates the drowning process and makes it more difficult for a child to swim to safety….. (as well as tasting fairly unpleasant)

Simply teaching a child to ‘blow bubbles’ without the correct instruction on how and when to breathe in simply removes the air from the lungs making the child want to inhale…….not ideal if the mouth is in the water 🙂

There are 4 steps to breath control

1. Taking a breath (inhaling)
2. Holding a breath with the mouth closed
3. Inhaling holding and placing face in the water, the exhaling (this step should not be taken until your child is holding their breath)
4. Extending the time

When your child can hold their breath under water for roughly 10 seconds they are ready to move on to the next skill

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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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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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