Teachers tips #1 – Bath-time Backstroke

Teachers tips #1 – Bath-time Backstroke

Tips from the teachers- Practice in the Bath!

 #1. Bath-time backstroke

For your little swimmer to be able to swim independently on their backs, they need to be able to maintain a relaxed position in the water, with their head back. The swimmers head position is the key and without the correct head position, swimming on their backs will be tough.

So…what is the correct head position? The swimmer should be looking up at the ceiling, ears underwater with the hair wet, the swimmers face will be out of the water.

Often in the early stages, swimmers do not like the feeling of having both ears underwater for a long period. Build this up slowly, start with getting one ear wet, then the other, then try 2 ears at the same time for a short period. As with all their swimming, it is all about the child’s discovery of the water and their bodies. Once they realise it isn’t so bad after all, then they won’t hesitate and will happily get their ears wet.

Practice in the bath, lay backwards, try and put your head back until both ears are just under the water. If you bathe together, sing songs underwater and see if they can hear. It is all about trickery and deceit, we want the swimmers to think they are playing a game, when in-fact they are developing the skills to allow them to swim!

Now that your little swimmer is happy putting their head back, we need to try and get them to relax in this position. Practice with eyes open and eyes closed, practice while singing loudly, singing quietly. Hopefully this will allow them to relax a little and the singing will ensure they are breathing (we often see swimmers holding their breaths while swimming backstroke!).

Once your little swimmer is happy and relaxed, you can add in tip #3. See if they can add the kick while maintaining the correct and relaxed head position.



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