Teachers tips #3 – Ready, Steady…SPLASH!

Teachers tips #3 – Ready, Steady…SPLASH!

Tips from the teachers- Ready, Steady, SPLASH!

 

It is probably worth putting a few towels down on the floor before trying this one! Swimmers use the same style of leg kick when swimming frontcrawl and backstroke. In tips #2 and 3, we have practiced the head positions which are vital to gaining the correct body position to allow independent swimming. Even if these head positions are perfect, a bendy kick will prevent the swimmer from achieve a relaxed streamline position. While kicking with straight legs might sound like a simple thing to do, for a young child that is used to walking, running and maybe even riding a bike, this is an unnatural action that takes a bit of practice!

How do we kick our legs in frontcrawl and backstroke?

With straight legs  (only a very slight bend of the knee allowed!), ask the swimmer to tickle the top of the water with their toes. They need to make their ankles and feet relaxed, to allow them to catch the water like a dolphins fin. Put your hand on top of their knees, just above the water, if their knees touch your hand- give them a splash! To make this a little more fun, get a pair of dad’s smelly socks and see if they can shake them off with their straight legs!

Practice makes perfect, so give it a go and see if this movement becomes a little more natural. Often, the little swimmer may think their legs are nice and straight, but once they start to move their arms and concentrate on blowing bubbles at the same time (a lot of moving parts for the child to coordinate) the leg technique will suffer. The more natural this action becomes, the more time the swimmer can spend concentrating on their arm action and breathing.

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