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Head Position

A common fault with swimming is the head position.

To perform overarm crawl(freestyle), Butterfly or Breaststroke, the swimmer must look down, NOT forward. Looking forward will decrease the efficiency of the stroke.

However, There are times when the head must leave this position - for example: breathing! The most efficient way to change head position for breathing in freestyle is to the side as the arm is transitioning through the push phase of the stroke into the recovery. In Breaststroke breathing forward as the arms move from pull to push, and in Butterfly it is also forward as the arms are in the push phase. It is important to exhale ( blow bubbles!) while the head is in the neutral ( looking down ) position as much air as possible to allow for a quick inhalation with the head out of streamline. Once mastered, the head should remain streamlined with as little breaths as possible for the swimmer to complete the required length. You may notice that in short course events of either 25 or 50m, the swimmers may not actually inhale at all over the entire duration of the race, while ensuring that all other rules for the stroke are adhered to.


Triangle of Success

By Dr Ralph Richards
The triangle of success
Your child should be acknowledged for who they are – not simply for what
they accomplish in sport. Naturally, the person they are will impact upon
every aspect of their life, including swimming.
Real progress in swimming comes not from size, strength, or training
alone; it also comes from their development as a person – their character,
values, behavior, etc.
We will all celebrate if your child eventually becomes a champion, but
every day, in many ways, we can all benefit from your child’s involvement
in this great sport – if they happen to also swim fast, that’s a bonus.
Good questions to ask
• What were you working on today?  • Did you have fun?
• Did you try hard?             • How did you go?      • What did your coach think?

Wet Faces

We see a lot of learners who do not like to get their face wet. There can be so many reasons for this, including: Gasping water while submerged (bubble blowing exercises at swimming and home will help this), Soap in the eyes while washing (you still need to wash! However, not allowing water on the face at all will make it harder to accept later. As far as Paul is concerned, the shower visor that stops water going on the face while washing is something you should not buy). Telling the little person that they will not go under water while swimming is like saying that a bird can fly without wings (be honest – yes we go underwater, but then we come back up- it’s ok! – after some practice, it is really fun!).

In short, start early with water on the face and keep it up. Sprinkles, splashes, submersions, jumping in, watering cans over the head/face, bubbles, etc, all help to get our face/head in the water, which is essential to develop correct swimming strokes.

Water Safety

In the 2013 National drowning report we have seen a sharp increase of drowning in the under 5 years age
group, after several years of decline. Nationally, 31 under 5’s lost their
lives in pools, dams and bathtubs. 61% drowned in swimming pools. In half of the
cases, the child entered the pool because it was either un-fenced, the gate was
faulty or the gate was left propped open. This statistic also means that the
other half were able to access the pool with a fully compliant fence and gate. In ALL cases, the drowning would
have been prevented with supervision. (Data sourced from Royal Life Saving )
I’m not suggesting that the only solution is “helicopter parenting” and wrapping them in “cotton wool”, but
to know where they are, and watch the children – especially when near water –
is essential. To put it in perspective: if there is a camp fire, or bonfire –
we would supervise the children near it. We supervise the children near or on a
road. All of these are dangerous, why would water be treated differently?
The Royal Life Saving
Campaign for drowning prevention is:
1.      Supervise – A child can drown in the time it takes to answer
the door or telephone. Parents and carers must communicate and establish
responsibility for direct supervision of children at all times around water.
2.      Familiarise – Helping a child to become familiar with water can
be fun for the whole family, and will assist everyone to develop skills in and
around the water.
3.      Fence – A fence is an effective barrier between your child
and the water ( however it is not foolproof ).
4.      Resuscitate – A child's life may be saved if parents or carers
have the proper knowledge and skills to rescue and resuscitate quickly and

Recoveries and Exits

A large emphasis of swimming and water safety in
the early stages (bubs, Levels 1 – 3) is not just the confidence to try, and
the body positioning and stroke, but the ability to recover and get to safety.
You will notice that almost all the time after an entry and “swim” the learners
are either taught to roll onto their backs, or taught to propel towards the
edge of a pool or to something that floats. And sometimes even a combination of
all these things.