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movement

The "speed" of a swimmer moving through the water is effected by two main factors : Propulsion and Resistance. Each stroke has differing propulsion and resistance qualities.

 

Propulsion is achieved by the action of the swimmer with their arm stroke, kick and even body movement. As the swimmer improves their technique, they will achieve greater propulsion from the same amount of effort.
 
Resistance ie broken down into three parts: Frontal, Eddy and Skin. Frontal and Eddy resistance is directly linked to streamlining. For example, a swimmer that swims with their head above the water increases the amount of Frontal resistance as they have more surface area at the front, and this also increases the amount of Eddy turbulence behind them which generates a "pulling" from behind force. Skin resistance is the water passing the body as it moves forward. Skin resistance is reduced when the surface area of the swimmer is reduced and when the body is smoother.

personal equipment

Swimming Cap-
We ask that all swimmers who are independent of their carer ( ie – not in a parents and bubs class) wear a cap. It helps keep the pool cleaner and prevents hair going into your eyes which is very distracting.
 
Goggles – While we do teach the learners to swim without goggles for safety training, they become necessary for comfort in the water. If your eyes are not in the water – you are not swimming properly!
 
Rash vests and board Shorts – Both are designed primarily for sun protection. The more clothing a swimmer wears, the more restricted are the stroke development and streamlining. Plain English – It is harder, and will take longer, to learn to swim in boardies and rashies.
 
Fins (flippers) - Long blade fins are required for development squad. We transition to short blade fins in the squad class and are used in advanced squad.
 
Pull Buoys - Required in advanced squad. 

flutter kicks

The common term for the freestyle kick is the “flutter” kick. It is called this as the feet appear to flutter at the surface of the water. IMPORTANT- an efficient flutter kick does not have the feet exit the surface of the water, they just flutter below which will break the surface of the water resulting in some splash. The feet have become “floppy” which means the pressure of the water is moving the foot, not the swimmers muscle. Bringing the legs/feet out of the water is an energy consuming habit which has a negative impact on streamlining. Extremely large kicks can effectively put the swimmer into reverse!

Water Entries

Listing water entry techniques from safest:
1) walk/wade –
enter the water by walking or sliding feet along the bottom, getting progressively deeper.
2) slide entry –
when the depth and state of the bottom are unknown, entering from an edge, and option 1 is not available. Use upper body to slowly lower into the water feeling with feet for obstacles.
3) Stride entry/safety step –
when entering water of known depth and conditions. From a standing position extend 1 leg some distance, slightly bend the knees, lean forward and extend arms sideways. On entering the water, push down with the arms and scissor kick the legs to keep head out of water.
4) Compact Jump –
when entry is from a height greater than 1 meter into known deep water. Place both arms across the body with 1 over  the mouth
and nose, step off then bring legs together keeping them straight. Hold this position vertically ensuring feet go in  first. Once under water tuck the body.
5) Accidental fall –
When falling in unexpectedly. Continue with fall ( DO NOT TURN AROUND TO TRY AND CATCH THE SIDE AS AN INJURY IS LIKELY FROM THIS) Tuck chin onto chest, place hands on head using arms to protect face and chest. Raise knees towards chest.
6) Dive – that’s a whole new lesson! Only into deep known water.

Streamlining

Our level 3 is the beginning of our streamlining focus. Quite simply, streamlining the body has many benefits for a swimmer: for example, it reduces frontal resistance which therefore enables a greater glide through the water, it reduces “eddy” turbulence therefore reducing drag, it enables a much more effective kick and efficient stroke which in turn increase stamina and speed. To help your champion streamline, they will hear “ eyes down and toes up”!

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