11 The Best Swimmer Ever

Updated on: May 2021

The Best Swimmer Ever in 2021


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Swimmer, The

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Teaching the Front Crawl to Young Children: Tips and Techniques

This is a fully layout of the methods and techniques I use for teaching the front craw swimming stroke to young children ranging in age from 5 to 10.

The Front Float

To begin, have the swimmer place both hands on the side of the pool so he will not feel like he is going to float away. Once the swimmer is comfortable with floating face down in the water for at least five seconds have him move away from the side of the pool. Now, while holding both of his hands out at arms length have him continue to practice the jellyfish float. Once he is comfortable with that, use only one hand to support the swimmer. Next use both of your hands to lightly support the swimmer under the armpits while he practices the float. Finally, the swimmer should be ready to try and float on his own. Do not be surprised if he experiences nervousness or fear. Encourage him and remind him that you are nearby and will not let anything happen to him.

The Front Glide

The front glide is the next step in learning the front crawl. Start the swimmer off by having him hold a flotation device like a fun noodle, floating barbell, or kickboard and push off from the edge of the pool and glide out towards you. Stand about five feet from him and slowly increase the distance every time they reach you. The goal is to get the swimmer comfortable with gliding for at least five feet without standing up. The swimmer should have straight legs, straight arms, and his face in the water for most of the glide. Once he is used to gliding for a distance have him leave the flotation device on the side of the pool and work on gliding by himself. Hold the swimmer's hand and guide him along using the same steps as you did teaching the float.

The Kick

The kick used in the front crawl is called the "flutter kick" so named for the way the feet of the swimmer look as if they are fluttering up and down while swimming. In the flutter kick the legs are kept straight and the foot and toes are pointed much like the feet of a dancer who is on point would be. The vast majority of children will simply not be able to do this correctly until they have practiced the kick for a long time. I typically have the swimmer place both hands on the side of the pool and just kick. While he is kicking, I encourage him pointing out all the things that he is doing correctly, while pointing out ways that he can improve his kick.

Combining The Glide and Kick

Now that the swimmer is okay with gliding and has a idea of what the kick should be like, it's time to combine the two. Continue using the flotation device
if needed, but encourage the swimmer to learn it without. Have the swimmer work on slowly extending the length of his kicking glides until he can go at least ten feet without standing up.

Breathing while gliding is done by simply having the swimmer raise his head, taking a quick breath and then putting his face back into the water. The swimmer should be slowly blowing out his breath underwater so time spent breathing in is minimized.

The Arms

I teach the arm motions for the front crawl by having the swimmer visualize his arms being the arms from a windmill or fan and his body being the center of the fan. It is important that the swimmer keeps his arms as straight as possible while learning this stroke so that he will not bend his elbows and drag his arms though the water once he combines the arms with the kick glide. Start out by having the swimmer practice the arm motions while holding the side of the pool and kicking. Again encourage him and gently help him improve his form while he is still on the wall.

Adding The Arms

Next use the flotation device again and have him start to swim out to you. Start our only about five feet away and work up to swimming across the pool. Once he is alright with that have him leave the flotation device on the side and work on swimming to you without it.

At this point breathing is going to be the same as the front kick glide.

Side Breathing

Once again the swimmer is going to need to practice this on the side of the pool before attempting it in the "open" water. Make sure to have him choose which arm is his "breathing arm" and which is his "bubble arm". While his breathing arm is above the water, he breathes, and while his bubble arm is above the water, he blows bubbles. Have the swimmer start face down in the water and blow out all of his air. Once he needs to take a breath, have him turn his head to one side so that his ear is still in the water but his mouth is above the surface and have him take a quick breath and then turn his face back down under the water and start blowing bubbles again. Children will always want to lift their whole head out of the water and may even try to take more than one breath. Work with him to get used to taking only one breath and reinforce the idea of keeping his ear in the water while breathing.

Putting It All Together

That's it! Those are all of the basic parts of the front crawl. There are more advanced techniques that you could teach the swimmer but I find that those are better left until the child is older and better able to understand, focus, and visualize the concepts. I know that is seems to be very complex and that's because it is, but remember that the more your swimmer practices the more that this stroke will become second nature. Good luck and happy swimming!

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