The Swimming Focus for the week is Balance.

Swimmers who are ‘balanced’ in the water can float, glide and swim with ease.  They’re maintaining an efficient head and hip position, and kicking near the surface of the water which allows them to use the water rather than ‘fight’ with it.  This is really important for beginner swimmers to get right.

  • Its all about the head position. There’s no ‘one size fits all’: every swimmer will have a slightly varying ideal head position.  The key here is that if the head is in the right position, the hips will be high enough for the legs to kick at the surface with as little drag as possible.
  • Swimmers with a good natural body position can look forward without it harming their swimming.  Looking down may make these swimmers feel unbalanced like they’re falling forward.  Usually you won’t have to tell a swimmer with a good natural body position where to look – they can feel it.
  • Swimmers whose legs tend to sink can be encouraged to look at the floor or tuck their chin in so as to shift the centre of buoyancy and gravity, helping the hips to rise and the legs to kick nearer the surface.

I find that teaching children to perform a good float, glide and ‘speedboat’ first, really helps them to get that feeling of balance at an early age.  Only once they’re kicking through the water with ease do I introduce the arms which they pick up a lot quicker (whether doggie paddle, front crawl or backstroke) having been taught the feeling of balance first.

Written by Lee-Anne McQueen

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