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Level 3:
Stroke Development

     Ages: 5-7 Years | Parents off Pool Deck

Participants should be able to front stroke and swim on their back independently. Freestyle (arms form) will be introduced, while building on safety skills and comfort. Participants will swim further than 5 yards on their front/back with breathing to achieve the goals of this level.

Swimmers will work on: gliding, freestyle with side breathing, backstroke, breast stroke and dolphin kicks, retrieving objects in deeper water, treading water, jumping into deep water and compact dives.

LEVEL 3 OBJECTIVES

  • Flawless kick on their back

  • Complete Backstroke (unsupported)

  • Flawless kick on their front

  • Lateral breathing on front (supported)

Swimming instructor teaching children swimming techniquesusing a kickboard and barbell

Level 3: Children in level 3 work on building skills such distance, rotary breathing and the breaststroke pull and kick to transition into our west pool programs

 

Very often children show up in a lap pool without the proper skills. 3A should focus very closely on the strokes and endurance needed to move up to 3B and not the location where the lesson occurs. 

 

3A

Flutter kicking on front 15 yards 

Understanding of lateral (side) breathing

Freestyle w/ lateral breathing 15 yards

Dolphin Kick 10 yards

Flutter kicking on back 15 yards 

Backstroke 15 yards

Elementary backstroke 15 yards

Breaststroke kick 10 yards

Breaststroke 15 yards

The 3B evaluations could probably remain the same and really enforce the rotary breathing. Again, with the motor skills, it is hard enough for many children to start off with learning breathing to both sides. Lateral breathing is important as the first step of learning side-breathing and the progression should then move into rotary. The skills must be defined in terms of progression and the current cards and evaluations do not reflect that. The current skill cards have far too many jumps and variations from one step to the next within the broad level. 

COMMON MISTAKES

 

  • Sometimes, they tend to rotate their head and breathe too early.  Remind them to rotate the head only at the end of the pull.  If it is necessary, make them hold one-arm streamline position for three seconds (they will breathe only when the hand is stopped) and then recover.  It is easy for them to concentrate at one step at the time.

 

  • DRAG FLOATING DEVICE.  Most of the times, they rely too much on the “helpers” and push them underwater.  Ask them to keep the “helper” on the surface at all times.   This will help them in the future when they swim without assistance.

 

  • LIFT/ROTATE SHOULDERS WHEN BREATHING. Remember, they should only move their chin when breathing. If they arch or lift their head, their body alignment will change and they will sink.

  1. Not all students are ready. The first, and most common, mistake is something we make. PLEASE, make sure that your students are ready for this. If someone is not, keep working with the pull-buoy until he or she is ready to move on. Keep in mind that children need to experience success when doing something… they will not enjoy their time with you if they the challenge is too difficult for them. Challenging them is what you want; having them struggle IS NOT!

 

  1. Drop hands. They need to hold one hand up while the other is moving (pulling.) We know that at this point they should ALWAYS swim in a catch up patter; this requires them to keep one arm up in front the whole time. I always tell my pupils to imagine that they are still holding the pull-buoy with one hand; this should help them understand that they need to keep it up until the other is done. 

 

  1. No sculling/paddling. The hand that is in front should stay still.

 

  1. Look down. ALWAYS remind them that they should be facing down when the face is in the water (this is true for all strokes!) for a more aligned body position.

 

  1. They need to be on the front. There is a reason behind the name of this stroke – FRONT crawl – At his level, we should keep everything simple. This is another example of something you should not be teaching them. Rotating from side to side is something we teach at very high level.

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