Thursday, August 2, 2007

Learn How to Swim 101: Don't Splash those feet!

One of the most frustrating things that I have to deal with in teaching children to swim is parents and even other swimming teachers, telling the children to splash there feet when learning to kick!

I know that it looks like they are learning to kick and it looks as though you are teaching them to kick properly but the reality is it doesn't do anything!

Just think about it, if the students feet leave the water what is it they are kicking.... Air! How far do you think a student is going to get kicking air? There is no propulsion in kicking air and never will be and it just makes my job that much harder.



A child that has been taught particularly by the parent is not easily convinced that they are not doing the right thing. Why? because the parent told them to do it.

A student learning to swim should be taught to kick the legs under the water with relaxed but fully extended legs and flippy floppy feet. They should be taught to kick in such a way as to make the knees pass each other so that they have big long kicks like they would if they were to kick a football.

This is going to take time as you may have to teach them to do all these things one step at a time. But teaching them to splash there feet is not a substitute.

There is a place for splashing feet. Some times if a student is unable to grasp the concept of keeping there heals or toes (depending on whether they are on the back or front) close to the surface of the water, then I might ask the student to splash. It would only be as a drill however and I would not want it to turn into a habit.

Enjoy
   Richard

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