Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Value & Uses of Kickboards In Swimming




Kickboards and I have a relationship based on mutual respect. I acknowledge that they can be a very useful tool but I abhor their over use.

Over dependence of kickboards is one of the main causes of delayed development in swimmers.

I have had parents bring their children to me distressed because of the slow development of their children and when I have asked the new swimmer to do a torpedo for me I have been met with "I can't do that without a kickboard" from the child.

I have had other instances where a parent has been horrified when they have bought their child and I have thrown away the kick board in the first few moments of the lesson. Horrified that is until they realized their little swimmer was doing better in one lesson that they had the whole term.

Don't get me wrong kickboards are a very useful tool but if you forget that little fact instead of a tool it becomes a millstone.

I don't use kick boards for learning torpedo (usually).
I don't use a kick board for teaching straight arm freestyle (mostly).
I don't use a kick board when I teach a new swimmer to float unless I have to..
I even try to get away without a kickboard when I start to teach backstroke.


So what are kickboards useful for?:

Drills !
Mostly kicking drills but not exclusively

Thats it. I know you thought I was going to give a whole list of things and their are a whole lot of different drills you can use one for but you must have as many if not more drills without the kickboard as you do with.

Enjoy
  Richard

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