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How To Swim Freestyle: Breathing Every 4th Stroke

Breathing When Teaching How To Swim Freestyle

When teaching how to swim freestyle, it is not unusual for swimming instructors to teach their students to take their breath on every fourth stroke.

Image of a child in the pool learning how to swim freestyle.
Breathing on Every Fourth Stroke

This seems to have a number of advantages:

  1. It allows time for the student to breath out all the air in their lungs

  2. It gives the student time to think about what it is they are doing

  3. It minimizes the disturbance effect that the movement of the head has on the stroke.

This all seems great till your student constantly raises the head out of sequence and changes the stroke altogether - usually to a doggie paddle- in order to get enough breath to go on with the next stroke.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Wake up!!!!!!!!

If a child is running out of breath on every fourth stroke none of the above advantages can be realized.

Don't be lazy! Let your swimming student (cause its not just juniors that will do this) breath every second stroke if they have to.

It's a bit more work on your part and the student may take a little longer than the swimming student who has big enough lungs. But trust me if they cannot get enough air in, because of panic or just small lungs, they are only going to continue to have problems and will take forever to get it right anyway.

You're not doing your Swimming students or yourself any favours. Work with your swimming students.


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