Teaching FC and FC Turns to 7-12 year old

Saturday 11th April, WC 13/4/15 MSM SC Teaching FC and FC Turns

Our Grades 3-6. This is my cheat sheet with added notes.

Streamlining – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’

Against the wall
Ensure ankles are against the walls, shoulders are against the wall, then stretch into the streamlined position – arms above the head. Check that one hand is over the other and they can lock this.

Also, in another session, to help with diving and turns, they jump on the spot in this position – away from the wall.

Correct Flutter Kick – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Feet dipped in the pool – if feasible. Buttocks on the edge of the pool, legs long and straight, toes pointed and ‘make the water boil’ … slowly speed up and try to limit any cycling of the legs.

Then enter the water

Warm Up
FC kick – with a kicker float held in front
BC kick with float over knees – if it jiggles about they are cycling their legs.
FC kick with long arm doggie paddle – correct hand shape, head steady.

Push and glide – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Bounce – standing jump in the streamlined position.
Handstand – with long legs and pointed toes
Push off the wall – one hand in the gutter, the other in front. Push and glide.
Tumble against the wall – somersault more than an arm’s length from the wall. Place feet on wall. Push off the wall into a streamlined position.

For the next session add:
Add dolphin kick
Add FC kick
Add three kicks and flip
Swim to the end. End ‘feet on wall.’

Sea Otter – all important ‘fun one’
Six duck dives over 25m by another name. A game. They pretend to be a sea otter pulling up mussels from the seabed. They swim doggie paddle, duck dive, retrieve their mussels, comes to the surface, turn on their back to smash open the shells and eat the contents, then roll back onto their fronts, swim along and repeat 🙂

FC full stoke
Smooth, silent, slinky …
Swim along the black line – keeping it symmetrical, as if down a pipe.
Bilateral breathing
FC zip it up drill – envisaging a zip on their hip that they zip up to the ear.

Dead Swimmer into FC – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
On the ‘T’ at the end of the lane go into ‘dead swimmer’.
From this floating position slowly raise the arms, then the legs until streamlined.
Then add a dolphin kick and turn it into 25m of FC.

Dive and glide into FC
Jumps – ‘Hamster thing’ – jumping in and not getting your head wet! Pencil jump. Star jump. – from ‘The Swim Drills Book.’
Tumbles – somersaults
Dives and glides – push and glide, dive and glide into a kick.


The Swimming Drill Book

THE book that matters most to swim teachers for developing competitive swimmers from learn to swim.

Every teacher should have a copy and the best way to have it is on an eBook so that the diagrams can be shown to swimmers.

LTAD The Fundamental Stage (Girls 5 to 8 years. Boys 6 to 9 years)

The FUNdamental Phase

The physical, cognitive and emotional characteristics you would expect to see with this phase.

(Girls 5 to 8 years. Boys 6 to 9 years)

The club has more boys than girls at this stage with 8 to 9 typically being the age when they start with us. Better that we get them as developing swimmers age 7 though, which means parents need to be taking their children to learn to swim when they are 3 rather than 5 or 6.


I would expect swimmers in this age group, who are children, by chronological age, to show good control of the large muscle groups (running & jumping, strokes) whereas fine motor controls will not be fully developed. Girls will typically be ahead of boys with the finer motor controls. This is evident in the way many girls progress more quickly through the ASA NTPS Levels. Need frequent rest periods. Eye focus not fully developed. Cranium still soft. 90% right handed. Coincides with Peak Motor Development.


Those at this stage in the development pathway like to show initiative and enjoy repetition of fun activities. They are creative and like to show initiative, but have short attention spans.


At this stage jealousy is common. They can be affectionate, solitary and emotional! Giving loads of positive feedback is important. They are eager to please the coach – a trait that should never be exploited. They are sensitive to feelings of others and to talk a lot. They may not be good at sharing and are likely to have two best friends.

Working in a training pool with this age group is far more productive than lane swimming, even widths are better. Keep distances short, lots of variety, individual and team activities, learning ‘by stealth’ with activities that not only building confidence, but develop a taste for water, a competence, natural fluidity and ‘feel for the water.’

Grades 3,4 & 5 (NPTS 5,6,7) Progressions into FLY

Grades 3,4 & 5 Progressions into FLY

A new intake.

I’m certain we’re getting them to younger: it feels that way. Starting to swim lengths at 7 & 8 is better than starting a 9 & 10. We want the able ones competing for the club at 8 & 9 which means they can dive, & tumble turn & swim all the competitive strokes like a competitive swimmer.

I share my first session with TJfwho is an assistant teacher. I’m happy to explain what I am doing as I go through a series of tests, the warm up then drills.

I’m delighted with the quality of swimming from all of them. High elbow on FC, Straight arm recovery on BK, long flutter kick, BR would not see any of them disqualified, they struggled with half a length of Butterfly though. I asked who their teacher had been because I’m not used to getting some conformity in a group, not the consistent standard. It was AJf. Brilliant.


Progressions into FLY

Dolphin action on deck
Dolphin lengths/widths
Kick on Back (KOB)
Kick on Front (KOF)

I stuck with the kick at this Grade as with a new intake a) I didn’t want to rush it and b) believe that their first of impression of me will last, we had to do some fun things too.

Demo on side of pool
Walk along trying arm action
4 or 8 kicks 1 pull

FLY into BC

As the space ‘behind the boom’ was free I used this shallow water for a some of the following. They find it all a bit of fun, which is fine. I’ve learnt having done this for several years and with these drills for a year, that over a period of weeks there will be significant improvements.

Progressions into the FC Flip Turn

Streamline Jumps
Jump & somersault
Push-off & somersault
One-arm extension & flip
Plus 3 strokes, plus 3-count & flip
Feet on wall
12.5m out FC with flip turn
12 mins

None of this either this time. Once they had fins on we repeated many of the kicking drill and did some fun dolphin too.

All of this will have to wait another week too.



One arm


Both in deep-end
Both with legs crossed in deep-end
Vertical twist

I make notes on each of the swimmers. The batteries in the digital recorder are dud so I added some notes to the register sheets instead – these will be an immediate aide memoir when I take these groups again in a weeks time. No good to me here as we’ve started a system of handing registers in at the end of the morning to keep in a box poolside.

So who did I have today?

I’ll write up a profile based on the child’s swim over 25m/50m for FC, BC BR with an attempt at FLY or Dolphin kick. We’ll do a push & glide into each strokes, and dives: sitting, kneeling & standing (sometimes from the block). In addition there will be confidence/skills assessments with handstands, somersaults, jumps from the block & surface dives.

This collection of activities allows me to assess quickly the latent potential of a child. It does not surprise me when a child who swims this level, showing confidence, balance, control & fluidity in the water progresses quickly through the teaching Grades to Mini-Squad. This can take only six months, or possibly a year. Those I scout are invited to a weekly one hour skills advancement session (that is free).

All of AJf’s group show this potential. I hope I will be able to progress them as a group and once I lose them to another teacher to invite them to this additional session so that there is continuity in their development.

After the session I spoke with two parents a mother, then a father. I was able to offer them a thorough profile of their child and suggest ways that the club can advance their skills. Turning up often and regularly is the key. Time spent with the different teachers is valuable as they have a different approach to everything. What we need is even more water time so that swimmers could swim three or more times a week – this is what I was able to do in a micro-club.