These are ASA NPTS equivalents of grades 6,7 and 9. you teach the swimmer even if they are in a group, so adjust or add activities.
See The Swim Drill Book, Ruben Guzman
(We purchased 8 copies for the club and like every teacher to have one)
Grade 7 are technically superior and have more stamina and may be a little older. The ones I watch out for are the 7 year olds in with 10 and 11 year olds as they need a different approach, TLC and play.
3 x 50m warm up of front crawl and backstroke, always giving a tip before starting them off (and accommodating the odd swimmer who is invariably late), say ‘smooth swimming’ or ‘long legs’. i.e. reducing splashing and creating a more efficient swimmer.
Constantly adjust lane order, trying to keep them in speed order or to give others a go leading off.
Make sure too that there is 5m between each swimmer too.
(I know all their names within 10 minutes having used their name repeatedly and been corrected if I get it wrong, the name or the pronunciation).
25m of Breaststroke to see what I’ve got and potentially adjust accordingly.
Kick on front with a kicker float.
Taking tips from ‘The Swim Drill Book’ I remember to put as much emphasis on keeping the chin in.
Streamlined bounce just to help make the next instruction clear, which is to do breaststroke kick on the back.
The glide is key; this is where to put the emphasis.
May start the ‘Kick, Pull, Glide’ or better ‘Kick, Pull, Slide’ mantra to get it into their heads.
Standing demo of the arm stroke, from Guzman, forming an equilateral triangle and keeping the fingers pointing away. Will ‘describe’ the triangle poolside then ask what it is and what kind of triangle. Anything to get them to think about it a little.
I show this as a single action. Other things I might say include ‘heart shaped’ *(upside down). And making a sound effect ‘Bu-doth’ as I push my arms out.
Repeat the need for a pronounced glide, even asking fo a 2 second count (one Mississippi, two Mississippi) which I support by showing images on an iPhone or the Kindle
(I’m yet to drop either in the pool. I doubt I will ever risk taking the iPad with me, either in a bag or poolside. What we need is a kicker float sized tablet. One that is waterproof too!).
Leading into the turn we do in sequence (from the shallow end):
- Push and glide for count of 5 seconds
- Same, then add the underwater stroke and See how far you can go.
- The whole BR transition counting 3,2,1.
(May only add later in the season, or with higher groups as the last thing we want them to do or to keep doing is dropping their hands to their ‘pockets’ on every breast stroke).
Up to the deep end as ‘sea otter’
This is a fun one but has a lot going for it:
- Duck dive
- Swimming together
- A giggle
BR transition with the dive. Getting the depth is often a problem.
For the stronger, more ‘advanced’ swimmers, our Grade 6 or 7 (ASA NPTS Grades 9 or 10) then Breaststroke kick on the back holding the streamlined position. Aim to keep the knees below the surface bringing the ankle into the bum
Dive practise running through:
Topple and jump
Topple and dive
May do back, breast, FC. With the Fly as a length on its own.
Usually add in somersaults and a handstand at some stage.
Swimming in from the flags in the shallow end, may get them out to walk through ‘elbow your brother, phone your mother’ as a way to get them into a pivot turn.
Usual problem is that they are too shallow for the BR transition.
At some point I will do a couple of 25m race pace swims starting them off with the whistle.