Front Crawl – Grades 4 and 5

09h15 The Dolphin, Haywards Heath

I had two lanes: five in one, four in the other. Our first day back, but possibly some kids going to local private schools are still on holiday. The approach the club takes is to determine the main stroke and alternative activity for the week; in this case, front crawl and diving.

I add in plenty of streamlining exercises which serves many roles: body position, pushing off and gliding out of turns and dives and of course for diving itself.

A warm up might be no more that 50m Front Crawl and 50m Back Crawl.

‘Dead Swimmer’ in Ruben Guzman. The Swim Drill Book.

I then use the Kindle to show a page from Ruben Guzman book on how to do what I call ‘dead swimmer’ where the swimmers go from floating on the surface of the water into a streamline position, and from there with a few butterfly kicks into Front Crawl. We did this in the shallow end, starting at the ‘T’ of the lane and under the flags in the deep end. Four times.

2 x 50m FC Kick

2 x 50 FC Single Arm, changing arm at 25.

‘For fun’ tucking a kicker float between the legs and touching it with each stroke.

Also for fun, bouncing the length of the pool in the streamlined position.

From pushing off and gliding we added first the a dolphin kick, then added the stroke.

With a dive we did a couple of sprints.

Some backstroke, but with one boy not allowed to do breaststroke at the moment I kept off it. Ditto butterfly – work on the leg kick will help with butterfly development.

In every case I have their names within a few lengths. Not rocket science. I just go to the trouble of getting a fix on the face and the name and by using it often I am quickly corrected where I get it wrong. Kids are far more responsive when you use their name. Unless they are all of a very similar standard I will get them into ‘speed order’, though this is often more like ‘enthusiasm order’. I’ll alter the order often to try to stop anyone feeling they have ownership of a slot, whether at the front or at the back.

All reasonable swimmers and it made a change that all could dive.

Ages 9 – 11