Tips on teaching breaststroke

Fig.1. From ‘The Swimming Drills Book

“Pull, breathe, kick, glide.”

Repeat this until sticks in their heads and they do it in the pool!

Watch this animation from the BBC Sport

The body is horizontal in with the hips high, the head is steady and the chin tucked in – the breath in is short and explosive – the breath out underwater is a slow trickle. The arms reach forward out, pull out and scoop to the chest in one inverted heart-shape.

The stretch is most important in Breaststroke as it forms a vital part of the swim – you kick into the glide.

In breaststroke you are moving faster and more efficiently through the water when you are doing nothing at all – this streamline position is vital. The arm pull is short, the legs whip out against the water to get you into this sliding, gliding, streamlined position.

The session plan

Fig.2. Breaststroke Arms. From ‘The Swimming Drills Book.’

Poolside

Exercise 1
Breaststroke arms standing (poolside or shoulder high in water)

Establishes the correct arm action.Begins to address swimmers who pull down to the their thighs

Keep arms in front of shoulders.
“Like putting tomato sauce on a pizza?”
An upside down heartshape.
“Pull, sweap, sneeze!!”

FOCUS: Watch your hands, they should always be in front of your shoulders.

You may need to take their hands and move them through the stroke.

Warm up

FC/BC 50/100m smooth
BR 50/100m Observe their Breaststroke

Main Set
Pick through a choice of your favourite drills to fix observed problems (see suggestions by group grade below).

These are typically:

  • Dropping the hands to the waist
  • Kick Problems: not symmetrical, screw kick/side kick, not a whip kick.
  • Head tipping back and forth.
  • Hips are low in the water
  • Breathing in and out with equal force. It must be an explosive inhale and a slow ‘trickle’ exhale.

Apply the drills. See ‘The Swim Drills Book’ Ruben Guzman

Adjust drills according to how they respond

A choice of drills based on the problems they’re having and grade:

Breaststroke arms with a woggle tucked under their arms
An excellent way to give swimmers a physical barrier to their arms dropping to the waist.
Push off gently so you don’t lose your noodle. Hand out only one colour to avoid hassle who gets what colour!

Breaststroke Arms with flutter kick
Keeps the body horizontal and moving forward making it easier to develop what may at first be a weak arm stroke in front of the shoulders.
Keep the flutter kick steady. Wear fins if you have them. A dolphin kick is a good alternative.

Breaststroke Kick with a float

Hands over the top. Use as pullbuoy as a variation on this and before kicking without a float at all.

Steady kick. Always kick into a streamlined glide.
Explosive inhale, blow out slowly.

2K1P
Two Kicks One Armpull

To develop the kick and put emphasis on the gliding action.
Make them work. Do it a few times, as 25m, 50m or 100m until they do the drill perfectly.

Extended glide
Glide for one, or two seconds counting ‘One Mississippi’- start the count once in the streamlined position not before. They will cheat!
Many cheat and so making it a two second glide is more likely to achieve the desired effect. Be emphatic about streamlining the glide.

Breaststroke leg kick on your back.

Higher grades with arms extended above the head.
Also Old English Backstroke.
Aim to keep the knees below the surface bringing the ankle into the bum

Tougher drills:

1D1U
One down, one up
Only with top grades and training groups

This alternates the arm stroke to the waste (for transition) with the surface stroke to encourage undulation

Some struggled to get it. Relax, drop to the bottom, pull to the surface

1A1L
One arm, one leg!
Take the left leg with the right arm (or vice versa) and swim 25m breaststroke with only one leg and one arm!

Encourages coordination and being flat on the water.

A good fun one, serious though. Some do it brilliantly, others struggle.

Reference

The Swimming Drill Book. R. Guzman

Some useful video clips to watch

How to do the breaststroke (development)

How to swim breaststroke arms (competitive)

Breaststroke Animation: Side one

Common breaststroke mistakes

How to kick breaststroke – frog kick

Bend, Open, Snap – Breaststroke Frog Kick demonstrated

Teaching Breaststroke by Gator Swim Team

About Swimming Breaststroke

From ‘Swim Fastest” Maglischo

THE SESSION PLAN (Download from Google Docs)

“Pull, breathe, kick, glide.”

Key Points:

  1. The body is horizontal in with the hips high, the head is steady and the chin tucked in – the breath in is short and explosive – the breath out underwater is a slow trickle. The arms reach forward out, pull out and scoop to the chest in one inverted heart-shape.
  2. The stretch is most important in Breaststroke as it forms a vital part of the swim – you kick into the glide.
  3. In breaststroke you are moving faster and more efficiently through the water when you are doing nothing at all – this streamline position is vital. The arm pull is short, the legs whip out against the water to get you into this sliding, gliding, streamlined position.

 

Poolside

Breaststroke arms standing (poolside or shoulder high in water)

Establishes the correct arm action.Begins to address swimmers who pull down to the their thighs

Keep arms in front of shoulders.

“Like putting tomato sauce on a pizza?”

An upside down heartshape.

“Pull, sweap, sneeze!!”

 

Focus: Watch your hands, they should always be in front of your shoulders.

 

Warm up

FC/BC 50/100m smooth

BR 50/100m

Observe their Breaststroke

 

Main Set

Pick through a choice of your favourite drills to fix observed problems

 

Breaststroke arms with a woggle tucked under their arms

An excellent way to give swimmers a physical barrier to their arms dropping to the waist.

Push off gently so you don’t lose your noodle.

 

Breaststroke Kick with a float

Hands over the top. Use as pullbuoy as a variation on this and before kicking without a float at all.

Steady kick. Always kick into a streamlined glide.

Explosive inhale, blow out slowly.

 

Breaststroke Arms with flutter kick

Keeps the body horizontal and moving forward making it easier to develop what may at first be a weak arm stroke in front of the shoulders.

Keep the flutter kick steady.

 

2K1P

Two Kicks One Armpull

To develop the kick and put emphasis on the gliding action.

Make them work. Do it a few times, as 25m, 50m or 100m until they do the drill perfectly.

 

Extended glide

Glide for one, or two seconds counting ‘One Mississippi’- start the count once in the streamlined position not before. They will cheat!

Many cheat and so making it a two second glide is more likely to achieve the desired effect. Be emphatic about streamlining the glide.

 

Breaststroke leg kick on your back.

Higher grades with arms extended above the head.

 

Also Old English Backstroke.

Aim to keep the knees below the surface bringing the ankle into the bum

Tougher drills:

 

1D1U

One down, one up

Only with top grades and training groups

This alternates the arm stroke to the waste (for transition) with the surface stroke to encourage undulation

Some struggled to get it. Relax, drop to the bottom, pull to the surface

 

1A1L

One arm, one leg!

Take the left leg with the right arm (or vice versa) and swim 25m breaststroke with only one leg and one arm!

Encourages coordination and being flat on the water.

A good fun one, serious though. Some do it brilliantly, others struggle.

Saturday 11th MSM SC Teaching FC and FC Turns

Poolside

Streamlining

Against the wal

 

Side of pool

Correct Flutter Kick

Feet dipped in the pool

 

In the water

Warm Up

FC kick

BC kick with float over knees

FC kick with long arm doggie paddle

 

Main Session

Push and glide

Bounce

Handstand

Push off the wall

Tumble against the wall

Add FC kick

Add three kicks and flip

Swim to the end. End ‘feet on wall.’

 

Fun one

Sea Otter

 

FC fullstoke

Smooth, silent, slinky …

Swim along the black line

Bilateral breathing

FC zip it up

 

Dead Swimmer into FC with fly kick

 

From the side and starting blocks

Dive and glide into FC

Jumps

Tumbles

Dives and glides

A programme of club swim teaching

The programme I’ll be following for the next three months. A simple check sheet for the groups I teach each week. I see between 60 and 80 kids a week, most of these in our teaching groups. Typically age 9-12, a few a little younger. We have groups 1 to 8. Grous 1-3 can swim … they can do a 25m length. These are our beginner groups. Typically I take from Grade 4 upwards, including some who have gone through to our ‘training groups’ – these are club members who want to keep swimming, but haven’t made the grade to join a competitive squad.

Teaching lessons are 30 minutes for groups 1-3, 45 minutes for groups 4-8 and an hour for training groups.

April 13th-July 20th 2015

 

Date wc

Stroke/Activity

Contrasting Activity

Notes

Mon 13th April

Frontcrawl FC Turns
Mon 20th April Backcrawl BC Turns Stroke Count to flags.

All B/C finishes remain on back

Mon 27th  April

Breaststroke BR Transition

Start/Turn

Mon 4th May Starts & Turns

(Prepare  for Dev galas)

Comp Start sheets

Mon 11th May

Butterfly Diving Dev gala 1

Tues 12th Grades 1-4

Sat 16th Grades 5-8

Mon 18th  May

Breast-stroke BRS Transition
Mon 25th  May Butterfly Fly Turns

Mon 1st June

Backstroke B/C Turns
Mon 8th June Frontcrawl Starts

Mon 15th June

Individual Medley IM turns/finishes

Mon 22nd June

Assessments Intro/use of pace clock
Mon 29th  June Starts & Turns Prep for Dev gala
Mon 6th July Breast-stroke BRS Transition Dev gala 2

Tues 7th Grades 1-4

Sat 11th Grades 5-8

Mon 13th July Revision/Teachers choice
Mon 20th July Relays

Using Gagne’s steps for instructional design to develop e-learning for swimming teachers

Gagne’s events of instruction applied to helping swimming teachers develop a specific stroke.

1. Gaining attention
The scene opener, even the preview or title sequence. e.g After – then before. A competitive ten year old swimming a beautiful stroke, and then a weak swimmer showing how it starts out with problems and mess galore.

2. Informing the learner (their guardian and coach/teacher) of the objective. Presenting the destination and what milestones have to be reached, or what crests to climb. e.g A programme of development over two years, over six terms, with as many galas and assessments, with fun too.

3. Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning
Tapping into what has already been understood – creating empathy. The known to make the unknown less scary. So swimming as play.

4. Presenting the stimulus material
Presenting the case, offering evidence that might impress or inspire, that could be controversial and memorable. The interactivities, or e–tivities, or interplay between person and PC, or other people online. More than passive viewing or being taught.

5. Providing learning guidance
Offering a way through the maze, the thread through the labarynth or the helping hand. The programme of events, the menu.

6. Eliciting the performance
Now it’s their turn. Having a go in a measured way, making it progressively more difficult, returning to some learning, building on it, adding more …

7. Providing feedback
Sandwiched, constructive feedback on which to build. Where social learning is vital to provide support, guidance and motivation.

8. Assessing the performance
How are targets going? Assessment, as in testing, as part of the learning process, whether a multi–choice or practical. How are they doing? Have objectives been met?

9. Enhancing retention and transfer
Did it stick, could they pass it on and so become the teacher? What event or events can embed, even celebrate the achievement so that others may benefit from it?

Goal Setting

For squad swimmers, coaches … and parents of squad swimmers, it helps to set some goals. This is how. Make sure they are:

Stretching and Games

STRETCHING

Stretch on poolside

Push & Glide then roll onto front or back

Roll into the water like a log

Tucked roll into water

GAMES

Still Pond (like dead lions but in water)

Kick of war (face to face with one float and kick!)

Statues (like bulldog but stand still, swimmer goes through legs to rescue)

Relay Race

Running, doggie paddle, hop, jump, run backwards etc: Pair swim with linked arms or holding ankles of the swimmer in front.

Tunnel swim. Teams line up. Swimmer at back goes through legs and raises hand on completion to send the next swimmer off.

LTAD Learn to Train Girls 8 -11. Boys 9 – 12 years

Learn to TRAIN

LEARN TO TRAIN (SWIM SKILLS)

(Girls 8 to 11 years. Boys 9 to 12 years)

If you experienced it as a parent or saw it over several years through the swimming club, you will have a view on how boys and girls differ and the quite different growth spurts they go through, both physically and mentally.

Personally I’d teach boys separately from the girls ’til they are 15 or 16 – not achievable though.

Don’t you find you have a class splits down the middle where there are equal numbers of girls and boys? And how a boy on his own in a group of girls might not last long? If we’re going to address the problem of so few boys being attracted to or staying in the sport, then clubs should get their heads around the gender differences.

In our club this learn to train phase is at the top end of teaching groups, say grades 7 to 10 (here treating Mini Squad as a teaching level).

Whilst we promote on merit, skills and times being achieved, meeting the entry requirements for squads, if not training groups, we ought to be more conscious of the need to get competent girls out of teaching as they reach 11, while with boys we could run for another year.

Mini Squad at present has girls and boys 8-12 and splits into two distinct groups. To achieve our long-term goals to gain Swim21 Competitive Development Status we need more coming in age 8 (girls), age 9 (boys) so that they are ready to compete for in the age 9 category.  This in turn means bringing them through teaching stages faster, but with not less efficiency. This can only be achieved is the more committed swimmers a) start younger – age 7 into the club; b) swim more often – twice a week initially and three times a week+ from age 8/9; c) talent spotting to fast track skills and stamina into skills groups at both pools.

PHYSICAL

At this stage young athletes show no fear but lack the skill level so accidents can occur. They are extremely active, but they still need to rest. As ligament growth is not yet complete they still cannot withstand too much stress.

COGNITIVE

They show short attention spans and enjoy repetition of fun activities They are eager to learn.

EMOTIONAL

They are sensitive to criticism and need oodles of positive feedback. They are eager to please the coach and are prone to sneak on each other are cliquish & competitive!

THE KEY DRIVERS HERE FOR ME ARE:

Positive feedback

Swimming drills are repetitive anyway, so try to make them fun with constant variety.

Use their eagerness to learn, a few minutes on the side of the pool every week and they can quickly pick up all kinds of valuable lessons.

 

 

A progressive set through top teaching groups into Mini and Bronze. FC/BC uwphase, rotational turns

G6, 7 & 9 MINI & BRONZE                                                                                                Date….27/10/2010

 

POOL SESSION TIME SESSION LENGTH

Ardingly (4x25m)                5.45pm -8.30pm                                          45 mins / 1 hr

 

FC BC & FLY

UW phase & rotational turns

G6,7,8,9 Teaching Group  (T) Age 9-11
Mini     (M) Age 9-11/12
Bronze (B) Age 11/12

SETS/

STROKE

ACTIVITY/COMMENTS OFF-TIMES/ TOT

TOT

DIS

REPS SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS REST/TRGT
 

B

 

 

4X100

 

 

F/C

 

 

Kick 25 Explosive 50 Moderate 25 Explosive

 

 

@1:45

 

 

10

M

 

 

 

 

1X100

1X100

1X100

1X100

 

FC

BC

FC

BC

 

Full Stroke

Full Stroke

Drill – Zip it Up

Drill – Roll Shoulder

 

@2:00

@2:15

@2:30

@3:00

 

 
T

 

 

1X50

1X50

1X50

1X50

 

 

FC

BC

FC

BC

Full Stroke

Full Stroke

Drill – Zip it Up

Drill – Roll Shoulder

N.B. BALANCE/SYMETRY/STREAMLINING

@1:00

@1:15

@1:30

@1:45

 

 

 
B

 

M

 

T

 

10X50

 

8X50

 

8 x 25

 

FC

 

FC

 

FC

 

Piggy-back (kick/arms)

 

FC Zip Up 25m, Full Stroke 25m

 

FC Zip Up 25m, Full Stroke 25m

 

 

@0.50

 

@1:15

 

 

 

10
B

 

M

 

T

8X50

 

4X50

 

4 x 25

Fly/BC

 

Fly/BC

 

Fly/BC

5m UW kick off start and turn minimum

 

 

 

Streamlined.

@0:50

 

@01:00

 

 

10

 

 

 

B

 

 

M

 

 

 

 

 

T

 

4X100

 

 

8X25

 

 

 

 

 

4X25

 

FC/BC/

FLY

 

Fly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legs Only (+ fins)

 

 

Superman

(Walk along bottom & add arms)

2+2+2

8 kicks to one arm pull

4 kicks to one arm pull

 

Alt: Superman

(Walk along bottom & add arms)

 

@1:00

 

 

 

@1:00

 

 

 

 

@1:00

10

 

 

 

      RELAY PLUNGE + Dolphin kick to 12.5m   10
 

200

 

2 x 100

 

FC

 

Bilateral breathing every 3,5,7,9,7,5,3

 

  10

 

 

Total Distance

1700m – 2200m

Total Time

60 mins

Evaluation of Session

 

 

T3 G9 SAT One Hour

8 x 50m FC as 50 swim, 50 kick on 1.30 (or rest 10 seconds) + fins

1 x 200 BK            Rest 30 seconds

1 x 100 BR             Rest 30 seconds

 

6 x 50m BR as 25 Fast, 25 Easy on 1.30

1 x 100 BR Easy

4 x 50 BK as 25 Drill (roll the shoulder, kick), 25 fast   on 1.30

1 x 100 BR Easy

2 x 50 BK as 25 drill/25 fast   on 1.30

1 x 100 BR Easy

2 x 100 as 1st FC Drill (Zip up)

2nd FC swim

4 x25m IM order Lane Clear EASY SWIM

(As swim down)

 

2 KM

 

 

Attracting and retaining volunteers

SOUTH EAST REGION AGM

INTRODUCTION

The biggest region in the country and the largest in terms of the number of clubs, however, there are too many v.small clubs.

PLANS FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Performance coaches to mentor others.

“If you develop your coaches you will develop your swimmers.”

Goals

1 Beacon Club                                 Portsmouth

12 Swim ‘Hub’ Clubs                       Swim21 Networks

116 Clubs Swim21 Accredited        Currently 86

Performance Clubs                          Bracknell

Guilford

Forming a ‘Hub’ for the South East Region

Talent pool

Top 24 Age Group Swimmers, Top 20 Youth Swimmers & Top 12 Open Swimmers to attend two 1 day workshops.

Will work with performance coach, nutritionist, physio & reaction coach.

Disability

Target of 32 S1-S14 Classified

Will attend their own camp

Funding to develop the network & disability swimmers

 

Target of 600 New Volunteers

Target of 200  New Licensed Officials

 

Target of 1,425 Teachers @ UKCC Level 2

 

Facilities

 

x 7   50m Pools so far 4 with a 5th later in 2009 & hopefully a couple in Kent.


DEVELOPING A SUCCESSFUL CLUB

 

John Ingram CHAIRMAN Guildford SC

Guildford 400 members – target 550 in 210

 

NEEDS

Long Term Head Coach to deliver a vision of what they want to do i.e. where we want to go  – even though it may take 5 to 6 years.

 

Committee

That is a balance of skills – not just parents of swimmers on the board.

 

Volunteer Development

By getting parents of new swimmers involved (doesn’t follow given what he says above?)


Educate & communicate with parents

e.g. A termly squad swimmer & parent meeting

 

+ website

& notice board

 

At Guildford

Professional Coaches

x2 Level 4 coaches

x1 Level 3 coach

 

FIVE salaried coaches & 18 additional coaches.

 

Develop home grown talent with their Academy.

 

This has taken four years to get GOLDS in Age Groups at a National Level.

It took 9 years to develop a relationship with Surrey University.

Expectation of excellence

Common coaching language & take it seriously

Consistent pool time/harmonised

Can take three years

 


ATTRACTING & SUPPORING VOLUNTEERS

 

Pester the balcony

From regular parent & swimmer meetings

Gradual introduction (draw them in)

advertise in the newsletter (what newsletter)

Play to people skills

Direct approach

Ask regularly

Create a crisis

Mentor

Club website

Develop swimmers

Doit.org

 

Young People Volunteers (schools)

 

Make it an attractive club

Hire a top notch Head Coach

 

vs. Dump & run

 

RETAINING VOLUNTEERS

Reward

PAY ASA reg fees

Thank you gifts

Christmas Dinner

Recognition = Club Volunteer of the Year

Cover realistic expenses

Make them feel wanted/valued

Feed them (officials)

Give them an event T Shirt (officials)

Don’t take advantage of them

 

(Pay them)

 

GILES LONG

(2 GOLDS & 1 BRONZE IN THREE CONSECUTIVE PAROLYMPIC GAMES)

 

Every day try to change one thing

Olympic dream from AGE 7

Broken arm turned out to be cancer age 13 & muscle in shoulder removed.

 

Party of those who had made it possible from the lady who opened up at 5.30am so that he could train

 

He didn’t let others get in his way

 

Get you through the grind

 

How did you get up in the morning?

 

Had a list of fifty reason why I should get up to train. Ran through the list and by the time I got to 30 I was up & out of the house.

 

Made anything a reward.