Archive for February, 2017

Smart Parents Avoid These 4 Common Swim Mistakes

Summer is going to be here before you know it.  As the weather continues to get warmer, especially in South Texas, you and your kiddos will want to swim!  The question is what skills should you encourage your swimmer to practice and what skills should you discourage? There is so much information out there it can be hard to decide where to focus your efforts.  For sure, there are some myths that put your swimmers at risk. Check out these 4 common mistakes that smart swim parents avoid.

  1. Relying on floaties
    • Beware of the life-jacket/floaties bicycle kick. These flotation devices encourage a vertical body position in the water. Kiddos get results from bicycling their legs in this position when they have the floaties on. Take the floaty away, and you have an active drown victim who cannot propel themselves forward because their kick is underneath them and not propulsive.
  1. Underestimating the necessity of propulsive kicks
    • Body position in the water should be horizontal. This can be challenging but must be encouraged to develop core strength and propulsive movement.
    • The flutter kick is a swimmer’s motor. You want it strong and consistent.
    • Kicks should be at the surface and from the hip, not the knee.
    • Encourage loose ankles and straight, but not rigid, legs.
  1. Failure to practice back floating
    • Back floating is a lifesaving skill. This is the resting place for tired swimmers.
    • Back floating is one of the most overlooked skills in recreational swimming.
    • Practice a deep head position with the water at the corners of the eyes and the entire head of hair submerged.
  1. Encouraging breath holding instead of air exchange
    • Breath holding is fatiguing. Real swimmers blow bubbles.
    • Releasing air underwater creates space to take new air into the lungs quickly. Ultimately, this exchange should become a habit.
    • Exhaling through the nose is the best! This is accomplished through a simple hum. Do this and water will not go up the nose!

Requiring a horizontal body position with a strong, straight legged flutter kick at the surface of the water, spending time practicing floating on the back and habitualizing the underwater air exchange will play a huge role in your swimmer’s comfort and capabilities in the water.

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February 2, 2017 at 6:00 am Leave a comment


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