Introduction to Butterfly. Our Grades 4-6 (NPTS 6-10)

On the Side of the Pool

Kicking and body position

I talked and demonstrated the kick action from the hips, demonstrated this then had them do the same.

Hips back and forwards to kick like a dolphin or merman.

I talked through and showed them the arm action, keeping it as wide as the shoulders or wider at their level. I even brought out an hour-glass to show the shape their arms should make in the water.

Arms action: enter wide, hour-glass sweeping back

This with the G4 swimmers. G6 we did the kick from the hips in the water.

Focus points: Continuous movement/Simultaneous Kick

Part I: Kicking

Dolphin resting on lane rope – no longer do this sadly. We used to do this when we had ample sets of short fins for them to wear. Instead we go straight in with the Kick with Woggle: with arms out.

4 x 25m reminding them to keep the arms spread out

4th of these a fun swim sitting on the Woggle like a seahorse and racing it down the pool.

Drills : Kicking front/side

2 x 25m Arms extended

Single arm fly.

1+1+1 one right, one left, fullstroke.

G4 did a dive into fly with four kicks to the pull, counting out 4 kicks with 5th the arms in, and 6th the arm pull.

Dead swimmer (From ‘The Swim Drill Book’)  into streamlined position then dolphin kick into FC shallow end and deep, on the ‘T’ or under the flags.

Part: Arms

Single Arm 6 kicks to one pull

Watch the straight arm as it comes over

“Kick that hand in, Kick the hand out”

Focus points : Timing of breathing/Rhythm

Whole: Full Stroke

From a dive.

Focus points : Hand entry position/Body movement and undulation

Turns : Transition into stroke.

Focus point : No breathing first stroke

Fun Activities

Bounce from a pencil jump

‘Sea Otter’

Handstands

Somersaults

Mushroom float

Sitting/Lying on the bottom of the pool

Odd props used for teaching swimming: mussel shells

Fig.1 Mussel shells

Three times a week I teach swimming to kids age 7-12. All classes run for 45 minutes. Each week we work on a different stroke or school. Every time include some fun in the session and not having them bash up and down the pool doing drills or parts of the stroke. The fun brings them back. At this age make it a drag and they either play up or don’t show.

I do this thing called ‘sea otter’. For one length, 25m, they have to pretend to be a sea otter. I don’t need to show them a picture. Most can visualise it from a natural history film. The sea otter swims into the kelp and pulls up mussels. They bring a rock to the surface too, then lay on their backs, breaking open the shells and eating the content. I take them through the actions: long armed doggie paddle, duck dive to the bottom of the pool, onto their backs at the surface, a gentle flutter kick while they break open the shells, eat the contents, throw away the shell pieces then roll onto their fronts and repeat the exercise. I expect them to do this four to five times as they swim the length of the pool. Some like to make squeaking noises. All grin. All take their improvisation seriously and do a great job.

I tick off the long armed doggie paddle, the duck dive, the push-off the bottom, the flutter kick on their back, and developing fluency and love for the water as all worthwhile. From this they improve their front crawl and back crawl, they make steps towards a tumble-turn and even diving (several don’t, none do well) and they have fun – always deserved after 15/20 minutes of ‘real’ swimming: lengths up and down the pool to warm up, kicking with a float or on their back.

I play other games. Maybe three such interludes for a couple of minutes at most across the session.

Six years of doing this with this club and the teenagers laugh about ‘otter’ some even insisting once in a while to add it to their coached session where they are swimming over 2200m in an hour.

Teaching Breastroke: Teaching and ‘Training’ Groups

Breaststroke

I’ve just completed my week of poolside teaching and coaching breaststroke.

Over the week, in 45 minute and 1 hour sessions I’ve worked with 41 kids age 7-12 learning breaststroke across the grade range of our club’s grade 3 to 7 (NPTS 5-10) and 32 young teenagers 13-15.

By Saturday morning there’s a pattern.

 

Warm up

FC/BC 40/100m smooth

BR 50/100m Observe their Breaststroke

 

Main Set

Pick through a choices of my six favourite drills

Apply the drills

Adjust according to how they respond

For teaching groups include some ‘fun’ after 15 mins, at 30 mins and to end.

For training groups (non-competitive squads) the ‘fun’ comes in the form of the variety of drills, STFs (Starts, Turns and Finishes) and sprints against the clock.

 

GROUP DRILL PURPOSE TIPS
G3/G4 Breaststroke arms standing(Poolside, or shoulder high in the water) Establishes the correct arm action. Begins to address swimmers who pull down to their thighs. Clear demonstration. I may lean over a bar, or woggle or just the edge of the pool
G3/G4 Breaststroke arms with a woggle (noodle). An excellent way to give swimmers a physical barrier to their arms which otherwise may drop to the waist. Doesn’t always work! Push of gently so you don’t lose your noodle. Hand out only one colour to avoid hassle who gets what colour!
G3/G4G6 Kick with a float. Hands over the top. Use as pull-buoy 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.
G6/7T2 Backstroke arms with a FC 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.
G6/7T2 Backstroke arms with a dolphin kick Creates a fluid, rolling action. Useful to get the swimmers to feel they control what their body can do. Keep the dolphin keep from the hips and continuous.
All groupsTeaching and Training Two Kicks OneArmpull2KP 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’ Many cheat and so making it a two second glide is more likely to achieve the desired effect. Be emphatic about streamlining the glide.
STFs Starts, turns and finishes on BR Mark the middle of the pool. Dive and transition to the mid point. Turn from the mid-point and back. Finish from the mid-point. At a competitive pace. Keep doing until they have the dive and transitional right, typically going for a three second count on the first glide and a two second glide on the second.

 

 

Backstroke for 9-12 year olds, MSM Grades 4 and 5 (ASA equivalent NPTS 9 to 10) (+G8 additions)

Backstroke for 9-12 year olds, MSM Grades 4 and 5 (ASA equivalent NPTS 9 to 10) (+G8 additions)

G4/G5 G8
Streamlined position against the wall
Post registration Pre-Pool By the wall, left shoulder, palm facing thigh, rotate arm as if bringing it out of the water, rotate so that the palm faces the tiles, twist shoulder, drop and ‘pull’ down to the thigh. Repeat. x3. Then turn and face the other way. Use Ruben Guzman. X
Sitting down. Leg position. Long pointed toes. Flutter kick.
Streamlined push off in the water

Push and glide off the wall for start and turns.

X
WARM UP 2 x 50m FC

Emphasis on ‘long legs’ and ‘silent, smooth swimming’.

100s
1 x 50m BC

Emphasis on body position, head back as if resting on a pillow.

MAIN SET 2 x 50m BC kick 50s
1 x 50m Float over knees. Knees should not touch, float should not bounce. Keep the legs long.
1 x 50m Ideally, kicker float above the head, held at sides.

Stretch. Body position flat on the water.

2 x 25m Pull along the lane rope

Instruct them to swap arms / Help them get the drill right

100m
Applied FUN Double arm down the lane 1 x 25m

Emphasis on a steady flutter kick

Off the block with a pencil jump then streamlined bounce to the shallow end

+G8 Single arm BC – stretched out and under the water

Swap arm after 25m

50
Single arm BC – arm raised for entire length.

Swap arm after 25m

Push and glide on the back in the shallow end

Add a dolphin kick

Start the stroke with ONE arm while stretched out

DRILLS 2 x 25m Submarine periscope

During stroke HOLD the arm in the vertical, laser the ceiling, then continue the stroke

Emphasis on a steady flutter kick

50m
Repeat 2 x 25m Typically have the best one demonstrate

Emphasis on counting three seconds when the arm is raised

2 x 25m Have them go down in pairs, side by side, synchronising the raised arm
RACE PACE 1 x 25m race pace BC

From the shallow end

Streamlined glide

Dolphin kick into stroke

Steady breathing

1 x 25m race pace BC

Using the grip on the block

Dive backwards into glide and dolphin kick

Sea Otter

1 x 25m

On front, duck dive to the bottom, up to the top, swim along on your back, roll over.

Swim Down As 4 x 25m
BC – BR – FC – FLY

BR – FC – FLY-BC

FC – FLY-BC-BR

FUN END Somersaults (towards BC turn)

Mixed set T2 Thursday 18th December

Teenage Training Group Session. One Hour.

UW phase & rotational turns

WARM UP

4 x 100 F/C Kick 25 Explosive 50 Moderate 25 Explosive 1:45
1×100 FC Full Stroke 2:00
1×100 BC Full Stroke 2:15
1×100 FC Zip it up 2:30
1×100 BC Roll Shoulder 3:00
3 x 100m

as 25 Kick, 25 Pull, 50 Swim

300m
4 x 25 Fly/BC    Streamlined kick 1:00
RELAY PLUNGE + Dolphin kick to 12.5m
2 x 100m Bilateral breathing every 3,5,7,9,7,5,3

Mixed set for a teen training group. 2000m One hour

Mixed set for T2  

TOT

DIS

SETS/

REPS

STROKE ACTIVITY/COMMENTS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

OFF-TIMES/

REST/TRGT

TOT
800 2X100

2X100

2X100

2X100

FC/Fly

FC/BC

FC/BR

IM

75 Free / 25 Fly

75 Free / 25 Back

75 Free / 25 Breast

100m IM

@2:30

@2:30

@2:30

@2:30

20
200 8 x 25 Alt Fly KOB, Kick on Front @1:15 10
X2 FC 150 Smooth and easy R30

3:00

20
X2 CHOICE 75 BC/BR/Free @1:45
X2 Form (2nd) 50 Focus on fast turn @1:00
750 STF 50 MPS 2:30
200m F/C SWIM DOWN 4

Total Distance

1950m

Total Time

60 mins

 

Training Groups (T2 then T1)

T1/T2 NOVA 1 HOUR SESSION (8pm 25 NOV 08)                (MSM SC T2/T1  27 NOV 2016)

I followed this exactly six years ago. Poolside under the supervision of Bill Furniss with double gold Olympian in the lane. There are eight of us on the ASA Level III Senior Club Coach course which I had chosen to do up in Nottingham where NOVA trained. Tonight I’ll try it on our top Training Groups – not even competitive squads, but strong athletes all the same. It’ll be interesting to see by how I water it down during the course of the evening. At the Triangle, Burgess Hill.

WARM UP

Tumble on kick and tight streamlining + perfectly executed turns and transitions

Swim 4 x 50 FC T2 T3
as25m  FIST (Hands in fists drill)25m  CUP (Catch Up) @ 1.30 @ 100 / 1.15
Swim 3 x 50m BC @ 1.30 @ 1.00/1.15
High REC – stretch and reach with the shoulder
Kick 2 x 100m @ 2.15/2.30 @ 2.00/2.15
as 25 FC, 25 BC
550m

MAIN SET

Do you know you PB for 100m FC ? Hold Stroke Count  Inc: last 25m

T2 (?) T1
FIRST REPEAT
6 x 100m
@ on 2.00  PB + 15 @ on 1.30  PB + 15
1 x 200m IM
Slow FLY then Fast BC, BR & FC.
Last 25m FC to be same as last 25m on 100s
@ 4.00 @ 3.30
100m Easy BC 900m

 

T2 T1
SECOND REPEAT
4 x 100m
@ on 2.00  PB + 15 @ on 1.30  PB + 15
1 x 200m IM
Slow FLY then Fast BC, BR & FC.
@ 4.00 @ 3.30
100m Easy BC 700m

 

THIRD REPEAT
2 x 100m
@ on 2.00  PB + 15 @ on 1.30  PB + 15
1 x 200m IM
Slow FLY then Fast BC, BR & FC.
@ 4.00 @ 3.30
100m Easy BC 500m

SWIM DOWN

T2 T1
2 x 50 FLY @ 3.00 @ 2.30
2 x 50 FLY Kick on back @ 2.00 @ 1.30
2 x 50 FC MAX

 

TOTAL

T1 550m + 2100m + 300m = 2950m (Probably pushing it by 600m)

T2 550m + 1200m + 300m = 2050m (May reduce the warm up to 400m)

IN PRACTICE

The session worked well as a blueprint for our T2 and T3, though half the distance was covered. It was easier to adjust to suit the swimmers simply by reducing the number of repeats in the main set and/or increasing the rest interval. I even did a diluted version with five teenagers in our G8 teaching group.