Learning the Butterfly swimming stroke

When teaching butterfly it is best to focus on isolating arm and leg movements before utilising a number of butterfly stroke drills to develop the correct full stroke butterfly.

The first recorded Olympic 200 meters butterfly gold medal was won by William Yorzyk of USA in 2 minutes 19.3 seconds at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, Japanese swimmer Takashi Ishimoto was second.

In the women’s event the first Olympic butterfly race was a 100 meters butterfly won by Shelly Mann in a time of 1 minute 11 seconds at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne Australia.

Modern butterfly has come a long way since early butterfly was performed with a breaststroke kick. Butterfly swimming is the hardest stroke to swim over long distances as it requires rhythm, strength and endurance. The most important element in teaching butterfly is to first establish the dolphin rhythm. There are a number of ways to teach beginner swimmers this butterfly rhythm so that the double dolphin action used in modern butterfly swimming becomes automatic and ingrained into the stroke.

The Laurie Lawrence method of teaching butterfly focuses on isolating arm and leg movements before utilising a number of butterfly stroke drills to develop the correct full stroke butterfly.

Learning to swim should be a positive experience for both parent and child.

There are a number of skills that you need to understand and learn how to teach important elements of the learn to swim process, even if you are a parent.

Here are 7 important skills that you need to learn to help your child;

  • Teaching young children butterfly,
  • Butterfly Kicks,
  • Butterfly Arms,
  • Importance of Butterfly drills,
  • Getting the rhythm right,
  • Full stroke breathing Butterfly,
  • Building endurance,

Now take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what you need to Know!

Well done, that is the first step to being better prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist your little one through to becoming a confident and happy little swimmer.

To feel confident yourself with the knowledge required to achieve these goals, let me show you how to

 

learn more

 

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Swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning

It’s time for Swim School owners, Swimming Teachers and parents to pop open the Champagne and celebrate! A study conducted by America’s National Institute of Health reveals, that participating in formal swimming lessons is associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children aged 1 to 4 years (Archives Paediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).

For many of us this study simply confirms what we have experienced firsthand. From our own anecdotal evidence we know that swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning and that learning to swim from infancy can:

– Teach children a respect for the water making them less likely to wander into dangerous situations – Teach children safety skills which may one day save their life – Encourage parents to actively engage with their children during water related activities

But parents there are even more reasons to celebrate. After teaching thousands of children to swim over the past 40 years, we also feel confident that learning to swim will not only provide safety, but social, emotional and health benefits to your child.

Laurie believes that learning to swim – Improves children’s physical development and coordination – Enhances children’s health, fitness and muscle tone

– Builds children’s independence, confidence and social skills – Provides a perfect opportunity for parents to interact and bond with their child.

So now that you’re armed with all the great news it’s time to get in the water and embark on an incredible journey with your child as they learn to swim. One of the best ways for children and parents to learn is through exploration and play. Parents should always be within arm’s reach and actively engaging with their child, but give their children the freedom and opportunity to explore both the deep and shallow water.

Through this independent exploration children begin to learn their capabilities, boundaries and a respect for the water. Through play, children will often experiment with breath control and floating activities. Parents should encourage this type of play keeping in mind that floating is the basis of all learn to swim.
Laurie Lawrence

 

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Swim School

Starting and finishing swimming lessons on time

Keeping the swimming lesson on time is important. Start time and finish time is an important part of keeping a routine not only within your lessons but within the swim school as a whole. Most swimming lessons are only 30 minutes long and teachers need to ensure that they are meeting the needs and expectations of all the clients in the classes. Keeping your lesson on track can be difficult for some teachers – some activities take longer than expected or individual swimmers have trouble with a skill – but if teachers learn to manage the class time they will be able to make the most out of the swimming lesson for everyone.

Establishing an effective class cross over system will assist teachers in keeping the lesson on track. For instance having a warm up routine of kicking or breath control activities on a shallow ledge, while others exit via a different area of the lane can be helpful. This is particularly beneficial in parent and child classes; however teachers should consider always inviting children into the class once the parent is no longer accompanying the child for water safety education purposes.

If you want to make the most out of your 30 minute class you need to make sure that you plan the lesson. Having a lesson plan will keep you on track. Even though it is important to have a lesson plan teachers also need to make sure that they can be flexible. When introducing a new skill it is sometimes difficult to anticipate how long an activity will take, class dynamics or attendance may also throw out a well laid plan. Think of the lesson plan as a guide, the more experienced you become as a teacher the easier it will be to be flexible and accommodate unforseen scenarios.

Lesson planning will also help you identify where you are conducting the class and what equipment you require to deliver the lesson. In swimming lessons every day will be different. During some shifts you will be able to stay in the one location but on other days you will be required to move around the pool. Keep the lines of communication open between you and other staff members. By communicating with your co-workers you will be able to work together. For example you may be able to get assistance from another staff member to start both groups off with their kicking practice, while you move all the equipment for the groups to the teaching location. Should you need to move around the pool space within your lesson it’s important to be mindful of the time it will take – sticking to your scheduled time will allow a more harmonious lesson for all – co-workers, swimmers and parents.

Lesson plans generally include a warm-up activity, skill development sets and a final activity. Teachers should regularly check the clock to ensure that they are managing their time effectively. Avoid introducing new or difficult skills during the final activity as you will simply run out of time. The final activity should be something fun so that the lesson ends on a positive note and students want to come back next week. Activities like diving for rings are a good but can take time, especially during the early learning stages. It’s a good idea to have a back up final activity that won’t take too long. If you’re in the middle of a skill development activity and run out of time, don’t be afraid to stop the group, tell them this is their last go and end with a simple high five and lots of positive praise for their effort. Sometimes we just can’t fit everything that we planned in to a half hour lesson.

Some common ways to finish a lesson may include

  • Group songs
  • Diving for rings or goggles
  • Swimming races
  • Imaginative play eg swimming like dolphins or stingrays
  • Water safety skills or scenarios

Ultimately some days and some classes will be harder to keep on track than others. Parents, students, co-workers and managers will all understand this. Regular poor time management however will become a problem, especially if parents think that they can be late to class because the teacher is never on time or if swimmers don’t rebook into classes because they aren’t receiving adequate lesson time. Remember time management is difficult but with planning and practice you can meet the needs of all your classes and make the most out of each lesson.

Laurie Lawrence

 

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What if baby cries during swim lessons

Learning must be fun. No parent or child should be subjected to a fearful or intimidating environment when learning to swim. Aggressively forcing children to perform learn to swim activities while they are crying and in distress is totally inappropriate.

However it is unrealistic to say that children never cry during swimming lessons. Infants communicate their needs and problems through crying. In some instances babies become tired, hungry or even cold during the swimming lesson. The astute parent will soon learn to recognise the different types of communicative cries given by their baby.

Once you recognise what is disturbing your baby it’s easier to remedy the problem. For example don’t swim during a time that you would normal be feeding your baby and always ensure you are teaching your baby to swim in warm water, ideally 32 degrees Celsius.

It is my belief that parents should try to relax and settle their child while in the baby swimming lesson. This should be done in a relaxed manner using, communication, stimulation and distraction. If you get out of the pool every time your baby cries, then baby will soon associate getting out of the pool with crying. Ideally infants should enter and leave the baby swimming lesson happy and relaxed.

As a swimming teacher it is you that is responsible to create a learning environment that is conducive to having a relaxed parent and in turn a relaxed baby. It is very important to understand that the parents’ state of being will certainly rub off on the child. So if mum is happy and relaxed then baby will be happy and relaxed.

Communication is the key to putting parents at ease in the water. Very often teachers forget to communicate vital information to parents. For example, teachers will forget to tell parents how they should hold their baby while in the pool.

The way parents hold their child in the water will certainly determine whether or not the baby will be relaxed. Parents must always be encourage to maintain eye contact with their baby, communicate positively through facial expressions and hold baby low in the water to give them an opportunity to feel their natural buoyancy.

Importantly always give parents good visual demonstrations and simple instructions when introducing new swimming activities. If you are introducing a new skill, do so at the beginning of the lesson, this way you can spend time with the parents clearly explaining what is required. Rushing will lead to anxious parents, and an uneasy parent equals an uneasy baby.

Laurie Lawrence

 

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Learning the Backstroke swimming stroke

Teaching backstroke requires gradual skill development. As each skill is mastered the next skill is introduced maintaining the building block approach.

Walter Brack of Germany in 1904 won the first recorded Olympic 100 backstroke in 1.min 16.8 sec. in fact Germany were first second and third with Geog Hoffmann and Geog Zacharia filling the minor placings.

Backstroke is probably the easiest swimming stoke to learn. Once the basic float, which is the corner stone of all good swimming technique is learned, the propulsive skills of kicking and then the arm pulling action can be added. The face remains out of the water at all times and the breathing, which often causes problems in learning to swim freestyle, is unrestricted in backstroke swimming. With good skill development and a graded teaching program all children have the opportunity to learn the backstroke swimming action correctly.

The Laurie Lawrence method of teaching backstroke is a comprehensive method of gradual skill development. As each skill is mastered the next skill is introduced maintaining the building block method of teaching swimming.

Learning to swim should be a positive experience for both parent and child.

There are a number of skills that you need to understand and learn how to teach important elements of the learn to swim process, even if you are a parent.

Here are 7 important skills that you need to learn to help your child;

  • Back Floating,
  • Assisted back Kicks,
  • Unassisted back kicks,
  • Good Backstroke arms,
  • Importance of Backstroke drills,
  • Pullbouy Drills,
  • Ready for Backstroke.

Now take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what you need to Know!

Well done, that is the first step to being better prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist your little one through to becoming a confident and happy little swimmer.

To feel confident yourself with the knowledge required to achieve these goals, let me show you how to

 

learn more

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Teaching a class of 4 to 8 month old baby’s

In the 4-8 month old age group what we are trying to achieve is good breath control and starting teaching them independence. If by the time they are 8 months old they can float happily underwater, with their eyes open, they can maintain a grasp reflex and pull themselves up, if they can sit up on the side of the pool unaided we have achieved quite a bit.

One of the most important lessons teachers can learn is how to properly structure the class utilising the correct skills and being able to communicate effectively with the parents by maintaining a position of strength in the water.

Learning to swim should be a positive experience for both parent and child.

There are a number of skills that you need to understand and learn how to teach important elements of the learn to swim process.

Here are 5 important skills that you need to learn to help your teaching;

  • The importance of a warm up
  • Keys points of introducing main skills
  • Building Independence
  • Breath Control
  • Floating Tips for teachers

Now take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what you need to Know!

Well done, that is the first step to being better prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist your little one through to becoming a confident and happy little swimmer.

To feel confident yourself with the knowledge required to achieve these goals, let me show you how to

 

learn more

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Learn to Swim

Teaching 3-4 year olds swimming classes

This age group needs a lot of manipulative work to get those fine motor skills well coordinated. Keep the parents in the water that way the children are going to get a good half hour swimming lesson.

Preparing for lessons without parents

In order to get a smooth transition from the parent and child swim classes to children being in on their own have sections of the lesson where the children are given activities without the parents help. During these periods where you have no parental assistance it is important to be well organised and maintain good class discipline so that the children learn to listen and follow instructions. A good instructor will group the class close together and position themselves so that they are easily seen by all students. By using one of the class to demonstrate it makes it easier for the class to understand exactly what has to be done.

One of the most important lessons teachers can learn is how to properly structure the class utilising the correct skills and being able to communicate effectively with the parents by maintaining a position of strength in the water.

Learning to swim should be a positive experience for both parent and child.

There are a number of skills that you need to understand and learn how to teach important elements of the learn to swim process.

Here are 4 important skills that you need to learn to help your teaching;

  • Communication with all the children
  • Use the parents as assistant teachers
  • Keep active when teaching
  • Keep communicating and encouraging

Now take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what you need to Know!

Well done, that is the first step to being better prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist your little one through to becoming a confident and happy little swimmer.

To feel confident yourself with the knowledge required to achieve these goals, let me show you how to

 

learn more

 

FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Building Breath Control in the Water

Breath control is an essential element in the learn-to-swim process. By teaching children breathe control we make first submersion free from fuss and trauma. Teaching breath control to babies from 0-2 years is best done by conditioning. Here we prepare baby for their first under water experience by conditioning them to react and hold their breath in response to the verbal conditioning trigger, “Ready go!”

Because the water runs quickly, smoothly and evenly down the forehead, baby should not ingest any water. With daily practice baby will soon react positively to these “trigger words” by being happy and confident with water on the face and closing their eyes on the trigger. Once the teacher or parent notices this positive reaction, baby is ready for their first submersion.

By two years of age teaching breath control by conditioning becomes less effective. While some children may still accept the conditioning process others will protest. This protest occurs because at this age children understand a lot more about their environment and are starting to form their own opinions, ideas and fears.

At this age children need to participate voluntarily in breath control activities. They can follow instructions and need to be encouraged to put their faces underwater. Importantly, a child’s head must never be held or forced underwater.

Once children have mastered breath control and are happy with their submersions we can extend the time that is spent underwater. In the initial conditioning, the water runs quickly over the face. When trying to extend the breath control and teach babies to hold their breath for longer periods of time the parent or teacher can practise a slow long pour over the face.

For best practise use the trigger words, pour the water on top of the forehead and as you pour count 1 2 3. Then repeat again and pour for the count of 1 2 3 4, and again for the count of 1 2 3 4 5. By building the skill in this way it will be easier to perform submersions for the count of 3, 4 and 5 seconds. As children grow with age we can instruct them to submerge their face and keep it underwater for the count of 5 to 10 seconds. Once again we are building the swimming skills. Always remember that we should never forcibly submerge any child as this will cause discomfort and distress. Swimming should be a happy and positive experience for both parent and child.
Laurie Lawrence

 

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Swim Lesson Planning

Lesson planning is of utmost importance for teachers and should be carried out regularly to assist learning and to develop progressive teaching skills.

 

The teaching methods set down by World Wide Swim School follow a simple progressive learning/teaching curve from Babies through to Squad swimming. Progressive teaching methods must always be considered when lesson planning.

 

Lesson planning will promote the development of teaching skills so that teachers follow the methods set down, and thus making sure lesson plans are suited to the appropriate lesson of each individual class rather than duplicating lesson plans that are inappropriate for class ability levels.

  •  Always begin by assigning a class level, time and date to the form. This will be able to be used as a reference at a later date.
  •  Skills Warm Up – this is the opening stage of the lesson and should be used for relevant revision of previous lesson drills. E.g. kicking and breathing skills.
  •  Skill Development – this will form the main part of the lesson and should be used for introduction and development of major skill development. E.g. Introduction of high elbow recovery, using six kicks change drills no breathing, and developing strong kicking action by practicing variation kicking drills.
  •  Main Points – this section can be used to record set terminology or important points worth emphasising with the class involved.
  •  Final Activity – all lessons should finish on a high note so that the child leaves the centre having enjoyed their time in the swimming lesson. Be sure to finish with a constructive, enjoyable final activity, followed by positive praise for all.
  •  Names – record the names of class members, as this will assist in memory retention of all class members – an important teaching tool for a more personal approach to teaching.

 

Enjoy yourself and the achievements of the children you are teaching. They are depending on you to teach them a skill which will last a lifetime.

Laurie Lawrence

 

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Swimming Class Control

Disruptive student behaviour is a threat to learning, especially in the learn to swim environment where teachers have a small window of time to teach such an important life skill. Laurie has put together 5 tips for class control to help teachers establish a productive learning environment.

1. Establish Class Focus

Do not try to teach the lesson or instruct a new skill before every child has their focus on you. Teachers will have to establish class focus at the start and throughout the duration of the lesson while they progress from skill to skill. It’s very important the teachers learn the student names. Use light and shade in your voice to maintain interest while you speak.

 

2. Communicate clearly

Remember be simple and clear with your instruction. Do not use long sentences or give too many directions at once. Use nonverbal cues including facial expressions, body language and hand signals to assist with your verbal directions.

 

3. Use positive language

Teachers should put the emphasis on what they want the children to do instead of what they don’t want them to do. For example, walk around the pool instead of do not run around the pool. Or, stand and look at me, instead of stop jumping underwater when I’m talking. Use positive praise and acknowledge good work when you see it.

 

4. Be Organised

Make sure you have planned your lesson. This will make you more confident in your delivery and allow you to keep your class on track. Effective planning will also help you to deliver progressive learning experiences while challenging the class. Importantly, lesson planning helps maintain the interest of the class and avoids teachers reverting to a basic lesson experience. Ensure your lesson starts and finishes on time. This will encourage people to be punctual to your class.

 

5. Be fair and consistent

Establish class rules and expectations and follow through with consequences. Make sure that parents and students understand the class rules and what the consequence is for inappropriate behaviour. Avoid getting angry, yelling and using unnecessary threats. Instead, be alert and move around the group checking for and praising good behaviour. This praising of good behaviour will encourage others to follow suit.
 

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