Organising swim clinics at your centre can be a great way to enhance swimmer’s skills and knowledge on specific strokes in a concentrated period of time. Swim clinics can be run for a variety of sessions and options – from frightened beginners to specific strokes. This article will concentrate on running a breaststroke clinic for swimmers at a swim centre but clinics can be run for any number of strokes or skills (eg diving, deep water, any of the strokes etc).
- Organise a date – a day or time that regular lessons are not running is best but if this isn’t possible try to run clinic on a day with lots of pool space.
- Decide how many clinics will run (this will depend on numbers of swim school and ability of swimmers). Suggestion – 2 different clinics back to back: 1 for swimmers who are being introduced to breaststroke and 1 for swimmers who are competent in breaststroke and looking to improve.
- Decide on a price – An inexpensive amount will give families an incentive to attend. Pricing is up to the individual centre.
- Create a booking/enrolment sheet. Suggestions for booking sheet:- Childs Name/Level/Age/Paid
- Inform clients of clinic details – Try to give at least 2 weeks notice so clients can clear their schedule. It also gives an extra week or two if clients are away to get the information out.
- Decide on staff. Suggest 1 “leader” on the deck and staff in the pool for manipulation. Ensure staff are prepared and educated on responsibilities.
- Prepare a lesson plan with the flexibility to change a little on the day of the clinic depending on the ability of those attending.
Run the clinic and enjoy!
Skills taught in clinics should be isolated and practiced repeatedly so that swimmers perfect each skill. Breaststroke can be a difficult stroke to teach if it is rushed through so remember to go slow and perfect each skill before moving on. Each swim school has a different way of teaching breaststroke – make sure all swimmers are ready to move on before introducing a new skill. Or keep one group practicing with an instructor while moving the other group on. Consider teaching arms and legs separately and once swimmers have those skills perfected move on to teaching arms and legs together. Land drill is a very effective way
The swim clinic will focus solely on breaststroke skills and drills. It is important that swimmers are physically capable of attempting breaststroke swimming and emotionally capable of working in a large group. Ensure swimmers are attending the correct clinic. Is it to introduce new skills or perfect existing technique? Instructors will be the best people to target specific swimmers – they may be having trouble with their breaststroke or show potential in their skill development. Clinic can also be available to any swimmers/parents wishing to participate.
Swim clinics are a fantastic way to fast track swimmers skills and introduce new strokes for your swim school. If run effectively they can also be a great team building experience while learning additional skills and enjoying time with friends and instructors.
Let me know some of your stories from the pool deck? Comment below.