Swimming Ideas Podast

A closer look at swimming lessons, swim team practices, swimming games, and why coaches and swimmers do the things they do.
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Now displaying: November, 2015
Nov 16, 2015

Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need | Affording Play



Mathematics, and how to teach both old and new math, and how to program.


The concept of the "locked door, and the key."

I have a door that is locked. How do I get through it? You use a key. How do you respond when you are presented with another locked door the next time? You search for the key.


We want to teach our swimmers to have the keys to their success :)


Introduce a "problem" and then offer a series of solutions to solve that "problem"


You can swim like an Olympian some day. We can get you there. Here is a video that shows you what it looks like.


Watch the video, then attempt to swim like this.


Can't swim exactly like an Olympian? We can get you there:


Do these drills:


Head Lead Balance with Rotation

One arm only Free

6 kick switch: 3 strokes free, then 6 kicks on your side. We do 18 kicks on side usually then 3 strokes.


Now swim Freestyle again and attempt to swim like Olympian


These drills should help you swim better.


Introduce your locked doors before you offer the solutions.


In swimming: define where you want to go, and then offer solutions to how you get there.


Position 11:  3 things that you need to focus on to do it well:

  1. Arms straight
  2. Stay at the surface
  3. Look down


Problem? How do you do position 11 well? You do those three things.


(we talk about position 11 in our first podcast: SIP 001)


Problem: Position 11 is really difficult!!! How can we make it easier?

  1. Breathe Quickly
  2. Kick faster when you breathe
  3. Keep your body straight.


** Why do we do position 11 at all during swimming? Every stroke moves through position 11. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly. Each arm stroke of every competitive stroke at some point moves through position 11.


Layers of problems, and offering multiple actionable solutions to fix them.


How do we provide self directed motivated learning in swimming? One of the steps of How to be an effective swimming lesson instructor is to inspire and motivate our swimmers to want to get better themselves; to be internally motivated.

Nov 2, 2015

You can find the website post about this game here:


We played this game about 10 times in the last few months. I have played it with swimming lessons with more advanced abilities and with our developmental swim team. For our pre-competitive group, who have mostly been swimming on the team for more than 1 year, it was an excellent great game. I found there to be a high level of engagement, reception to improved quality and of highest importance a huge boost in peer learning. The swimmers helped each other improve using language I would use as a coach on each other. In every instance of this game, there was at least one group that would band together and help each other out.


We did a general IM Set when we played the game:


4 x 50

4 stroke Fly then Fly kick the rest / Backstroke x 25

1st 25 is 4 strokes fly swim then Fly kick the rest of the length. Second 25 is backstroke swim.

4 x 50

Backstroke / Breaststroke x 25

Back down, breast back. Work on streamlines and open turns.

4 x 50

Breaststroke / Freestyle x 25

Do underwater pullouts, long glides, 2 hand touches, and good streamlines. Turn head to the side when breathing.


We offered the following reward for winners: 5 minutes to do whatever they wanted to do at the end of practice. The winning team could choose as a group what the whole team would do for the last 5 minutes of practice: game, set, anything.


The losing teams had to do either 100 free kick or 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups.


What I liked and what I didn't  like about it :


Good: Effective at first  engaged everyone as a group in each lane 


Okay: High quality swimming faltered as the game went on 


Bad: Easy to really punish people which is not good for self esteem


Bad: Can single people out


Good and Bad: Coaches are extremely subjective when dealing out point subtractions. It is really easy to arbitrarily single out swimmers and punish them.  Be careful. On the good side, it is easy to manipulate the points to make it a close game and more fun. Or to reward favorites, which can also be dangerous.


Good: Can be fun and team building 


You can create great games like this when you get the book, "How to Create Fun and Effective Swim Games."  Find that book on amazon now! <a rel="nofollow" href="">How to create fun and effective swim games: Invent your own swim games on the fly following this tested formula</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />