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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Swimming Ideas Podast





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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 29, 2016

What are the 3 things to streamline?

  • Lock thumb
  • Look down
  • Squeeze ears


What common problems do these commands/goals/specific words correct:


  • Head lifted and looking forward
  • Arms not tight against head
  • Hands wavering
  • Body not straight
  • Hands at 11
  • Arms bent and slow
  • The "fake" streamline
  • Short streamlines
  • The bad crawl position


By doing all 3 things, it addresses almost every single bad habit in streamlines.


Why do we do it at all? Why do we do it with beginners?


Streamline is the most efficient and best way to move through the water. Every stroke moves from streamline into movement. It is the easiest horizontal motion we can do. It is the starting point. The base.


With beginners we are less strict with the 3 goals, and they can do it on the surface. We still enforce the looking down. We encourage the squeezed ears, and the locked thumb..


As we progress through levels we initiate the streamline deeper underwater and require longer distance traveled underwater in streamline.


Can we make this script better?

We've tried! Can you think of 3 simple commands that will address the majority of issues in streamline?

Mar 21, 2016

Level 1 and Parent Tot.


Our primary focus is going underwater.


When you can go underwater then you can do everything.


The only thing you can do without going underwater is supported activities (being physically held up at surface) and backstroke.


One must learn how to go underwater. They should learn how to react when submerging, how to hold breath, blow bubbles, and not to panic when not able to breathe underwater.


We do that by repeatedly giving opportunities to go underwater to the participant. We build into almost every activity some chance to put the face in.




  • Bobs
  • Rings
  • Superman through hula hoop
  • Supported Front glides
  • Kicking
  • Arm circles
  • Bake a Cake
  • Jumps
  • Monkey walks


Level 1 testable skills:

  • Go underwater completely on own
  • Supported front glide with face in water
  • Supported back glide with ears in water


Do you have some interesting ways to encourage beginners to go underwater?

Mar 14, 2016

Can you teach level 2 and level 3 in the same class? What about 1 and 2?


We go into some in-depth discussion on what each level requirements are, and how you can integrate them into one class.


Is it ideal?


Why even have levels in the first place?


Example of last class taught: level 2/3 and how I taught the class to each individual.


The beauty of short and long distance skill work, and why the short distance cheat sheet is a framework of success.


General Short distance framework:


3 x [something] + [something else]



Mar 8, 2016

How we use it in swim lessons and how we use it at swim practice.


What is it:


Position 11 is:


  • A drill we do to establish a good quality body position and long reach.
  • Something we do every day in every lesson
  • Used in every stroke



 Go here for a free preview:


How do we do it in lessons?

In Level 2:

  • On the deck we do Streamline into position 11
  • We review what it is and the three things you use it for
  • We do it with a noodle, or a kickboard
  • WE talk about it as the target or goal body position arms should travel through on FREE and Back
  • We use it when teaching Breaststroke
  • When teaching butterfly
  • When doing short distance training


How do we use it at swim team?

  • Every day we do 2 x 25 position 11 where we review all the steps and goals. And the 3 things to make it easier, which you can find detailed with the Starter Kit and the Complete package
  • We talk about it for all 4 strokes
    • I demo each stroke and ask when position 11 occurs.
  • We build it into every stroke we can as a basis point. It is a lodestone or a reference for most proper hand entries.
  • We use it as a pause position for more complicated drills for breaststroke: 2k + 1 pull, fly: P+U+P+U and stroke
  • Sometimes we ask them to do a front float and lift their heads up and keep it there and "find out what happens" (you sink).



It is NOT easy to do position 11 while kicking free, but when we do it really works on teaching quick breaths, realigning the body to a balanced straight position, and feeling how lifting your head makes you sink.


I love position 11. It works so well we literally use it constantly.


How you can use it in your lessons:


Show someone position 11 in your class.

Ask them to come up with a name for it.

We say position 11 because the arms are like 11's and I couldn't think of anything better than what Steve Haufler said.


When you have your swimmers in your lessons do an activity repeatedly (like go from bench to bench 5 times) have them streamline first, then do position 11 the rest of the way. Encourage them to keep their face in the water the whole time (move benches close enough together).


Use the new name, or call it position 11. Then when you do a front crawl a short distance, or you do butterfly, you can say, always return to position 11 before you do your next stroke. It gives swimmers a good start point or foundation to then do their other swimming moves.