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: April, 2016
Apr 25, 2016

Front glides, back glides


  1. Put your shoulders in the water
  2. Put your arms out in front of you
  3. Put your face in the water
  4. Push off to me


Back glide script:


  1. Stand up straight
  2. Turn away from me
  3. Put your shoulders in the water
  4. Tilt your head back
  5. Push off to me


Why they're important

What each phrase does.


How they're integrated into incremental progressions and swim lesson plans.

Apr 19, 2016

Set up systems for better success


Look in your favorite search: importance of systems in business


You'll find a huge list of why you need to have systems. What is a system and why is it important for swimming lessons or swim teams?


I think of a "system" as a template or a guide for how to proceed with a certain action.


If I hired someone, the system would be the paperwork I needed to fill out, and who to turn it in to. The order I did that paperwork and when is the "system."


In a large sense, how a participant signs up for your classes, what they fill out to register, and who and how much they pay is all part of your marketing and registration system.


Systems simplify making money. They simplify "how to do stuff."


Swimming Ideas offers a "system" to teach swim lessons.


For us, it is the general format of a class, which we further break down into ability levels and activities.


We follow logical progressions to get to desired goals and do things with the same language because we're following the system.


General activity system: short distance skill work with high volume, specific target goals, feedback, and incremental progression.


We move short distances (most of the time).

We do something a lot.

We give a few key goals (look down, lock thumb, squeeze ears).

We give feedback based on those goals.

We challenge by adding the next incremental step of difficulty.


Success comes when you can flow into this system with any person in your program with any teacher and just pick up where they left off.


Swimmers expect the routine of your system, and flourish under it. Systems remove the unique "what do you mean" moments that waste time.


Systems create trust in your swimmers.  Fear and hesitation are a huge element to swimming with the potential to not breathe. We can earn trust through our systems because participants know what to expect.


Do you have a system? Do you follow ours? Let me know in the comments, or on facebook, or twitter.

Apr 11, 2016

Learn when it is time to stop an activity and move on.


  • When you feel you're forcing it
  • When participants are distracted by something else
    • Loud reset
  • When goofiness takes hold
    • Use a distraction skill: my go to is "jumps"
  • When participants are not "getting it."
    • Reteach, or explain better
    • Too complex for intended group


Is it better to try something new and fail, than it is to only do what you know works?



Failure leads to success:


Article about school that grades character instead of using homework and standardized tests.


When you persevere, make attempts, fail, and then are corrected with help and direction success is earned and learned.


The process is important.


Swimming is so much easier than just "learning overall" we have a specific body motion goal we are working towards.


We can get there by making learning attempts for our participants. 


Come up with interesting ways to provide the following key elements:

  • Specific skill/body motion
  • Multiple attempts
  • Challenging or fun activity to work on chosen skill
    • Sometimes challenge and fun is simply in act of doing it (streamlines can be fun - they're fast).  Pulling super boost example
  • Consistent opportunity for feedback from instructor in a non-disruptive way.


How do you reset your instruction? Do you do it often? (goal is infrequent, but when you're trying new things you need to know when to reset).


Let us know in comments below or on facebook or twitter.

Apr 4, 2016

Why we would interrupt a skill progression to play a game, and why it works for swim lessons and better retention.


General swimming lesson information.


Typical swim lesson plans:

  • Enter
  • Underwater
  • Front glides
  • Free swim
  • Breathing
  • Free swim
  • Back glides
  • Back arms
  • Back swim
  • Jumps
  • Games
  • Done.



Swimming Ideas lesson plans:

  • Entry
  • Underwater
  • Front glides
  • Game
  • Arm circles
  • Freestyle swim
  • Back glides
  • Game
  • Back arms
  • Back swim
  • Jumps
  • Front glides with arms


We insert games, and jumps to recapture dulling attention.


Most everything you do in the water should be moving your swimmers to better ability in the water. Sometimes the best way to do that is with a game or a song.


We are essentially teaching "body control" in very specific restricted movements. But that comes with it some requirement to know what the "feel for the water" is.


Basic premise:


Repetitive learning.

Set up similar systems for participant expectations.

When it gets boring, play a game, sing  a song, do alternate activity.

Return to system.