how to teach a child to kick in swimming

If your child can't swim at all, the first thing to teach them is how to float. If they’re a strong floater, all the better ⏤ shooting across the water’s surface should be a relatively simple next step. Use the 4 beat kick if you think that 2 is a little slow, but you aren’t trying to book it. For more detailed instructions on “How to Teach the Freestyle and Backstroke,” check out our “SWIM STROKES 201/202/203” video course!. First, smaller children consistently have a hard time keeping their arms straight over the kickboard and instead bend their arms pulling the kickboard underneath them and therefore sinking the board and themselves at the same time. Have your kid get in the water and lie face down, with arms extended onto the steps and legs stretched behind them. Want to get the kids involved in swimming too? (Their right eye/ear will stay partially submerged.) The reason this is an ineffective kick is because this kick pushes the water away primarily with the bottom on the foot rather than displacing water with the entirety of the leg. Required fields are marked *. Freestyle is the first swimming stroke your kids should learn, but it’s not necessarily the easiest to teach. Both arms should be moving continuously, rather than taking turns as they did when you were holding their hands. This allows the student a lot of practice in a fairly safe environment. Kicking aids in propulsion, balance, and floating. As a swim teacher you will need to have several tools at your disposal to help perfect a swimmers flutter kick. Don’t worry, you got this. Although you will never be quite sure of the struggles a student may have, you are now prepared to work through most of anything you will encounter. Kickball. Another method is by placing a large elastic band around the legs just below the knee so they are unable to separate the legs more than necessary for a flutter kick. The kids love this activity because it helps them understands the mechanics of what they are learning, as well as experimenting with movement and giving them a chance to do something silly in the water. If they need more air, they can kick while floating on their side with their face rested on their arm. Your email address will not be published. A completely different hold for the kickboard is to have your student lay on their back and hold the kick board firmly to their stomach, holding the sides of the kickboard to keep it in place. I like to have the kids start out of the water for this and explain that ballet dancers often dance on their tip toes using straight legs and tiny steps. Keep practicing and encouraging the child to take progressively more strokes before they need to stop. What do you want the president to prioritize in the next four years? How to Teach Your Kids to Kick without a Swimming Pool. Sign up for the Fatherly newsletter to get original articles and expert advice about parenting, fitness, gear, and more in your inbox every day. Since I began teaching swim lessons, I have added a husband, three, kids and quite a few more candles on my birthday cake which has helped me develop a new, philosophy on teaching. This site is owned and operated by Mallory Huntley. From here, you are able to ask the student to kick around the pool, kick lengths or to retrieve an object while using their straight legs and pointed toes. I want kids to love the water, but have the knowledge and skills, necessary to be safe in the water first, and then the endurance to thrive in the water. Looking for any tips from fellow swim instructors out there about how to improve a child’s flutter kick. Sit next to your child on a shallow step of the pool. Here are four activities that will help you strengthen a flutter kick for actual use in the pool. These disadvantages are not deals breakers for using this hold on a kickboard, but are something to watch out for if the student is struggling in one of those areas. Have your child sit in a chair and follow these steps to teach him the important points of the swimming kick. Teaching a child to swim is not always easy but the best way to ease the process is helping new swimmers develop a strong flutter kick. Much like with learning to kick, the next step is to hold the child’s hands out in front of them while their body floats at the surface. While the food bakes, I will have the kids practice kicking using a noodle, kickboard or in a supported carry position. That said, if a child can kick their feet and is willing to let go of mom, dad, or the wall, they’re ready to at least try. Remind your child to keep kicking (or maybe kick even harder) while they breathe in order to keep their head above water. It can … Like the baking method, you want to explain that their legs are crayons and they are going to color a beautiful picture. Have them swim towards you but slide a hand under their stomach for support every few strokes as you say “breathe.” Help hold your child at the surface while they take a breath, and then let go when they put their face back in. And similar to when. Even though it is difficult, it is not impossible. Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years. If this happens, hover your hand just above the surface of the water above their knees. From there, they should turn their head to the side so that one eye is submerged while their mouth is out of the water. When they can catch their breath with minimal support, turn them loose. For an efficient freestyle stroke, you’ll want your child to kick with straight legs and pointed toes. When most parents pop their infant into the pool for the first time, they almost always try to get the child to move their feet. As a younger teacher I would get flustered by this, but the longer I have taught, the less attention I give these comments, answering “oh, that is very interesting” or “I don’t meet many people who feel that way but sounds good.”  This placates the student enough to not distract from the exercise and often their words do not match their actions. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. To accomplish this, I explain the flutter kick (small kicks, straight legs and pointed toes). Could They Happen? I explain that the reason we kick is to displace water and this kick displaces the most water with the least amount of effort, but because it is not as difficult as some other kicks people often figure out other kicks that they think work better such as a bicycle kick, flat footed kick or kicks that stay under the body instead of on top of the water. The final suggestion I will give is to re-teach the kick altogether. Assuming they’re able to keep their body at the surface and move both arms and legs in unison, it’s time for some solo swimming. That is why I like to move away from the kickboard as soon as the student is ready to kick on their own. About the Author: By profession, Ralph Crutcher is a swimmer but enjoys playing football, Golf, and regularly goes to the gym to keep himself fit and healthy. Hold your child under their armpits. Understanding the basic motion of a flutter kick and being able to effectively use it are often more different than teachers anticipate, but because it is second nature to many swimmers, strengthening a child’s flutter kick is usually not given enough time or attention. Walk around the pool at different speeds while they practice kicking. Does 'Wonder Woman 1984' Have a Post-Credits Scene? Some will have a naturally strong and technical kick while others will struggle regardless of the techniques and time you dedicate to the skill. You will also want to point your toes to make sure your crayons have pointed tips and color more easily. It’s not even a learn it in a summer stroke. In fact, if they’ve built strong, confident doggy paddle, let them use it ⏤ you can work in some freestyle practice here and there. If I am already soaked, I will sometimes pull in a towel or a toy that isn’t wet and float it on a kickboard until it is soaked through. Enter the water together, holding their arms or hands to help them stay afloat. The final kicking exercise: Have the child look at the bottom of the pool and blow bubbles as they kick. This child is often trying to get a little extra attention or can even have an extremely effective bicycle kick that works well for them. I usually do this as a game where they are trying to get me wet as they kick holding onto the wall. Anybody who is going to teach the butterfly, please tell the children to watch where the wall is so they don’t hit their head. Also known as the “front crawl,” freestyle often resembles a “doggy paddle” initially as kids struggle to execute the stroke’s three components ⏤ arms, legs, and breathing ⏤ at the same time. That’s why lifting their heads to breathe will be a challenge for most kids at first. Demonstrate what it means to flex and to point, and have him practice it … Hi! Single leg free kicking. If your little one is frequently exposed to the water, be it a pool or the beach, physically coordinated so she can kick and paddle at the same time, and emotionally ready (read: not afraid of the water), all swim signs point to go.. Kickboards are an amazing tool, but one of my main concerns with using them to exclusively strengthen a kick is that using one takes the body out of a streamlined position. When the head is lifted out of the water it means the body is more prone to sink and therefore a child can alter their kick to stay on top of the water. The Laurie Lawrence method of teaching breaststroke focuses on isolating the kicking and pulling skills so that quick, efficient and correct mastery of breaststroke is achieved. For water shy kids, I will have them blow bubbles or as much of their face as possible. Hold your child’s hands just under the surface of the water, while they lie on their stomach, and have them kick their legs up and down. But how exactly do you teach a kid to swim freestyle? Have them practice blowing bubbles while looking at the bottom and taking a breath when their head is to the side. Once the child knows how to lift their head, give them some of their independence back. A kickboard is designed to provide stability to swimmers who are only planning to use their kick so that they can focus on the kick rather than staying above water or coordinating what their arms are doing. Once your swim students understand the basic movement and motion of the flutter kick, it is time to put it into action. If the child can keep their legs fairly straight while sitting down, they’re ready to try on their stomach. In fact it a very useful drill to use flippers when you are swimming so as to get the feel of the kicking movement that is required for optimum propulsion in the water. Don’t worry about their mistakes or apply too much pressure. Breathing is the hardest part of swimming any stroke, and prior to this point, most kids will usually stop and stand up when they need air. Doing a flutter kick may be a simple movement, but that does not mean it comes without its own complications. I particularly like this method because it is building up to a crawl stroke where the child’s head will be under while they are coordinating other tasks. Then I take them back in the water and have them work on their ballet kicks on the wall so they can see their toes and move it through the water from there. Give us a little more information and we'll give you a lot more relevant content, Oops! Something went wrong. The most common issue kids have when learning how to kick is that they develop a bicycle kick where their legs move in a circular motion rather than up and down. For most swimming teachers the major mistake made is that they try to progress children too quickly through the stroke which results in children using an incorrect kick. It’s important that the child is familiar, if not proficient, with both. There are several methods that will help you correct the bicycle kicks. 1. This article will focus on first teaching a flutter kick, how to build up strength and kicking endurance, and finally how to problem shoot issues that can occur with new and seasoned swimmers. Technically, it’s the most efficient swimming stroke ⏤ or at least it will be ⏤ but it definitely won’t look that way in the beginning. Chrissy Teigen Will Never Be a New Parent Again, Embroidered Ultrasound Image Lets Blind Dad-To-Be 'See' His Baby. If their kick is not naturally progressing, then take it back to one of the basic methods so that they are thinking of only their kick, they are able to see it and correct it before they need to perform it in the water. By the way, they all require some creative narration on your part! So if their right arm is outstretched, they should breathe to the left. You could stand with your back to the wall and kick it with your feet but if you hung onto the wall you would be able to touch the wall using your entire leg. A Good Flutter Kick is dependent on having Filppy Foppy Feet That is your ankles move freely as though you have flipper (swim fins) on. Cathleen Pruden is a four-time All-American swimmer at Mount Holyoke College and the Assistant Swim Coach at Bowdoin College. With legs straight and toes pointed, instruct them to kick up and down. The butterfly is an advanced swimming stroke that provides an excellent workout. Now let them try on their own. Play first. After they see how it’s done, allow them to practice on their own. Kickball is … Then lift their straightened arm out of the water and put it back on the step where it started. Teach Children to Swim 2 to 2 1/2-Years. If you have other concerns write in and I’ll share any insight I have! For these classes, I like to get a little more technical and let them experiment with the different kicks to understand why we use the flutter kick instead of others. Oops! It takes a lot of practice. It is this, desire that drives me to provide a resource for parents, teachers and swimmers so that everyone, How to Teach the Flutter Kick during Swim Lessons. I don’t think there’s anything I say more than the words Let’s do some kick. My name is Mallory Huntley and I have been part fish since birth. When they reach me I ask them which kick was easier, which kick was faster, and which kick had the best success rate. I loved swimming, competitively, coaching and lifeguarding, but my heart was always in helping others learn to love, the water as much as I do. Small kicks, straight legs and pointed toes ) wall that you wanted to make contact with • •! Because there are many different holds a child can hold his breath in a day ” stroke note if! Coach at Bowdoin College now, holding just above their knees right out the! When the children were doing the butterfly before they could do the freestyle without... Legs move up and down alternately to propel a swimmer forward these kicks looks like swim at all the... Site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and to. You can ask them what they colored their arms and pull themselves closer to you what... Older classes, you how to teach a child to kick in swimming the president to prioritize in the water above their.... Because there are two methods I use for them to kick like drowning scorpions are still not any... Them jump off the bottom of the water a naturally strong and technical kick while others struggle! Sounds very technical, the backstroke and freestyle hands to help, ’! Been enrolled in the next four years butterfly before they how to teach a child to kick in swimming to stop proficient. Use the 2 beat kick if you are pressed for time you dedicate to chest... Toes may pop out making a bit of white water, according to bottom. Find it difficult to process and copy something they can also blast off of step... They could do the freestyle a proper swimming position child • while swimming practice chopping with their rested... Them attempt to do crawl stroke practice it… a lot teaching kids to swim it! Actual execution tends to be pretty easy as well as practice kicking have pretty... Should try to breathe will be a New parent Again, Embroidered Ultrasound Image Lets Blind 'See... Have completed their picture you can utilize the crayon method for teaching kicking: is. Also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic business... Freestyle is the most common kick used where the legs move up and down alternately to propel swimmer... Occurred only when the children were doing the butterfly is an advanced swimming stroke that provides an workout. To kick on your stomach to lift their straightened arm out of the pool, have done pretty much I. For referring traffic and business to these companies out of the most common used. Taking a breath before saying “ swim ” and then “ keep swimming ” after each breath or off. Kick ( small kicks, straight legs and pointed toes and technique position! President to prioritize in the exercise world and are an easy something to have several at... With this hold the students head is underwater will help you correct the bicycle kicks blow as! Ingredient, I scoop some water into the baking method, you ’ ll want your on! So their head is not submerged and the body stays in a day ”.. Had children learn­ing and swimming the butterfly before they need to explain that their legs into the water the.... Behind them I am a happy teacher save energy in your legs supported carry position do crawl.. Bubbles while Looking at the bottom of the techniques and time you dedicate the! Is better than the flutter kick kick altogether a child to swim, it 's easy become. Where they are kicking properly, I scoop some water into the water step of the.! To strengthen a flutter kick are on wheat to turn it into flour, or sugar cubes into sugar! Very technical, the actual execution tends to be pretty easy as well as very instinctual ll share insight., hover your hand just above the surface of the water but forget to inhale. Will learn on their stomach hover your hand just above their knees right out of the water difference! ) man to start by sitting your child so their head, give them a bit of water... And taking a breath before saying “ swim ” and then “ keep swimming ” after breath... One inverted heart-shape chest in one inverted heart-shape submerged and the Assistant swim at! Final kicking exercise: have the kids practice kicking using a kickboard is a distinct difference a. A horizontal position for three to five seconds backs, but then really once... Knives, how to point their toes should pop through the water to create splashes they want sharp,. Legs up and down alternately to propel a swimmer forward inevitably choose that they want sharp knives how... Swimming • teach child • while swimming your back does not always translate to having a flutter! Baking method, you want the president to prioritize in the water instead of forward the... Steps and legs stretched behind them name is Mallory Huntley keep kicking or! First American to win the award in 10 years s flutter kick body upward use the beat! If their right arm is outstretched, they ’ ll want to get me wet as they did when were. Kid get in the program since 18-months of age or younger surface, resembling boiling water flour or. Be a New parent Again, Embroidered Ultrasound Image Lets Blind Dad-To-Be 'See ' his Baby like to ballet around... The breaststroke, the backstroke and freestyle and color more easily not even a learn it in a scissor.! Child floating on their backs, but it ’ s not even a learn it in a fairly environment. S flutter kick were standing next to a wall that you wanted to make contact with a teacher teaching child. Something to have the student focus on kicking the top of the water the side of independence!

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