Monthly Archives: May 2014

How to swim freestyle: Part one

Notice how the swimmer in this video rolls her head to the side instead of lifting the head up.

Level: Intermediate

For many, freestyle is the easiest stroke to learn. However, one of the most challenging techniques of freestyle is getting the breathing down. Therefore, before we get into arm movement and kicking, I will write a post specifically for breathing during freestyle.

How to swim freestyle: Part one

The first step to learning to breathe correctly when swimming freestyle is to choose your rhythm. Some people breathe every three strokes while others breathe every four strokes, or every two strokes, etc.

One of the main mistakes students make when they are first learning this skill is lifting the head and looking straight in front of them while taking a breath. Instead of lifting the head, the students should turn their head to the side and peek behind their shoulder.

For some practice…

Before you begin working on the arm and leg movements for freestyle with your students, make sure they know to breathe to the side instead of lifting their head up to breathe. Have them practice breathing to the side, with their eyes peeking over their shoulder, and taking a huge breath.

COMING SOON: How to swim freestyle: Part two 

How to dive from a standing position

Level: Intermediate

Last week, I wrote about diving from a kneeling position. This week, we’re upping the ante to a

Notice how this girl bends her waist and lifts her leg at the same time while diving into the water.

Notice how this girl simultaneously bends her waist and lifts her leg while diving into the water.

standing dive. Again, you should practice this skill in an in-ground pool that is at least 12 feet deep. The standing dive doesn’t require an immense amount of skill and can actually be a lot of fun once students get the hang of it.

How to dive from a standing position:

1.) Instruct your students to stand by the side of the pool. The students’ toes should be curled over the edge of the deck of the pool, not the gutter. (See photo to the right.)

2.) Tell your students to go into streamline position.

3.) Your students should tuck their chin next – if it helps, tell them to keep their eyes on their bully button.

4.) While keeping the arms squeezed tightly against the ears, the students should bend at the waist while simultaneously lifting one of their legs back. The students should then dive fingertips-first into the water.


After the students enter the water via a kneeling or standing dive, tell them to try swimming the front crawl or backstroke all the way to the other side of the pool. If they need to stop and take a rest, encourage them to either tread or go into a front or back float.

TIP: When teaching swim lessons, instructors should ALWAYS remain in the water with their students, no matter how talented the students are when it comes to swimming. Not only is this safer, but this also allows you to get a closer look at their technique.

Instructors should always stay in the water with their students, no matter what.

Instructors should always stay in the water with their students, no matter what.

COMING SOON: How to swim freestyle