Swimming is excellent not only for your body but also for your mind.
Both will be strengthened through swimming exercise. I would also add that being a competitive swimmer has additional benefits.
Keep in mind our swimming resources are now on WaterPoloNL.
Swim meets are competitive and generally will cause adrenaline to pump through your body. You can use adrenaline to help yourself maximize your workout and reach new heights. Beating not only your personal time but others in the pool adds a level of motivation that is very healthy.
Another benefit of swimming is discipline.
Discipline with your diet, mentality, and overall motivation is required for serious swimmers. Developing this skill takes determination and commitment and can then be used in different areas of life. The set routine along with a strict diet helps swimmers learn what determination and dedication are.
Swimming has so many benefits, but what are they? The National Drowning Prevention Alliance created an infographic to visualize different things that swimming has to offer to your health when you place it at the center of your sports universe.
The infographic breaks up the benefits both physically and mentally. A low impact and high energy sport, swimming works a lot of different things at once. Controlling breathing, posture, focus, and a clear head are all basics of swimming and vital to the success of a swimmer.
Drills for Practice
Overview of Freestyle- Areas of Concentration
Freestyle Kicking 0n Side- Out of Water Explanation- In Water Demonstration
- This drill helps you work on the idea of swimming on your side. It can also help with limiting the body roll associated with breathing to the side. This level may be too high for teaching your child the basics of swimming but they’ll pick it up soon enough.
10/10 kick (The demonstration will call it the 12 Kick Switch)- In Water Demonstration
- This drill works on incorporating the hand motion and hip rotation into your freestyle kicking on a side. Now if your child wants to do synchronized swimming, where would you start?
Sailboat Drill- Out of Water Explanation and In-Water Demonstration
- This drill works to help swimmers get the weight forward during their strokes to improve the hip position while building on the work on hand motion and hip rotation in the 10/10 kick
- This is a very difficult drill. It would be great to see many of you choose this drill in practice sets.
Zipper Drill- Out of Water Explanation and In-Water Demonstration-See also this post with basic butterfly techniques for children
- This drill works on keeping an efficient recovery in the freestyle stroke that is close to the side.
Finger-Tip Drag Drill- Out of Water Explanation and In-Water Demonstration
- This drill works on the high elbow recovery in the freestyle stroke as well as taking controlled strokes.
Overview of Backstroke- Areas of Concentration
Streamline Kicking and Shoulder Roll Drill (they call this “Fashion Model Backstroke” in the videos)- Out of Water Explanation- Streamline Kicking In Water Demonstration- Shoulder Roll Drill In Water Demonstration
- These drills promote a strong supporting kick in the backstroke. At the same time, they allow you to focus on keeping the head straight, which is very important in the backstroke. Once you add long-axis rotation into the backstroke, it can be very tempting for you to move the head along with the body (which you shouldn’t do- you should keep your head straight). Check out also this post about friendly sports education tools.
- The shoulder roll drill allows you to work on an efficient long-axis rotation without focusing on the backstroke arm stroke. It is very important to get that long-axis rotation in backstroke for two main reasons. First: you will be able to reach farther when on the side. Second: it is a hydrodynamic principle that water flows better over a two-sided surface than it does over a one-sided surface. By positioning your body on your side, you are essentially making your body into the shape of a V-shaped hull, similar to those found on high-speed boats.
One Arm Backstroke and 3 right/3 left Backstroke- Out of Water Explanation- In Water Demonstration
- This drill builds on the shoulder roll drill, allowing for the incorporation of stroke cycles, and also works on arm entry.
- When we do this in practice, we have usually turned this into a “controlled” one-arm backstroke. It is very similar, like stealth swimming, except we incorporate a 3-second pause after we rotate our shoulder out, making it similar to the shoulder-roll drill.
- To perform the controlled one arm backstroke drill: Kick with only one arm above the head in the streamline position on the side. Pull down with that arm and finish all the way to the thigh as if pulling on an imaginary lane line. After the pulling is complete, pop the shoulder of the pulling arm well above the surface of the water and hold that position for a count of 3. Then recover the pulling arm and repeat. The other arm will remain at the side.
Underwater Backstroke- Out of Water Explanation and In-Water Demonstration. This is a difficult drill that works on the finish/exit phase of the arm stroke.