Please watch the level introductory video before starting the lessons
O3BSkill1LessonPlan
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Skill 1 – Streamlined Kick

The Streamlined or Torpedo kick is a great tool to prepare a child’s body for the Freestyle stroke. It involves placing both arms behind the head in a straight line with the hands on top of each other. This position is maintained while the child kicks their legs. The reason why this drill is so important is because it exercises and strengthens the core (abdominal) muscles and prepares the child for more difficult swimming actions. If a child cannot perform a Streamlined kick, they certainly do not have the core stability and strength to perform correct Freestyle arms. This is why it is really important to practice Torpedo kick even after the skill is mastered, because it enhances the quality of Freestyle arms by allowing the upper and lower body to perform 2 different actions.
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Skill 2 – Beginner Freestyle

This type of Freestyle is different to what you see in the Olympics or what we call conventional Freestyle. Beginner or Catch-up Freestyle is when the hands meet after each stroke, so only one arm is moving at a time. The benefits of teaching Catch-up Freestyle before teaching conventional (Olympic) Freestyle are obvious to those who have done so. Young children find Catch-up much easier to comprehend as they are only using one arm at a time. However more importantly, just like Streamlined/Torpedo kicking, Catch-up Freestyle prepares and strengthens a child’s core region so the swimmer can develop a long, powerful Freestyle stroke. When children are taught conventional Freestyle too early, the arms tend to move too quickly and the correct breathing technique becomes difficult to teach. *uSwim does not advocate Catch-up for elite training or squad classes.
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Skill 3 – Pat the Dog

If you are learning this skill it means your child can kick on their back while holding a kick-board to their chest. For a child to first start moving on the back without an aid we use a technique called ‘Pat the dog’. This is where the legs kick, while the arms are placed alongside the body with hands making a patting motion (where the name comes from). This skill is all about using the correct muscles to kick, body position and relaxing to allow maximum buoyancy. Never try learning Backstroke without first learning Pat the Dog.
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Skill 4 – Freestyle Breathing

When first learning how to correctly breathe in the Freestyle stroke, we recommend you only get your child breathing to the one side (either right or left), and keep it consistent. This is why we label each arm, one is the Breathing arm (the side that they breathe to), the other is the Bubble arm (the side you can attach a bubble to as a reminder, as this is one skill we think an aid really helps). Later on down the track your swimmer will learn bi-lateral breathing or breathing on both the left and the right. There is no right or wrong side children should breathe to, simply whichever side turns better and feels more comfortable to the swimmer. Once you have decided on which side to breathe,  this skill will show you how to incorporate the breath into Beginner/Catch-up Freestyle.
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Skill 5 – Backstroke

If your swimmer is competent at performing Pat the Dog, then the backstroke arms can be introduced. Just like Freestyle, we simplify the stroke when first teaching it and use a technique called Single-arm Backstroke. Just like Beginner Freestyle, Single-arm makes it easy for a child to understand and perform the skill that’s being asked. If they find this easy, then simply move on to conventional (Olympic) Backstroke.
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Skill 6 – Freestyle (front crawl)

Making the transition from Beginner Freestyle to Olympic Freestyle is not hard. In this skill we will make sure our swimmer can do correct Catch-up (beginner) Freestyle, and then teach him/her to begin changing the arms so the stroke will begin to resemble the Freestyle you see in the Olympics. Once your swimmer gets the basic action, we then provide you with drills that will refine the stroke, build stamina and increase strength. uSwim advocates the use of flippers as a tool. Flippers allow the swimmer to concentrate on arm technique because it improves the efficiency of each kick, helping to maintain momentum. Teachers should be careful children do not become dependent on flippers and lazy with their kicks.
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