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Swimming drills for kids

November 2, 2021

Physical exercises have an excellent impact on the comprehensive development of children: the inner world, thoughts, feelings, moral qualities, movements, coordination, and immunity are formed and developed. What kind of sport, if not swimming, is fun, interesting, and enjoyable for children? There are many approaches to training techniques and a rich selection of swim drills for young swimmers. Let's try to figure out together how to teach kids to swim and what exercises will help.

A properly organized process of learning to swim has a high educational effect. Not only motor skills increase, but also knowledge, physical and mental abilities, volitional qualities develop. Also, a conscious and responsible attitude to the actions and relationships with peers appears. The main goal in training younger swimmers is, first of all, to teach them to stay on the water confidently and fearlessly, to make the most of all factors contributing to health strengthening.

Starting to teach children to swim, coaches found a solid foundation for further educational activities in this sport. They instill an interest and love for the water.



Stages of training

- The child should get rid of the fear of water. Learning can begin with fun games and splashing.

- The coach teaches them to move on the bottom of the pool in various ways. 

- Then, the child should master the technique of immersion in water so that he or she can calmly open their eyes underwater and navigate.

- This is followed by a difficult process of learning to exhale into the water and lie on the water on the chest and back.

- After the above basics are mastered, the coaches can pass to the technique, and the first step will be learning how to glide in the water. The trainer teaches children to perform alternating movements with their feet and hands while gliding.

- Along with this, various diving starts to be studied, which can also be organized as a game.


The rational method of teaching swimming is based on the following principles:

- to develop a steady interest and active participation in swimming lessons

- to use visual aids, reference points that create conditions for the representation of movements in the water and their improvement;

- a gradual increase in the requirements corresponding to the psychological, physical, coordination training of the swimmer;

- the principle of the individual approach is the most important one in any training. The coach must take into account the individual abilities and capabilities of the kid in the learning process;

- compliance with the principle from easy to difficult, from simple to complex;

- applying a wide list of exercises, movements and using the game method for variety.


So, swimming skills are formed, fixed, and improved when using various swimming drills. Let's take a closer look at their types:

1. General development and special exercises on dry land "dry land workouts".

2. Preparatory drills on the water, exercises that introduce children to water and its features:

- movement on the bottom and the simplest actions in the water;

- immersion in water, including with the head;

- breathing exercise;

- opening eyes in water;

- floating and lying on the surface of the water;

- gliding.

3. Exercises for learning the technique of swimming "with and without support":

- movement of arms and legs;

- harmonization of movements of hands, feet, breathing;

- swimming in the coordination of movements.

4. The simplest jumps into the water:

- jumping on the spot and in motion;

- jumping feet first;

- jumping headfirst.

5. Games 

5 examples of Swimming drills for kids

1. Crawl with head up

This is a great solution for front crawl drills for young swimmers, as it works on controlling hand movements and interacting with water. How is it performed? The child keeps their chin above the surface of the water and swims crawl in full force. For a really good workout, kids should learn to keep their heads motionlessly by focusing on a point at the end of the pool. If the head remains fixed, it is much more likely to maintain the body position in a straight line. Another advantage of this exercise is that you can observe the movement of the hands, how they enter the water. It is a difficult workout because raising the head above the water creates additional resistance, so children should be ready to work hard.

2. Dog Paddle

This exercise helps to design a sense of the power of water throughout the swim.

How is it performed? The chin is on the water surface so that the child can observe his or her hands and see what is happening in the front of the stroke. Keeping the hands underwater, the swimmer needs to pull forward, bend the elbow outward, lower the arm down, then push the hips back and pull the opposite arm underwater. This swim workout is well suited for children 7- 8 years old as the exercise itself is fun, although it can be complicated.

To do this, the child must lower his head into the water and look at the bottom of the pool. This enables the rotation of the body in addition to traction underwater. When the hand moves forward, it coincides with the hip line, so a swimmer can keep the direction and not bend to one side.

3. Star

How is it performed? Children stand in the water and stretch their arms up. Slightly pushing off with their feet, they smoothly lean back and lie down so that the back of the head and ears are submerged in water. Then they spread their arms and legs apart and relax. Exercise helps to develop a sense of balance and buoyancy, as well as to relax.

4. Arrow

A very simple exercise that helps to learn how to swim and breathe into the water. How is it performed? The child pushes off from the side of the pool and slides, stretching the arms and legs on the surface. You can try to arrange a competition “ who will glide further on the water”.

 5. Fists

This exercise is designed to develop the muscles of the forearm. How is it performed? The student swims freestyle with a stroke with the hands clenched into fists. The purpose of the exercise is to feel that not only the hand plays the role of an oar, but also the forearm. The main thing is that the forearms are directed to the bottom of the pool so that the elbows are turned to the sides. You can change the shape of your fist to get a different feeling underwater. For example, make an OK sign with your thumb and index finger.

baby swimming


When coaching children, you can use auxiliary tools and equipment. For example, a swimming board, fins, leg floats, but using armbands, circles, and vests is not the best solution. They only slow down learning, consolidating harmful skills. For example, in armbands, a child gets used to holding his head vertically above the water. At the same time, he does not feel body buoyancy, which means that he cannot learn to stay on the water on his own. If you are already using armbands, start gradually removing the air from them. The board also makes it possible to lie on the water strictly parallel to the surface, lower the face into the water, and glide, working with the feet. Children also respond well to the use of the latest technologies in the learning process. The coach can give instructions in real-time, monitor the discipline, and the children will always hear him thanks to SONR. Little swimmers like to play around and make noise, but with SONR, the coach always controls the situation.


These were just a couple of examples of what swimming drills exist. Coach your young swimmers and remember that it is always important to remember about the personality - this is the key to the success of any training.


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