Hi Sigma Swim and Stroke Schoolers!
We've spent plenty of time learning new skills over the course of this series. After having already spent some time on freestyle a few weeks ago, we now turn our attention to a new stroke for the beginners. The next stroke in the typical learning sequence is a typical fan favorite: Backstroke. Unlike all other strokes, during backstroke, the face is constantly exposed and open to breathe. So, if you haven't yet checked out our post on "roll breathing", you're in luck! Backstroke is a fun, fresh way to swim and the second of the four main stroke disciplines. Not to mention, it offers great survival/comfort implications when mastered!
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First and foremost, when doing backstroke let's not forget to push off the wall with those great in-water starts that we discussed last week. Pushing off the wall straight and with a streamline will continue to be an important theme. Next, it's important to keep those legs moving, as a steady flutter kick will not only provide a balance to the body position, but it is also the primary engine to the stroke. After that, it's time to start moving the arms in the similar asynchronous cadence to freestyle. The video explains the importance of extending the arms during the recovery and brushing the cheek with the shoulder. This prevents both swimming too wide as well as crossing over sloppily. It's all a learning process, but the beginners should enjoy getting to turn what used to be a back float into a real, live-action swimming stroke.
Fact of the week: There are some caveats to being comfortable with backstroke. Obviously, there is the element of direction that can be a little bit tricky since beginners are unable to watch where they are going. However, trusting the lessons instructor and being patient will be the most important attributes in this learning curve. We continue to compound our skills week to week to ensure the beginning swimmers get the full breadth of lessons to perfect their technique and get more comfortable. There is an element of "letting go" that will make backstroke seem much easier with practice. Before you know it, your swimmer will be swimming bona fide, technically sound backstroke in competitions!
How does my child move up? Come to every swim class, bring your progress report, earn those stickers, and ask your child's instructor or location's deck manager if you have questions.
Push off into new skills, great swimming, and more fun! Glad your swimmer is learning to swim with us!
The Sigma Team