Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Hi Sigma Swim and Stroke Schoolers!
This week we are continuing our stroke series for beginning swimmers. Last week, we continued our wonderful progress with learning how to float. Gaining the ability to float on your own is a HUGE step in our journey to becoming comfortable and effective swimmers. We've officially come away from the security of the poolside ledge and have moved toward learning how to control our bodies in relation to the water alone. NOW, we get to start having a little fun and trying new aquatic experiences. This week, we are going over STREAMLINES.
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With streamlining, we get into the discussion of how to be as hydrodynamic, or have the least resistance, when in the water. Pushing off the walls is just one of the first steps to get there, but also provides a great foundation for learning how to swim properly. It's important to go over the basics on land first. Many coaches will have their swimmers - particularly larger groups - all stand around the deck in a circle to practice their streamline positions. As shown in the video, for younger children, they can do the "turkey" by grabbing their thumb (while the hand is open) with the other hand. For older children, or those with long enough arms, they can do the standard streamline hand position. See both below:
It is most important that the young swimmers find which of these positions are possible, with the second one certainly the preferred form and eventual destination. The key is to stretch your hands as far as possible and squeeze your arms until they are very tightly pressed behind the ears. Once we've done this and squeezed our legs together, we have our streamline. The tighter our streamlines are, the less resistance we feel from the water when pushing off the walls, and the further we can go. At the higher level - think Phelps, Ledecky, Dressel - this is a very understated hero to success, because they just do it so SO well. Perfect it now, and it stays with you all throughout your swimming endeavors!
Fact of the week: Swimming is one of the few sports that operates in a COMPLETELY different medium than most: water. And unlike the air we breathe, it is much more difficult to move through. Have you ever tried to run in the pool? It isn't easy, right? This may seem so basic at first thought. Yet, the entirety of swimming is spent trying to cut and push through the water as easily as possible. There's an art to it, and something that can be learned over time. Learning the streamline is yet another stone across the plentiful pond that is skillful swimming!
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.
Let's streamline your progress to becoming a better swimmer! So glad your child is learning how to swim properly with us!
The Sigma Team