Aqua Fun Academy
Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Face in the Water

On this week’s Swimming Tip Tuesday we’re going to go back to basics with a beginner tip on putting our face in the water and submerging our whole head in the water.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: A young swimmer totally comfortable in the water.

For many new swimmers this is an area of concern. Like any skill the more you practice the easier it will be to perform. We swimming instructors don’t ask for submersion to become a new swimmer’s favorite skill. As a matter of fact, we look for indifference, we want to transition to aversion, to callousness that will eventually lead to comfort.

Let’s address that we interact with water very often in our everyday lives, taking baths, showers, washing our face. We often get our faces wet. So why the aversion to putting our face in a pool?

A common aversion to putting our face in water is the difference in visibility. This can be aided by wearing goggles, which also has a dual purpose. The dual purpose comes from the fact that for some swimmers, their aversion comes from eye sensitivity. Due to the chemical nature of the pool some swimmers experience a slight stinging sensation. Remember it is important to invest in a pair of goggles that suit your face and eye shape. If the goggles are to small or too big it defeats the purpose of using them.

Dependent on the age of the beginner we can use a variety of techniques. One that spans age groups are submersible plastic rings. Placing the rings in the pool at a depth one cannot reach with their hands encourages swimmers to take the plunge and fully submerge.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: A swimmer exhaling in the water while while wearing goggles.

An difficulty instructors face with this might stem from the fact that the swimmer may not be performing “bubbles” properly. “Blowing bubbles,” as an instructor would call it, is a technique used to exhale when we submerge in the water until we come up above the surface to inhale our next breath.

We want to make the process of blowing bubbles to feel natural to us. Similarly when we breathe, it’s something we do without thinking. Pay attention to your breath and every time you have to breathe out make a fish face as you exhale. Do this over and over, then filling up a bowl, or the kitchen sink, or the bath. Do the same over the water and slowly, lower your face into the water as you do this. The key is to remember to continue to breathe out as long as you have your face in the water.

For more on this, check out our Swimming Tip Tuesday on Breathing.

 

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Elbows in Front Crawl

This week’s Swimming Tip Tuesday lets us hone in on high elbows in Front Crawl and ways to practice executing this skill. High elbows are the beginning of a more efficient stroke. It allows us to reduce the amount of drag and to set ourselves up for a more powerful pull action.

Tip: Focus on having high elbows after you pull straight back.

To help you guys out, I’ve written out two very simple drills using very little equipment that you can find around your local community pool. Both these drills emphasize the arms for front crawl.

Swimming Tip Tuesday Workout 1:

Equipment: A Buddy & 2 Flutter BoardsSwimming Tip Tuesday

Use of Equipment:

  • The swimmer will use one of the flutter boards to aid them with buoyancy.
  • The buddy will hold the flutter board at a consistent height (the highest point the swimmer can bring their elbow up during the stroke) and walk alongside the swimmer, all the while encouraging the swimmer to have their elbow meet the board.

Action: Using one arm, perform bent arm front crawl, with your buddy walking alongside you. Switch arm after each distance.

Emphasis: Bringing the elbow out of the water.

Distance: Dependent on the skill of your buddy and type of pool. Perform this within the shallow portion (where you can touch) of the pool. If your buddy has steady eggbeater you can do the full length of the pool.

Swimming Tip TuesdaySwimming Tip Tuesday Workout 2:

Equipment: Flutter board.

Use of equipment: hold the flutter board in both hands in front of the body.

Action: Perform bent arm front crawl.

Emphasis: Focus on exaggerating the rotation of the body and having your armpit facing upwards as you recover the arm around.

Distance: Repeat for 100m, 30 seconds of rest in between each 50m.

Reason: The flutter board will provide extra buoyancy during exaggerated rotation. This motion will give us enough room to focus on bending the elbow high above the body.

For more workouts on how to improve your strokes, check us out every Tuesday!

Focus on having high elbows after you pull straight back

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Sofia performing beautifully executed Front Crawl with high elbows.

That’s a wrap for today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday!

 

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: The Pull

This week’s Swimming Tip Tuesday focuses on “The Pull” in the sequence “Pull, breath, whip, glide” during the breaststroke sequence!

The pull phase of the stroke, despite being a simple action, gives rise to opportunities for many little mistakes. Potential mistakes include: a false recovery period, stalling as well as sinking. However, mastery of this movement improves the following:

  • Forward propulsion power.
  • Optimized breathing opportunity.

To accomplish this, the swimmer must be aware of how to move different segments of the arms. Starting with the hands: for positioning of the hands, one wants to keep their fingers together. Continue with flat palms that push through the water during this phase. This emphasizes forward propulsion.

The next point of focus is the elbow. Swimmers should bend their arms so that their fingertips are pointed towards the pool floor. Beginners will bend at roughly a 90 degree angle. As a swimmer develops proper shoulder movement it will alter how far the hands and arms are from the trunk of the body.

As mentioned above, the next point of focus is the shoulder. One wants to lift the shoulder to bring their face out of the water. In other words, the swimmer should shrug as they pull their arms in towards the sides of the trunk of the body, bringing them in close. This provides a quick, optimal breathing opportunity.

The shoulder lift or shrug is also very important because it keeps the head close to the water. It negates the risk of sinking and stalling, so long as the swimmer aims the arms out from the chest in one full swift motion.

A common beginner habit is to draw a wide rectangular box during the pull phase, which leads to stalling and ultimately sinking. The method of drawing a narrow box is often -and only- used as a progression, in order to allow beginners to build the arm strength required to execute this skill.

To finish the pull and enter into the glide phase, the swimmer will roll the shoulders and push the hands out from the centre of the chest forwards.

Remember: Lift your shoulder to bring your face out of the water to breathe.

Thanks for reading!

Onieka

Swimming Tip Tuesday

MotivationMonday

Swimming Motivation Monday: Comebacks

Today’s Swimming Motivation Monday:

Every setback is a setup for a comeback.

Everybody loves a good comeback. When something doesn’t go your way in life, it’s important to look at it as an opportunity to prove that you can adapt and overcome. Don’t allow the rocky terrain of life to flatten your spirit, you can have what it is you desire. Remember, everything yields to diligence, believe in yourself and keep going till you find a way to make it happen!

You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible. Who’s to tell you what’s possible and what’s not? To put a limit on your life and the possibilities it can hold. Anything you desire in this world is possible! The ones that attain the ‘impossible’ simply disregarded these false truths in a search for their own. They didn’t accept the answer ‘just because,’ they went out and found their own. The biggest difference between possible, and impossible, lies in your mindset. Find the place within yourself where anything is possible. Where no obstacle is too great and nothing can stop you. Be unshakable to your surroundings. Never let someone else’s perspective dictate your reality.

The mind of man has unlimited potential. It has the limitless ability to create. Man has been on earth for thousands of years, yet we are still making new discoveries today and creating new things everyday. We cannot exhaust the creative power of our minds. Your possibilities are limited only by your thinking. What may be a limit for one person is a walk in the park for another. It’s all in the mindset. Your potential as a human being, then, is unlimited. You have within you the ability to become and to achieve anything you want.

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill.

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Every setback is a setup for a comeback

MotivationMonday

Swimming Motivation Monday: Refillable Glass

Today’s Swimming Motivation Monday:

People who wonder if the glass is half empty or the glass is half full are missing the point. The glass is refillable. – Simon Sinek

It starts with our outlook. We can argue forever between optimists and pessimists, and both can say that they’re being unrealistic. Instead of focusing on the glass, imagine there is a pitcher of water sitting next it.

You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible. Who’s to tell you what’s possible and what’s not? To put a limit on your life and the possibilities it can hold. Anything you desire in this world is possible! The ones that attain the ‘impossible’ simply disregarded these false truths in a search for their own. They didn’t accept the answer ‘just because,’ they went out and found their own. The biggest difference between possible, and impossible, lies in your mindset. Find the place within yourself where anything is possible. Where no obstacle is too great and nothing can stop you. Be unshakable to your surroundings. Never let someone else’s perspective dictate your reality.

The mind of man has unlimited potential. It has the limitless ability to create. Man has been on earth for thousands of years, yet we are still making new discoveries today and creating new things everyday. We cannot exhaust the creative power of our minds. Your possibilities are limited only by your thinking. What may be a limit for one person is a walk in the park for another. It’s all in the mindset. Your potential as a human being, then, is unlimited. You have within you the ability to become and to achieve anything you want.

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill.

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People who wonder if the glass is half empty or the glass is half full are missing the point the glass is refillable

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday Common beginner mistakes for Front Crawl

Today’s swimming Tip Tuesday will focus on a common beginner mistake for Front Crawl, regarding ones head position.

When doing Front Crawl the swimmers head position is important because it is one of the key points of rotation when breathing. If the swimmers head is miss-positioned the head can act like an anchor and cause the body to sink. The act of sinking causes the swimmer to exert unnecessary energy to complete the stroke for any desired distance.

A common beginner mistake is the swimmer will pull their head up, or forward facing when going to take a breath, rather than turn to the side. This creates unwanted strain on the neck, and throws the body out of a streamlined alignment.

To avoid this, read the following listed below:

  • The swimmer should breathe rhythmically, exhaling for a fixed period (3 seconds) of time and inhaling for a fixed period (three seconds) of time
  • The swimmer should focus on the location of the ear and nose while turning the head to the side
  • The swimmer should turn their head with the movement of their arm as they go into a side glide

Side glide: The swimmer extends one arm past the head leaning the ear down into the water bringing the swimmer onto their side. Keeping the other arm resting slightly behind the hip.

Another common beginner mistake is the swimmer will look forward, towards the wall ahead of them while blowing bubbles. Again putting unnecessary strain on the neck and throwing the body out of alignment.

While the swimmer is blowing bubbles into the water via the mouth or nose, the swimmer should aim to keep their head in the water with their eyes looking down. The swimmers head should be in line with the body and the water level should come between the eyebrows and hairline.

Indications of proper head position are as follows:

  • The swimmers neck is relaxed and not strained upwards
  • The swimmers ears are under water completely
  • The swimmers eyes are facing the floor beneath them
  • The swimmers chin is slightly tucked towards the chest

If all of the above are performed, the swimmer has successfully executed the proper head position for Front Crawl.

Tip: With eyes looking forward and down, your head should be in line with the body and the water level should come between your eyebrows and hairline.

Well That’s all for this weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday!

Until Next Time!Swimming Tip Tuesday

MotivationMonday

Swimming Motivation Monday: Being Positive

Today’s Swimming Motivation Monday:

Being positive in a negative situation is not naive. It’s leadership.

The problem with a negative thought is not just contained within that moment. One singular negative thought can often serve as a catalyst for a chain of negativity. That negativity, if gone unchecked, will lead to pessimism, and ultimately defeatism and hopelessness. The resulting cycle leads to perpetual cynicism, and an aversion to new thought, new ideas, new experiences. A helpful tip is to look for the silver lining in every situation. If you’re thinking negatively because of the fear of failure, remember you only have to be right once. No matter how dim it seems, there is always a way through. Life never throws you more than you can handle.

It’s always possible to find some objection to any proposed course of action, and there will always be a “reason” for not doing something we’re inwardly compelled to do. There will always be a reason that makes it seems either impossible or futile. So, you just have to go, plunge ahead like a fool, so to speak, ignoring the obstacles.

There will always be something practical that seemingly needs to be done more, time will always be tight, you’ll always have doubts, etc. You won’t be able to wipe these out first and then start on what you want to do: thus saying that you just “have to go.”

The quickest path to mediocrity is by living through established norms and standards. You are you and that is your greatest power. No one can take that away from you. There is something out there that you can do better than everybody else. Find it and set the standard for excellence. It is only through setting new standards that we can advance ourselves and humanity as a whole. That journey begins with understanding and embracing that you are unique and society is better off for it.

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

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Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it's leadership

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Butterfly – Dolphin Kick

Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday Butterfly – Dolphin Kick

Butterfly is a more advance stroke, for it requires controlled upper body strength and coordination of the arms and legs. Because of how advance this skill is we will revisit and discuss other components in future article, so keep your eyes pealed for some helpful pro tips.

Swimming is all about transferable skills, for those who have master Breaststroke an intermediate skill in which there is a large amount of coordination involved between the upper and lower body. The coordination of arms and legs during Butterfly will come more naturally in comparison to those who are still grasping Breaststroke. Another transferable skill is mastery of dolphin kick, as it is a direct building block for the overall mastery of Dolphin Kick.

In today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday we will focus on the how to execute the dolphin kick component of Butterfly.

When executing dolphin kick a large part of the movement comes from isolation of the hips. In a streamlined position along the water, the swimmer will push their pelvis downward to generate momentum that will move down the body from the hips, thighs, knees, calves, and then feet.

This downward push of the pelvis is done twice. The first wave to allows for mostly forward momentum, the second wave is used to generate upward momentum to bring the torso and head out of the water. Allowing the swimmer to breathe.

Pro tips:

  • Swimmers often use the imagery of a mermaid tail to describe how the legs push through the water, while keeping them close together.
  • The catch in between kicks is important, you want to pull the hips up higher on the second kick to help generate more downward momentum.
  • While doing the kick the first kick will always be smaller then the second. The size of the kicks refers to the amount of downward movement from the hips.
  • Powerful downbeats of the feet then propel the body forward. Try to keep your legs close together with your ankles relaxed.Swimming Tip Tuesday
Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Robert’s Class

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Robert’s Class

Throwback Thursday to mat play with Robert’s Class. Pool foam floats are primarily used as a leisure tool for comfort and relaxation, often with a cold beverage. AFA uses foam floats primarily for ice safety training, as they can easily simulate drifting sheets of ice over ponds and lakes. In Canada, this is considered a vital part of swim training. However, that doesn’t stop anyone from using the floats to simulate white-water rafting, a swimmer favorite downtime activity at the end of our classes.

During wintertime, many of us like to skate or approach ice on small rivers or lakes nearby. However, the sturdiness of the ice is an incredibly important factor to whether or not we are able to enjoy this pastime. Nobody wants to be the person to end up falling in the ice. Whether it is proving a point to your friends or taking a (very bad) bet, what could seem like a fun innocent idea at first could end up being an absolutely nightmare within moments. It’s important to learn the rules of ice safety before heading out during the winter season.

The colour of the ice is a very strong indicator as to whether or not it is safe to approach and walk on it.  Clear blue ice is considered the strongest form of ice.
Grey ice however is considered to be the weakest of them all and is not considered safe in anyway.

Mats are a swimmer favourite, as instructors can push them around to simulate white water rafting (without the danger)! Play time, or recess, serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the class. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.

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January 26, 2017

MotivationMonday

Swimming Motivation Monday: Extraordinary

Today’s Swimming Motivation Monday:

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra – Jimmy Johnson.

It doesn’t take a hero to be extraordinary. It only takes a willingness to go a couple of extra steps; a few extra minutes of persistence. It really is a matter of a few degrees, going that little bit further to push things past the point of regularity. If you’re willing to outwork everyone else, you’ll tend to get much “luckier” when it comes to your success, most likely because you’ll come across more opportunity, but you’ll also be in a position to capitalize on it.

Someone with determination and an aspiration to do something in life will focus on their tasks, accomplishments and goals, instead of focusing on competition around them. Many a times, people get driven by competition around them. If you are more keen on getting ahead of others, you will never be focused on your goals because you attention is diverted elsewhere. People who are genuinely interested in achieving their goals for their self-satisfaction are those who have real talent and are keen on enhancing their skills and capabilities. This group of people will go far in life. Being the best is a byproduct of your drive to achieve.

Successful individuals don’t dream about being successful because they’re too busy being successful. They’re too busy to notice when or where it started. Success happens when you don’t have a lazy bone in your body and learn to efficiently manage your time. When you have this everything else will follow and you will achieve success beyond your wildest hopes and dreams. So here we encourage you to stop thinking and start doing. Get busy and begin to experiment with your gifts/talents. You’ll realize success looks nothing like you’ve ever imagined, nor is it suited for anyone any more than it is for you.

The quickest path to mediocrity is by living through established norms and standards. You are you and that is your greatest power. No one can take that away from you. There is something out there that you can do better than everybody else. Find it and set the standard for excellence. It is only through setting new standards that we can advance ourselves and humanity as a whole. That journey begins with understanding and embracing that you are unique and society is better off for it.

Remember, whether you think you can or cannot, you are right.

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The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra