Technique tip – learning breaststroke

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Breaststroke is an important skill to learn, as it can often associate with how you stay afloat, and swim leisurely at the pool or beach! I am going to briefly explain why breaststroke is important, and provide you with a couple tips which could really help your child to understand the stroke.

The tricky part, is learning the correct technique. You may find that your child might not get the technique straight away, and that’s okay! It’s one of the more technical strokes, and can take a little longer to learn. So don’t worry too much if it takes your child a little longer to get the hang of it.

Here are a couple of tips which could help your child to understand breaststroke, and apply in their swim lessons to learn the stroke and really excel.

  1. The kick… this is really important to get right before you start using the arms! Make sure on every kick, you are turning your feet out, and creating a sweeping motion out and around. Don’t forget to finish the kick with your legs straight, and feet together!
  1. Try not to bring your knees too far forward, or too wide as this will only slow you down.
  1. Once you have the kick, it’s time to bring in the arms. It is really important to keep the arm circles small, and in front of your chest. You want to catch as much water as you can, but also don’t want your arms to end up by your side.
  1. Make sure you finish your arms before you kick! This tip is really important, because if you kick while you do your arm stroke, you’re only weakening your stroke, and how much push you get from your kick. So just remember, arms first, then kick. Don’t forget to glide!
  1. Lastly, it’s important to make sure you feel the water when you swim. Breaststroke is a feel stroke, and so it becomes essential to make sure every kick, and every pull, you are thinking about how much water you are trying to catch.

These five tips will hopefully help your child to learn the stroke, and become breaststroke experts!

If there are any technique tips you’d like us to tackle, let us know by emailing [email protected]

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Jacob Garrod works for AUT Millennium Swim School and the Schools Programme. He started back in February 2015 and teaches from Breather Level right through to Development Two. Whilst working part time, he is also in the home stretch of completing his Bachelor of Business Degree at Massey University in Albany. Jacob learned to swim aged three, and became a competitive swimmer at the age of 7. He continued right through until 22, clocking up 15 years in the sport. He specialised in breaststroke and has represented New Zealand on the international level, attending two Oceania Championships in 2014 and 2016, where he managed to get five medals - three gold, and two silver. Jacob also attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, and the 2017 World University Games, in Taipei, Taiwan. Jacob attended multiple National Championships where he managed to get medals throughout the years, from junior level, to age group level, right through to open level.

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