Homework Tips

Parent Tot and Little Snapper

Here are some Tub Work suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Water Acclimation: Place toys in the bottom of the shower and have your child retrieve them so they can get acclimated to having water on their face.

Breath Control: Have your child put their lips in the water and blow bubbles. Have them make noise when trying to blow bubbles.

Kicking: Move child’s straight legs up and down while saying “kick, kick, kick…” so that eventually when you say “kick, kick, kick…” they will move their legs on their own.

Angelfish

Here are some Tub Work suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Water Acclimation: In the bathtub, use a ‘rain’ bucket or cup to pour water on your child working from their toes up to their head (including toes, hands, stomach, back, shoulders, ears and head). Before pouring water over their head say the child’s name and use the cue: “1-2-3” and then bring the water forward from the back of child’s head. Be sure to praise the child!

Light Submersion: Demonstrate “Monkey Cheeks” (Cheeks puffed out and mouth closed) to your child. Have your child do monkey cheeks and dip their lips in the water, followed by nose and eyes.

Back Floating: Have your child lie on their back in the tub with his/her ears submerged. Ears should be completely covered by the water to minimize water running in and out of the ears. Pick a favorite song to sing or count to 10 while the child lays there. When you are done they can roll over onto their stomach.

Kicking: Have your child lie on their stomach and kick their feet making little splashes with the tips of the toes.

Blowfish

Here are some Tub Work suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Back Floating: Have your child lie on his/her back in the tub with both ears completely submerged. Pick a favorite song to sing or count to 10 while the child lays there. When you are done they can roll over onto their stomach.
On the carpet, have your child lay on their back with a towel rolled up under the small of the back. Have your child practice lifting their back off of the towel by arching their back. This helps get the stomach up and strengthens the back muscles.

Front Floating: Have your child lie on their stomach with their face in the water. Start with the face in for 2 seconds and have them work their way up to 5 seconds. When they are done have them roll onto their back.

Kicking: Have your child lie on their stomach and kick their feet making little splashes with the tips of the toes. Have them work up to holding their face in the water while kicking. For back kicking, have them roll over, lie on their back, submerge their ears and kick their feet under the water with straight legs.

Clownfish

Here are some Tub Work suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Back Floating: Have your child lie on their back in the tub with their ears completely submerged. Pick a favorite song to sing or count to 10 while he/she lays there. When you are done they can roll over onto their stomach and submerge their face immediately, working up to 10 seconds.

Front Floating: Have your child lie on their stomach with their face in the water, working their breath control up to 10 seconds. When they are done have them roll onto their back.

Arms: Have your child do ‘ice cream scoops’ in front of a mirror. Another way to practice is to have your child stand an arm’s length away with their back to the wall. Have them practice reaching their arm behind them so that their fingers touch the wall. This will encourage a larger range of motion.

Jellyfish

Here are some homework suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Rollovers: On the carpet, have your child practice rolling from back to tummy and from tummy to back with their arms stretched over the head. This will ensure that they are rolling with their stomach and back muscles, not their arms and legs. Work on rolling back the same way that they came from (no log rolling).

Breaststroke Legs: Lying belly down on the carpet, have your child practice moving legs ‘up, out, squeeze’. Legs should squeeze together straight.

Breaststroke Arms: With their head and body over the side of the sofa, have your child practice their “pizza arms”. Hands start together with both thumbs up. Turn the thumbs down with the backs of hands touching, bend the elbows, and scoop hands around in a circle into the chest then bring arms forward back to the thumbs up starting position. Leaning over the sofa will keep your child from creating too large of a pull.

Seal

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Side Breathing: Practice breathing in the bathtub or pool by putting your face in the water and exhaling (blowing bubbles), then turn head to the side putting only the ear in the water and take an audible breath in. Repeat to both sides.

Elementary Backstroke: Arms and legs mirror each other’s movements, ‘bend, out and squeeze’. Practice moving through the water smoothly, keeping arms and legs under the water and belly up high.

Breaststroke: Lie on the stomach on a bed with arms over the edge of the bed. Start with arms in streamline and eyes down. Bring arms around in a circle, putting hands together next to chest. Lift head up to breath as the elbows are bending to pull. Put head back down as you shoot your hands back forward to the starting position. To work on gliding, leave hands in the starting position for a 3 count.

Sit Dives: Practice forward rolls at home. Keeping the chin tucked down to the chest is an important part of diving.

Seahorse

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Backstroke: Practice long, straight backstroke arms. Thumb comes out of water from the hip with fingers pointing towards the toes. As the arm reaches toward the ceiling, flip the hand so the pinky points toward the water. The arm then brushes past the ear and reaches into the water beyond the head. As backstroke continues, the arms should always be opposite each other and continuously moving.

Dolphin Kicks: Have your child stand up with arms in a streamline position and legs and feet glued together. Have your child wiggle their bodies in a wavelike motion, moving their hips and chest forwards and backwards. Arms and head should not move during this exercise.

Breaststroke Legs: Practice moving legs ‘up, out, squeeze’. Legs squeeze together straight and hold together for a 3 second glide. Feet must remain in the water and arms should be in a streamline position unless breathing. Make sure the toes are pointing out as the heels turn in. During this kick, feet should be flexed. The toes only point when the legs are long and straight in the glide position.

Octopus

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Freestyle: Catch Up Drill- Hold a kickboard with both hands while doing flutter kick. Take one pull with your right arm while still holding onto the kickboard with your left hand. As you finish your pull, grab the kickboard with your right hand and begin to pull with the left arm. Breathe every three strokes. Repeat this sequence.

Backstroke: Lane Line Pull – (shallow to deep end) Swim normal backstroke right next to the lane line. When pulling with your left arm grab the lane line when your arm is fully extended over your head and pull through. Focus on how your arm bends at the elbow and pulls you through the water. Repeat with the right arm (deep to shallow)
3 Pulls, 6 Kicks – Do three backstroke pulls and on the third pull rotate from your back to your side. Rest your head on your shoulder and look up towards the ceiling for six kicks. Take three more pulls and switch sides. Repeat sequence. Focus on rotating shoulders and controlling your body in the water.

Breaststroke Drill: Try doing two kicks for every one pull. Maintain a streamline position during the kicks and keep your feet under the water. Work on bringing your heels up and flexing your feet out and around. This drill will emphasis the glide after each kick.

Butterfly: Standing 6-10 inches away with their back to the wall, have your swimmer practice rotating both arms behind them (butterfly pull), brush the wall, and come over their head. As this gets easier, have them step farther away from the wall to increase their range of motion.

Manatee

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Endurance: Work on swimming the length of the pool (or 25 yards). Try swimming a lap of each of the four major strokes – Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly.

Freestyle: Zipper Drill- As the right arm recovers, drag your right thumb along your rib-cage. Imagine pulling a zipper running from the bottom of your rib cage to your armpit with your thumb. As the left arm recovers, drag your left thumb along your rib-cage. Continue to alternate from side to side working on a long reaching pull and high elbowed stroke.

Butterfly: Breathing every other stroke helps maintain proper body position through the water. Start lifting your head up to take a breath as your arms begin their pull. Eyes must be on their way back into water before arms finish their pull.
When you breathe your head enters the water before your hands as you pull around and over the water.

Whale

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Endurance: Work on swimming a lap (2 lengths or 50 yards) of the pool. Try swimming a lap of each of the four major strokes – Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. These should be done with flip and open turns.

Turns:
Open Turn (Breaststroke/Butterfly)-Touch the wall with two hands, bring the knees toward the chest and bring feet onto the wall. Drop one hand under water facing up and bring one hand over head until you give yourself five under water. Push off the wall in streamline, roll to stomach, and continue swimming.

Flip Turn (Freestyle/Backstroke)- Start the turn approximately an arm’s length away from the wall in order to have enough room to perform your turn. Do not breathe right before your turn. As you take your final stroke towards the wall, bring your chin down tightly against your chest and bring your knees into your chest to curl into a ball. The arm that’s out in front of you should sweep down towards the bottom of the pool and end up at your side. Place your feet on the wall shoulder width apart with knees bent at about a little more than a 90-degree angle. Slide arms up past ears to form the streamline position and push off.
Practice – Practice somersaults on a soft surface on land.
Drill – Swim freestyle and after every 5 pulls do a somersault and act as if you’re landing on the wall. Focus on tucking your chin into your chest and using your arms to guide you through the flip smoothly.

Practice w/ tools – Using two kick boards or pull buoys, one hand holding each, kick into the wall with arms held straight in front. When you are one arm’s length away from the wall, tuck your chin into your chest as you pull your arms to the side. Push down on the kickboards/pull buoys and use them to help you smoothly flip into the wall. Push off on your back with arms straight above your head close to a streamline position.

Freestyle:
3 Pulls, 6 Kicks: Do three freestyle pulls and on the third pull rotate from your front to your side. Look down at the bottom of the pool for six kicks. Take three more pulls and switch sides. Repeat sequence. Focus on rotating shoulders and controlling your body in the water. When swimming freestyle, lengthen your stroke and roll your shoulders.

Butterfly: Laying face down in the water, place hands palms down at abdomen level with bent elbows. To practice your full arm extension, push the water forcefully towards your hips and behind you. Repeat

Dolphin

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Endurance: Work on swimming two laps (4 lengths or 100 yards) of the pool. Try swimming two laps of each of the four major strokes – Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. These should be done with turns.

Breaststroke Pullout: Push off the wall in streamline and roll to your belly keeping your legs together. When you feel your momentum slowing down, bring your arms down in a keyhole shape to your thighs. Move the hands from the sides of the body up to your chest and back to a streamline position. Simultaneously, the legs perform a full breaststroke kick allowing your body to break the surface of the water. The next stroke will be your first complete stroke of breaststroke.

Swim Team

Here are some homework and free swim suggestions to help your child develop and advance through this level:

Build-up 100’s: Swim a 100 freestyle building up speed with each 25. The first 25 will be easy and the last 25 should be a sprint. Take 15 seconds of rest between each 100 set. Focus on keeping your technique while increasing speed. This will help with endurance. Do at least 4 sets.

Descending Sums: Swim a 50 of freestyle; time the 50 and count your strokes for the whole 50. Add you total number of strokes to the time you recorded. This will be your starting number. Each following 50 should be a lower number than your original sum. This drill will help you to understand the importance of how each part of your stroke impacts your overall performance and how to swim more efficiently to drop time. Do at least 5 sets.

2 Turn 50’s: Start in the middle of the pool swimming into the shallow end, do a turn, swim a 25, do a turn and end back in the middle. Do 2 turn 50’s of each stroke to practice turns. Hold your speed in and out of the wall; do not breathe in or out of the wall for freestyle.

Utilize Tools: Kickboards, fins, pull buoys and hand paddles will all help with your stroke technique and mix up a workout so you don’t get bored. Ask your coaches for more ideas!