Your students enjoy swimming but if you really think about it – they have favorite swimming strokes.
And since they really like those strokes, is there really any advantage for them to learn the other ones?
It may be that your students swim the freestyle stroke or breast stroke really well. It isn’t a waste of time for them to learn more difficult strokes such as the backstroke or the even more difficult butterfly because there is really a benefit for doing so. If your students are excited by speed, it may be that they will want to learn the freestyle since it is a faster stroke.
First of all, learning new strokes requires patience. But patience will be rewarded with:
- A better workout because students use and develop more muscles.
- A decreased risk of injury because students aren’t using and reusing the same muscles and muscle groups.
- More fun because swimming different strokes is more interesting.
Improving skills for students’ favorite strokes makes sense because many strokes use similar skills. For example, both the backstroke and front crawl use balance skills and the butterfly and breaststroke both engage body undulation.
The freestyle is not only a stroke that allows you to swim faster, but it also allows you to tire less while swimming. The breaststroke is the one to swim if students need to see better as they’re swimming or need to get a better orientation of the direction they’re swimming in. The backstroke is also a great stroke to use when tiring. The swimmer can flip over and enjoy some recovery.
So knowing a variety of strokes – even though students have favorites – can be great! And – learning at least the core strokes (freestyle, breast, back, butterfly and side) is the only way that students will become well-rounded swimmers.