Once we pass the confidence building stages for 3 year olds - which is primarily focused on relaxed breathing with bubbles for a count to 3 and basic techniques for reaching, kicking and breathing, we are looking to optimize their technique to ensure fast swimming.
To understand the basic swimming movement, we want our 3 year olds in a flat, streamlined body position and this body position when combined with an effective freestyle kick this is the fastest way to swim.
So to control this we are focusing on 2 main swimming techniques above all others, being their head positioning and kicking.
We like our swimmers heads to be pointed directly to the bottom of the pool. This allows the body to hold the highest, most buoyant body position resulting in less resistance and increased buoyancy which impacts kicking technique and breathing effectiveness.
Freestyle kick is the speed driver for our 3 year olds. Over 80% of swimming speed is generated from a freestyle kick which is a downward kick with straight legs and splashing toes. Fast strokes are often mistakenly focused on by our little learners to help them progress through the water, however, this is a distant secondary to kicking as without kicking our learners may find themselves in an upright position. Putting it all together:
The combination of both of these skills is importantly seen after a breath is taken as correcting head positioning after a breath is vital to having a strong kick resurface and propel the little swimmer forward. These is particularly relevant in the video where speed is lost into the breath and then regained once head position is restored.