9 year old so upset after a comment from her coach

by kerry

My 9 year old swims for a club.. But they have taken most of her friends into the didi league, but when she asked why she wasn't asked, they said your times are a second slower.. She dives of the blocs and tumble turns at the end when it's over 25m... have you tips on making her swim quicker.. She is heart broken... she has a home gala in two weeks and normally gets bronze medal.. She wants silver..

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the question, I'm sorry to hear your daughter is so upset, it’s heart breaking to see your loved ones disappointed and you want to do the best for her. It is a hard question this one because I haven’t seen her swim and just a little change to a swimming technique can make all the difference.

All I can do is go through a few checks to see if she is doing her strokes as efficiently as possible. You will have to watch her technique very closely and make changes if needed. These following swimming tips may or may not help:

1. On arm entry, is she entering the water in the middle. What I mean is the arm should enter the water from above with bent arm, when I say the middle what you need to do is imagine that there is a line going vertical trough the body.

Then enter the water just in front of the nose and then pull towards the hip. Do not go over the centre line either above or below the water. This can cause lateral deviation (snaking of the legs) causing drag, causing to be a bit slower.

2. make sure the arm is pulling with a bent arm towards the hips, not straight. This can also cause the head to go too far under the water causing more drag.

3. When the arm is pulled towards the hip during the propulsive phase. Does she turn her hand releasing the catch so little finger comes out of the water first? Not doing this will create drag, but doing this will make the arm fly out of the water thus increasing her speed.

4. Lifting the head too much when taking a breath will slow you down causing the feet to turn and change body position to a less horizontal position this in turn will cause drag slower her down.

5. How many breaths to strokes, may be consider to breathe less if doing 1 breath to every 2 strokes maybe to do one breath to every 4-6 strokes.

6. Lastly has diet played any part in preparation n for the swimming gala, a good mix of carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle repair would be a good idea.

This is personal tip which works for me I have used it in long distance swimming as well as London Marathon and half marathons. Eat about 3 hrs before event then a jam sandwich 1 hr before the event. It gives you a bit of a boost of energy. But that tip is not official it’s just what I do and it works for me :)

Well these swimming tips are some ideas I have come up with, if your child is doing 1 or a combination of these things incorrectly then it could slow her down. By changing these to a more efficient stroke could be the difference between bronze and silver medal....and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for gold.....:)

I really am genuinely hoping she will do well I do hope that you get back to me to let me k now how she gets on and also if any of these tips worked. I do apologise in advance if she has already does these practices. I don’t mean to be patronising, these swimming tips are what I think will help and without seeing her swim it’s hard to be specific.

So Kerry thanks for the question if you have any more questions for now or for the future please get back in touch and please let me know how she gets on.

Dale :)

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Jun 16, 2014
gala is this Sunday
by: kerry

She has a gala this Sunday, a home one, she is doing 50m backstroke, and 50m butterfly... I'm dreading butterfly, she is absolutely determined.. she won't get gold the girl who always wins by 2 body lengths is 11 much stronger, Sophie is 9 and small for 9 lol.. I will for sure be using your tips.. They are great thanks so much.. I will post how she does... :-)


That's great im glad she's got in and is taking part, I'm also really pleased that you have got back in touch to follow up. I often ask people to let me know how they get on and to get back in touch but they don't as a rule. Thank you:)

Tell her from me that I'm keeping my fingers crossed...even for a gold,wish her luck from me and tell her Dale says never say never :). Yes, post me how she does that will be great...

Thanks again Kerry

Dale :)

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