Fixing that Elusive Breaststroke Kick

Teaching Article - Improving Your Learn to Swim Program

By John Leonard – December, 2011

“Fixing that Elusive Breaststroke Kick”

   All Learn to Swim professional teachers and coaches of novice swimmers will tell you that one of the hardest, most persistently difficult problems to fix is that swimmer with one foot properly turned out on Breaststroke Kick and the other foot…..turned inward…

    While teaching an ASCA Level 2 Stroke School in New Zealand a few years ago, I got help with the awful problem…… Just as I said “I have no idea how to fix that!”, a lady in the rear of the room, who was likely in her 9tth decade on the planet, stood up and said “I can help you with that Coach John!”

      I will admit to a modicum of “skepticism” since I have “been everywhere and heard everything”…..but the “modicum”escalated somewhat when we continued with ….”my seven year old great-grandson showed me how”.  I must admit to a certain inward groan. But I politely said…”yes, madame, please do..”


And now comes brilliance…so simple. Like all brilliance.

She said “My great grandson told me to simply “FAN MY TOES” with the little toe pushing outward, and all would be good.”

If you are at all like most of us, your toes “fanned in your shoes” as you read that, and you know INSTANTLY, how effective that bit of advice is. I have since repeated it all over the world and asked coaches to immediately go home and try it with their swimmers with a “stubborn foot” in breaststroke. It always works!

And the greater lesson of course..never close your mind…you can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime. So huge thanks to that fine lady and her adept great grandson!  

Do great teaching, the future depends on it!   JL