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Body position - The athlete’s body position should be in line with the top of the water. This will decrease resistance and drag making the whole exercise much easier for the pupil.

Most common fault- Body dropping below the line of the water generally the lower part.

Head position-the chin is pointed towards the chest, shoulders and head are laid backwards in a streamline body position with the eyes looking towards the roof and the ears just below water level.

Most common fault- head too far foreword or too far backwards, eyes looking towards feet.

Arm action or recovery –arm action is a continuous and alternating action. Arm leaves independently from the side of the body thumb first rotating around so as it passes the head it brushes the ear and the little finger enters the water first in line with the shoulder and streamlining with the head.

Most common fault – arms exiting little finger first. Arm not streamlines passing the ear. Hand entering the water thumb or fingertips first. Arms bent.

Body rotation -the body rotates on it axis alternating with each independent arm action, with a four or six beat kick. The head remains stationary throughout the whole stroke.

Most common fault- the head moving instead of the rotation, creating flat resistance swimming with NO rotation.


Kick – four or six beat kick keeping in rhythm with the body rotation. Toes turned in slightly (keeping foreward propulsion from the centre of the body) and just breaking the surface of the water - creating a white water.


Most common faultlegs too low, knees breaking the water surface, feet kicking apart.


Underwater phase- the arm enters the water little finger first, pushes foreward, down and outwards allowing the armpit to open fully. When the arm pit is fully opened, it then bends with the help of the body rotation and accelerates down past the navel finishing at the thigh with the thumb touching the thigh, then a little push under the bottom before recovery begins.


Most common fault -straight arms, not finishing the stroke off at the thigh, arm not finishing off in a streamline position. Slipping the catch.


Breathing – most swimmers work their own breathing pattern out however, the younger swimmers are taught to breathe in on the right and out on the left.

Backstroke Dive

The swimmers choice of starts –The Grab Start   - Track Start  All with a  Nice Back arch reduces resistance.


Backstroke Turn

# To enter the wall on a full stroke the athlete must adjust his/her stroke at the flags.


# The athlete is to be drilled on the fastest way to execute the turn –

On a FULL stroke.

The back-to-back turn,

The swimmer first needs to learn his stroke count from the flags to the wall.


Once the swimmer knows their individual stroke count you deduct one stroke, then

The swimmer turns onto his/her stomach, where you are not allowed to kick or even float into the wall and NO freestyle arm action is allowed at all.

Once you have made the decision to turn, you have to do just that, turn, by


Foreword rolling whilst with the help of a circular sculling action from the hands (underwater), throw the legs forcefully over to hit the wall firmly with both feet, preferably on your side,


At the same time you must orientated yourself because when the feet hit the wall the swimmer must be on their back,

Into the streamline position where short sharp dolphin kicks are performed for a fast foreword propulsive phase,


The amount of kicks depends entirely on the leg power of the athlete, some athletes will find that they are faster under the water kicking whereas others will find it to their advantage to surface early and swim. This is up to the coach to work out the fastest possible turn for the individual athlete.

Then you start your next leg with a single arm action, NOT a double arm action and your independent backstroke kick..

Goal time from flag to flag for a competitive swimmer of 6.5 can be performed as a turn drill.

(The head passing the flags on the way in and the head passing the flags on the way out)

For the younger swimmer it is advantageous to break the turn down-

Coming off the wall in a streamline body position and with small leg kicks only.



High hip position,

Head back,

Water level between ears and goggles,

Straight-arm recovery,

Enter little finger first,

Brushing ear with alternating arm on entry,

Bent arm press through to thumb touching thigh and

 Finish off with small inward press under bottom,

Pointed toes, white water

                                                                                             Knees below the water level,