Floating on Back and Front

Back Float

Teach the back float first. Head back with chin up. Push hips to the sky. Breath in AND OUT through the nose.

  • Have the students explore different positions to see which enables them to float the best.
  • Find feet by lifting head.
  • Introduce them to letters of the alphabet, e.g. ‘T’, ‘I’, ‘X’ (starfish), ‘Y’.
  • To stand lift head, bend knees toward stomach and push up with hands.

 

Front Float

  • When the students are ready have them try floating on their fronts with faces in the water.
  • When students feel the need to breath stand up by lifting knees to chest.
  • Have the students explore different positions to see which enables them to float the best. Introduce them to letters of the alphabet, e.g. ‘T’, ‘I’, ‘X’ (starfish), ‘Y’.
  • Try alternating between a back float and front float, standing up in between each change.

Check for Understanding

  • Ask students what they need to do with their chins to stay afloat during a back float. Answer: Keep it up.
  • Ask what they needed to do with their legs to stand up from a back float. Answer: Bend and push them down.

keep chin up when floating
keep chin up when floating

Teaching Tips and Class Management

  • Have students experiment with floating and standing up from back and front floats before instruction. Ask questions to ascertain individual experiences with floating and standing.
  • Use flotation aids for those less capable
  • If students are struggling with floating introduce a gentle stationary hand sculling movement.
    • Thumbs down moving hands away from each other, thumbs up moving hands closer to each other as a good way to stay afloat and to reserve your energy at the same time.
    • Keep this motion going to stay afloat.

flotation aids
sculling to assist floating

All people float differently, and even if the lower body sinks they can still stay afloat and keep their airways out of the water using flotation techniques.