Survival Strokes

 

Survival strokes enable you to conserve energy. When swimming for survival, arms and legs are under the surface of the water, and airways out of the water.

Dog paddle

  1. One arm at a time, stretch forward with a short pull back.
  2. Use legs to help, under the surface of the water..

Survival Breaststroke

  1. Controlled arm and leg movements to conserve energy.
  2. Use breaststroke arms and legs consecutively, with head out of the water.

Sidestroke

  1. Reach forward with leading arm, push back with other arm, then bring both hands to waist (Think – Pick an apple and put it in the basket. Leading arm picks the apple from the tree, and when both hands come together puts the apple in the ‘basket’).
  2. Use a scissor kick.
  3. Smooth, controlled movements.

Survival Backstroke

  1. Use a breaststroke kick and pull through with both arms under the water.
  2. Controlled, simultaneous movements of the arms and legs is key.

More information

For more information and teaching points on survival strokes, refer to the survival strokes topic in the Water Safety for Youth and Adults module.

 

Teaching Tips and Class Management

  • Emphasise the importance of keeping limbs under water, conserving energy with smooth, controlled movements.
  • Practice floating on back to rest between different strokes, rotating as needed.
  • Build stamina by slowly increasing distance.

Assessing Swimming and Propulsion Practical Competency’

  • Relaxed and confident moving around the pool unassisted – on foot and/or using strokes.
  • Move 15m non-stop, using any form of propulsion.
  • Move through water of all kinds (currents, waves, depth – in situ or simulated).
  • Move 50m and/or 3 minutes non-stop, confidently and competently – using any form of propulsion on side, front, back, or a mixture.
  • Move 100m and/or 5 minutes non-stop, confidently and competently – using any form of propulsion on side, front, back, or a mixture

Conserving energy.

When swimming survival strokes arms and legs are always under the surface of the water.