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View Full Version : In what order have you learned the different strokes?



ddl
November 6th, 2008, 11:13 PM
Of the 4 main strokes, is it safe to assume most people learned the breaststroke first? It seems to me the easiest to learn and was my first. Perhaps bufferfly is the last to be learned for most people?

Or maybe I'm not quite right?

mjgold
November 6th, 2008, 11:35 PM
I think most people learn front crawl first, as it is probably the easiest stroke to both learn and perform (left arm, right arm, left arm, right arm). Proper breaststroke is more difficult to learn, as timing is very important to success in the stroke, as are a number of minute details that can have profound effects on your efficiency. That said, I also started with breaststroke. Maybe breaststrokers are just weird.

RobbieD
November 7th, 2008, 01:12 AM
I started with freestyle, backstroke, really bad breast stroke that hasn't really gotten much better and finally butterfly.

When I taught swim lessons I started kids with elementary backstroke then sidestroke and if they stuck with it long enough we got them freestyling.

Allen Stark
November 7th, 2008, 01:34 AM
I learned crawl first,then side stroke and elementary back stroke.I was never really taught breaststroke,I just did it.(Given how they taught BR in the 50s that is probably just as well.)I didn't learn BK until I joined the swim team at 14 and fly shortly there after.

david.margrave
November 7th, 2008, 03:38 AM
From my times, I think you could argue that I never really learned backstroke or breaststroke.

aquageek
November 7th, 2008, 07:04 AM
Breast is the stroke of last resort. Only attempt it after failing at the other three, or if drowning.

notsofast
November 7th, 2008, 07:19 AM
I taught myself, more or less, and I learned breastroke, crawl, backstroke, and I don't think that's an unusual order.

I swam breastroke till I got used to breathing only when my head is out of the water. Then I started learning the crawl.

Backstroke was later because you have to learn to go in a straight line before you can share a lane. That means you have fewer opportunities to practice.

As for fly, well if God had wanted me to fly . . .He'd have given me flexibility, coordination and upper body strength.

If you learn at the Y, as most Americans do, it's crawl, backstroke, breastroke, fly. I'm told Europeans learn breast first. Perhaps someone else can confirm that.

pwolf66
November 7th, 2008, 08:14 AM
For the competitive strokes I learned them in this order:

Free
Back
Fly
Breast - I just could not get my feet turned outward until I was about 10.

ddl
November 7th, 2008, 11:31 AM
It has always puzzled me why many people think breaststroke is hard to learn or hard to swim well. It seems to me much simpler than the other 3 strokes. What would be considered a bad breaststroke?

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 12:11 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDgSdj9CqwM

aquageek
November 7th, 2008, 12:12 PM
What would be considered a bad breaststroke?

Mine

ddl
November 7th, 2008, 12:28 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDgSdj9CqwM

LOL That's very funny. But in such cases you just have to tell the person to flatten down her body, which seems to me easier to do than correcting the kicking, pulling or rolling in freestyle or backstroke? At least in breaststroke there is rarely the problem of balancing left and right.

It's not the slowest I have seen, though. I once saw someone swimming freestyle almost without moving, and all of the rest of us were waiting for him to reach the other end of the lane so that we could start our turns, alas, without any hope!

ddl
November 7th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Mine

Do you have a video to show us? :D

ourswimmer
November 7th, 2008, 12:46 PM
What would be considered a bad breaststroke?

Let me offer you my recent results from a SCM sprint pentathlon.

50m fly: 35.40
50m back: 35.26
50m br: 48.51
50m fr: 31.85
100m IM: 1:22.06

I probably should have been disqualified just on principle.

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 01:24 PM
LOL That's very funny. But in such cases you just have to tell the person to flatten down her body, which seems to me easier to do than correcting the kicking, pulling or rolling in freestyle or backstroke? At least in breaststroke there is rarely the problem of balancing left and right.

It's not the slowest I have seen, though. I once saw someone swimming freestyle almost without moving, and all of the rest of us were waiting for him to reach the other end of the lane so that we could start our turns, alas, without any hope!

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as telling someone to just flatten out their body. I would say that on average it's probably easier to get someone swimming a decent front crawl than it is to get someone swimming a decent breaststroke, especially since breaststroke is one of those strokes that requires a specific timing in order to swim it properly. Many people think they're doing it right and can't figure out why they aren't moving very quickly, and when you watch them swim, they're kicking and pulling at the same time.

In general, I've noticed that fixing problems in front crawl is much easier. We had a few guys swimming with a really pronounced s-stroke, and our coach stopped them, showed them where she wanted their strokes, and sent them to do it. That was it--end of story. They will have to focus on it for a little while, but it will become fairly natural pretty quickly. Breaststroke requires focus even when you know what you're doing.

Some people are just naturally good at breaststroke I guess, and I had little trouble learning the stroke. My problem is really just my inability to focus on something for long periods of time, haha. I think butterfly is more difficult than breaststroke, if not impossible, but that's just me.

Mary1912
November 7th, 2008, 04:14 PM
To be honest, I can't recall the order I learned the strokes but I have all my Red Cross swimming cards so I assume I learned in the order taught by the Red Cross at the time (1970s).

That video is pretty funny. I've seen some pretty terrible breaststroke. Timing is key with that stroke. Everyone is different I guess. My son could learn freestyle but the breaststroke kick was an enigma to him.

new
November 7th, 2008, 06:36 PM
50m fly: 35.40
50m back: 35.26
50m br: 48.51
50m fr: 31.85
100m IM: 1:22.06



100m IM: 1:22 you probably could go 40:00 on 50m Br :cool:

norascats
November 7th, 2008, 07:18 PM
I learned Crawl, Back crawl, side, breast, elementary back, all the fancy strokes, and last, butterfly.
I still don't butterfly well. I always avoided it since I did everything esle well

Allen Stark
November 7th, 2008, 10:28 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDgSdj9CqwM

It is not clear what she is doing with her "pull" and her "kick" but it is clearly not propulsive.I see a lot of non-competitive swimmers swim"breaststroke" with the "out,back,in" kick.This is an easy stroke to swim and learn,it also produces minimal thrust with the legs.Fast efficient breaststroke is very difficult to learn.I have been working on it for 45 years,with some success,and I am not nearly satisfied.

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM
I also find that they are not so much sculling as they are just moving their hands around, and they come out of the water simply by turning their bodies nearly upright. There are people at the gym who swim "breaststroke" that take a good minute plus to swim a length. But, they are really just there to be in the water and feel like they are getting some exercise, so good for them.

ddl
November 7th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Most of the folks like the one in the above video or the one I mentioned are old folks maybe in their 70's, so we shouldn't be too critical. It's good enough that they are swimming that much. ;)

Question for all: Is the first stroke you learned your best stroke now?

2fish&1whale
November 8th, 2008, 08:00 AM
I learned the breast stroke when I first started swimming at 5 and was never taught anything else.
I don't know if that was just because I grew up in europe or the thing to do in the 70's.
Anybody out there who did not learn to swim in the US?

Now my kids swim and have learned all 4 and they do have their favorites, but at least they have choices and can swim the IM.

Typhoons Coach
November 8th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Of the 4 main strokes, is it safe to assume most people learned the breaststroke first? It seems to me the easiest to learn and was my first. Perhaps bufferfly is the last to be learned for most people?

Or maybe I'm not quite right?

Personally, I learned freestyle, then backstroke, then breaststroke, then fly...

As a coach, I teach all strokes at the same time and find that the biggest learning curve is on the backstroke and fly...

Ripple
November 8th, 2008, 08:17 PM
I don't remember what stroke I was taught first - it seems to me those early swim lessons covered a whole lot of things at once, but maybe that's distance clouding the view. Didn't learn 'fly until I was 43/44 years old.

I'm told that kids are taught front crawl first here in North America, while in Europe it's breast stroke first. My experiences in three U.K. and one German pool would seem to suggest that is or was the case. In the Munich pool, I was one of only three swimming front crawl in a very large crowd of breast strokers.

One of the pools I swim in here has a large contingent of regulars of Oriental (maybe Chinese) origin and they nearly all swim breast stroke for most their laps, so I'm guessing that is/was true of parts of the far east as well.

Typhoons Coach
November 8th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Most of the folks like the one in the above video or the one I mentioned are old folks maybe in their 70's, so we shouldn't be too critical. It's good enough that they are swimming that much. ;)

Question for all: Is the first stroke you learned your best stroke now?

Freestyle is my best stroke and I did learn it first...

SaltySwimmer
November 8th, 2008, 11:17 PM
I learned free, then back, then breast, then fly. Fly was a very big deal-- that's how we knew we were "big time" (when coach taught us fly).

charged
November 27th, 2008, 01:25 PM
I learned free, breast, back then butterfly. I was never really good at all of them. The backstoke turns always got me, but I never see people doing the backstroke turns anymore. They must have changed it.

swimmj
November 27th, 2008, 02:20 PM
We teach front crawl first, then backstroke, then butterfly and finally breaststroke.

I learned front crawl, elementary backstroke, side stroke, breaststroke, back stroke and then finally butterfly.

--mj

3strokes
December 2nd, 2008, 09:37 PM
Am I to infer from your question that there are strokes other than the Australian Crawl?

I'd say most people learned the dog-paddle side-stroke first.