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Swimming has been known since prehistoric times. Drawings from the Stone Age were found in "the cave of swimmers" near Wadi Sora (or Sura) in the southwestern part of Egypt. Written references date from 2000 B.C., including Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible (Ezekiel 47:5, Acts 27:42, Isaiah 25:11), Beowulf, and other sagas. In 1538 Nicolas Wynman, German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, "Colymbetes". Competitive swimming in Europe started around 1800, mostly using breaststroke. The front crawl, then called the trudgen, was introduced in 1873 by John Arthur Trudgen, copying it from Native Americans.  Swimming was part of the first modern Olympic games in 1896 in Athens. In 1902 the trudgen was improved by Richard Cavill using the flutter kick. In 1908, the world swimming association, Federation Internationale de Natation de Amateur (FINA) was formed. Butterfly was first a variant of breaststroke until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952.
  •  In 1603 the first national swimming organization was established in Japan.  Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan declared that school children should swim.
  • The first German swimming club was founded in 1837 in Berlin. A journal mentions "swimming skates" in France, which may be an early version of a surfboard.
  • Synchronized swimming started in the late 19th century, and the first competition was in 1891 in Berlin, a men's-only event.
  • In 1908, the world swimming association Federation Internationale de Natation de Amateur (FINA) was formed.
  • Women were first allowed to swim in the Olympic Games in 1912 in Stockholm, competing in freestyle races. 
  • In 1943 the US ordered the reduction of fabric in swimsuits by 10% due to wartime shortages, resulting in the first two piece swimsuits. Shortly thereafter the Bikini was invented in Paris by Louis Reard  or Jacques Heim .
  • In 1972, another famous swimmer, Mark Spitz, was at the height of his career.  During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, he won seven gold medals, more than any other Olympic athlete has ever won.
  • In 1998, Benoît Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean, a total of 5,600 kilometers in 72 days, swimming 6 to 8 hours daily. He was accompanied by two sailors on a sailboat.
  • By the time he retired at Rio 2106 at the age of 31, Michael Phelps had collected a total of 23 golds, three silvers and two bronzes at the Olympics.

Rules and Safety

Swim Unit Rules
1. Students will be dressed in swimming attire.
2. Students will be honest about their swimming abilities.
3. Use appropriate language and behavior in a community setting.
4. One at a time using the restrooms after checking with instructor.
5. Their will be no glass bottles or food allowed in the locker rooms, on pool deck or in the swimming pool.
6. Students will follow the teacher’s instruction at all time to ensure a safe and positive learning environment.
These activities are not allowed on the pool deck or in the pool.
· Running on the pool deck
· Horseplay on the deck or in the pool
· Dunking or slashing
· Pushing
· Diving (unless approved by teacher)
· Playing or hanging on the diving board or starting blocks.
· Throwing equipment or misuse of equipment.
Diving Board Rules:
· One person on the board at a time
· One bounce
· Immediately after going off the diving board, swim to the ladder or the side of the pool
·  Always check to see if the pool is clear before going off the diving board.

Front Crawl Stroke

  • Arms are always in opposition. One is back and the other is forward .
  • The kicking motion starts at the hip, with the thigh starting downward even while the calf and foot are still moving upward.
  • Turn head to the side.
  • Look to the side.
  • Opposite ear stays in the water.
  •  After inhaling, return the face to the water and exhale.
Front Crawl Stroke

Elementary Back Stroke

  • Chicken
  • Airplane
  • Soldier
  • Both legs bend at the knee and circle around in a kind of whipping action.
  • The kicking action is continuous and smooth.
  • Face is out of the water looking straight up.
  • Breath during arm stroke.
Elementary back stroke

Back Stroke

  • The arms move continuously in constant opposition to each other.
  • One arm recovers while the other arm pulls.
  • It is a continuous, alternating up and down movement that starts from the hips.
  • Inhale when one arm recovers and exhale when the other arm recovers.

Breast Stroke

  • Arms slightly bent, press the palms directly out until the hands are spread wider than the shoulders.
  • Sweep hands downwards and outward.
  • Sweep hands inward and upward until the hands are below the chin.
  • Facing each other and almost touching, extend arms forward and straight.
  • Bring the heels toward the buttocks.
  • Separate knees and heels until the knees are hip width apart.
  • The feet are outside the knee and flexed.
  • With a continuous whipping action, press the feet outward and backward until the feet and ankle touch.
  • As the arms and hands start to pull backward, lift the head.
  • Near the end of the arm pull, the mouth will clear the water allowing for an inhale.
  • As the arms start to recover, lower the face into the water and exhale.

Side Stroke

  • Pick an Apple
  • Put it in the basket
  • From glide position recover the legs by flexing the hips and knees, heels toward buttock
  • Flex the top ankle, point the toes of the bottom foot
  • Top leg toward front of the body, bottom leg toward the back
  • Bring legs together
  • Inhale through the mouth while recovering the trailing arm
  • Exhale in the power phase of the trailing arm

Jumping and Diving

Treading Water
  • Stay nearly vertical with upper body bent slightly forward at the waist
  • Make continuous broad, flat, sculling movement with the hands a few inches below the water line
  • Kick with just enough trust to keep the head above the water
1. Stationary starting position
Kneeling Position
  • Kneel on one knee
  • Extend arms over the head
  • Lean forward, push with the legs
  • On entering the water, straighten the body and extend both legs.
Compact Position
  • One foot forward and one foot back. forward foot gripping the edge of the pool
  • Start in kneeling position
  • Lift up both knees
  • Extend the arms above the head
  • Focus on target
  • Bend forward and try to touch the surface of water
  • Push off bring legs together when entering the water
Stride position
  • Stand upright one leg forward and one leg back
  • Extend the arms above the head
  • Bend the legs only  slightly while bending at the waist toward the water
  • While losing balance lift the back leg until it is in line with the torso
  • Forward leg should stay as straight as possible        
Standing Dive
  • Start with feet shoulder width apart
  • Extend the arms above the head
  • Focus on target
  • Bend at knees and angle the hands down toward the target
  • Push off the deck, lift hips and extend the legs so they are in line with the torso.
2. The Movement of Propulsion
  • The takeoff is a slight push with one or both feet
3. The Entry into the Water
  • A good entry involves entering the water at the correct point and keeping the body aligned as it enter the water.

Swim Journal Questions

1. Explain your current swimming ability, when are you nervous in the water, when are you comfortable, and can you swim any of the swimming strokes?
2. List 5 important rules to always follow when swimming.
3. Why is it important to know the depth of the water before you enter the water? Why is it important not to dive into shallow water?
4. List some safety devices that you should have around a pool, lake, or pond, etc.
5. Explain why bobbing is a good warm up skill.
6. Explain how to streamline off the wall.
7. Explain how to do the front crawl.
8. Explain how to do the back stroke.
9. Explain the difference between breathing w/freestyle and breathing with breaststroke.
10.Explain how to do the elementary backstroke.
11.How do you do the flutter kick for freestyle and backstroke?
12.Explain how to do the breaststroke.
13.Explain how to do the breaststroke kick.
14.Explain how to do the side stroke.
15.Explain how to do the scissor kick.
16.How would you teach someone to dive?
17.What swimming skills can you do to relax in the water?
18.Why is it important to stay relaxed in the water?
19.How would you teach someone to float on their front and their back?
20.How would you teach someone to tread water?
21.If you have a friend who will not put their face in the water, how will you get them to put their face in the water?