I am wondering how to hold a swimming float correctly. My son is seven and has swimming lessons, which is my query. I have noticed whilst learning the front crawl arms and breathing techniques, he uses a kickboard. However, I wonder if he is holding it right.
While holding the board with one hand, he is holding it at the nearest edge, so the float tilts upwards, not aiding the body to be streamlined in the water or float. I wonder, should he not be cupping the float with his arm resting on the top of it?
Both ways of holding the float are correct, it just depends on which part of the stroke is being practised or which teaching point is being emphasised by your son’s swimming teacher.
If he holds the float on the nearest edge with one hand, then this promotes a correct body position with the arm stretched out in front as it would be if he were swimming the full stroke.
This grip on the float and position in the water enables the breathing action to be practised easily as it gives the head adequate space to turn.
If he holds the float with his arm over the top of it then the face has not enough space to be in the water fully (unless he has long arms).
However, with the arm on the float in that position, it is a relevant exercise for practising the basic arm action. It is particularly relevant for beginners or swimmers that need extra stability from the whole arm resting on the float.
You mention the body being streamlined in your question: neither of the above ways of holding the float promotes a streamlined position very well, as the float itself is a frontal resistance to the movement of the body through the water.
The float is merely a practice aid, and if the stroke part being practised is improved once your son swims the full stroke, then the float has done its job.