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Teaching Front Crawl Breathing

Are you looking for some assistance when it comes to teaching front crawl breathing?  Take a look at some easy-to-follow lesson plans that may give you   some fresh ideas and new teaching points to help unlock that struggling student.

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Lesson 4: Breathing

Aim: to introduce basic front crawl breathing technique

Equipment: floaters or kickboards, buoyancy aids and sinkers as needed


Entry:  swivel entry

Warm up:  2 widths any stroke on the front

1. breathing while holding the poolside 

2. repeat the above with rolling the head to the side

3. holding a float with a diagonal grip

4. single arm pull with float in one hand

5. repeat the above with the opposite arm

6. full stroke front crawl

Contrasting activity:

head first surface dive to collect sinkers  

prone star floats


using the pool steps or over the pool side

Teaching Point                         

enter slowly

take your time

blow slowly and gently

look to your shoulder

breath through the mouth

turn to the pulling side

breathe as the arm pulls 

head returns to central 

dig yourself to the bottom

deep breath and relax

take your time

Front Crawl Breathing Lesson Plan

Swimming lesson plans for teaching front crawl breathing technique to beginners

Key parts to look out for:

  • Head moves enough for the mouth to clear the water
  • Breathing occurs when the head is turned to the side
  • Breathing out should be slow and controlled
  • Breathing should be in and out from the mouth

Common mistakes:

  • Turning the head towards the straight arm
  • Turning the head excessively (to look upwards)
  • Breathing out through the nose
  • Holding the breath
  • Lifting the head and looking forward when breathing

Need a bit more than just teaching front crawl breathing?

It's not just about teaching the breathing technique.  The rest of font crawl technique needs to be taught effectively too.  My very popular book 'How To Teach Front Crawl' contains all of the lesson plans you will need to make your front crawl lessons awesome.  

Lesson plans, assessment tools and a whole load more...

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