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Teaching Front Crawl Timing and Coordination

Need a lesson plan for teaching front crawl timing and coordination?  Check out some drills and exercises that will help your pupils get their arm pulls synched up with their leg kicks and everything else moving at the right time and pace. 

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Lesson 5: Timing and Coordination

Swimming lesson plans for teaching front crawl timing and coordination to beginners

Lesson 5: Timing

Aim: to introduce a basic front crawl timing pattern

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


Entry:  swivel entry

Warm up:  2 widths any stroke on the front

1. push and glide from the poolside 

2. push and glide holding a float, adding leg kicks

3. Alternate arm pulls holding a float in front

4. Front crawl 'catch up'

5. Push and glide adding kicks, then arm pulls

6. full stroke front crawl

Contrasting activity:

supine star floats  

submerge to collect sinkers


using the pool steps or over the pool side

Teaching Point                         

enter slowly

take your time

hands and feet together

count kicks '1,2,3,4,5,6'

count '1,2,3' each pull

continuous leg kicks

count your kicks  

continuous arms and legs

look up at the sky

deep breath and relax

take your time

Key parts to look out for:

  • Smooth and continuous arm pulls, without pause
  • Relaxed and continuous leg kicks

Common mistakes:

  • One leg kick per arm pull (although a 'one beat cycle' is common in some adult beginners)
  • Continuous leg kick but not enough arm pulls
  • Arm pulls are too irregular

Teaching front crawl timing is not the whole picture...

The timing and coordination of front crawl often falls into place naturally. However, when it doesn't and your pupils are finding things tricky, it is often another part of the stroke that is causing the issue.

The rest of font crawl technique needs to be taught effectively too.  My very popular book 'How To Be A Swimming Teacher' contains all of the exercises and drills you will need to make your front crawl lessons awesome.  Adding them to your swimming lesson plans could not be easier!

Click here for more details, or click below and instantly download your copy. No sign ups, no details needed, just an email address to receive the link to your copy. 

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