uSwim, level 3, skill 3, pat the dog, swimming on back

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Beginner Freestyle
This type of Freestyle is different to what you see in the Olympics or would be used to. Catch-up is when the hands meet each other after each stroke, so only one arm is moving at a time. The benefits of teaching Catch-up freestyle before teaching conventional (Olympic) Freestyle are obvious to those who have done so. Young children find Catch-up much easier to comprehend as they are only using one arm at a time. However more importantly, just like Torpedo kicking, Catch-up Freestyle prepares and strengthens a child’s core region so the swimmer can develop a long, powerful Freestyle stroke. When children are taught Olympic Freestyle too early, the arms tend to move to quickly and the correct breathing technique becomes difficult to teach.
*uSwim does not advocate catch-up for elite training or squad classes.

4 easy steps to Beginner Freestyle
1. Standing arms
2. 2. arms on shoulders
3. Arms on kickboard
4. Catch-up arms