Community Questions: 1/26/2021

The place where you get to benefit from the community questions we get from our subscribers, clients, and visitors. We get emails and phone calls often asking about different aspects of teaching swimming. One of my favorite things in life is to give feedback and hear the story of how it went. Check out this email exchange:

Subscriber Question: Do you have any tips for a private lesson with ADD / ADHD?


Do you have any tips on teaching a child with add or adhd? We have accomplished a legal breastroke kick but the arms arent quite there. He gets frustrated easily and I am running out of ideas to work on the pull and timing. 

Thanks, S.

Jeff’s response:

Hi S.,

Patience and repetition with lots of challenges interspersed between high focus activities. 

Add / adhd love to be stimulated. Couple that with achievements and they will have an apple to reach for. I’d follow a “drill, challenge, skill, challenge”  formula. 

Do 3 x streamline with 2 x (11,Eat, 11). 

Then a 50 or 100 free. 

Push off the wall with your hands going feet first. Get two body lengths away. 

2 x 25 position 11 and to breathe do 11,Eat, 11. 

1 x 100 free

Lay on the bottom with belly button one big toe and nose touching at the same time. 

Repeat as needed.

It’ll take time and some challenges might feel like wasting time but they help stimulate interest and make kids more receptive to your instruction. 

– Jeff N.

Let me know if that helps. 

Hi ! Thanks for the quick response!

Thanks! He will like these ideas because the child loves food! This would work on the “catch” and pull towards the chest and back to streamline.  He makes me hungry during our session cause he just talks about what meal he will eat next. His meds also make him hungry too.

So last challenge you literally mean on the bottom of the 3.5 feet? I am assuming this works on lung endurance cause he would have to have breath control to get himself down to the bottom. 

– S.

Hi S.,

Haha. Love hearing about kids that talk about food. 

I’m glad to hear he’ll like these things. 

Yes. Bottom in 3.5 or whatever works for you. It works on breath control and body position and awareness. Mostly it’s fun and stimulating and if we take 2-3 

It also allows him to mentally recover and rest so we can focus on skills better later.

-Jeff N


Hi Jeffrey,

So I met with my student on Saturday and we worked on a few things that you had suggested.  I really like the 3x work only going 12.5 yards and turning around because it gives 2 stopping points to discuss what is going on correctly and what needs improvements.  He does need endurance work but he needs technique and skill work more at this point.  Tonight he will be designing his own practice…I will bring a die.  If he rolls a 1, he does this, 2 etc.  Lets him feel he is in control of practice but there is some meat to the game.  He loved the challenge with the nose, belly and big toe…said it was hard but he kept at it and was determined.  Said are we doing that again on Monday?  hmmm maybe.  One of the best practices I had with him overall which is great!

Thanks for the tips,


I’m thrilled that this format worked so well for S. and her student. You can see how the 3x skill work and shorter distances led to her swimmer getting more out of the feedback. A consistent format will also help her swimmer’s learn routine and expectations. He’ll know that during a shorter set he’ll do it multiple times with focused improvement then have a chance to be stimulated with an interesting game or challenge. Mix in some endurance swimming and you can tame the chaotic difficulty working with a ADD / ADHD swimmer.

It can be challenging but so so rewarding. What are your experiences? Share below!

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