Swimming Game – Buckethead

This is the best swimming lessons game of all time. Buckethead’s success is directly proportional to the amount of enthusiasm the instructor puts into it. With action, fearlessness, and boldness this can be the most successful game of all time.

  • Get a bucket/pail/bowl
  • Fill it with water
  • pour it over the participant’s head while shouting/singing/saying loudly, “BUCKETHEAD!!!”
    • Pour water from the back of the head forward. Always begin the pour from the back of the head so as to avoid the eyes and face unless certain the participant is ready for a full immersion.
  • Give bucket to the participant and allow them to do the same to instructor; must yell “BUCKETHEAD!”

The success from this comes from the demand for yelling buckethead. Offer it as a reward: “Well done! You get 2 bucketheads.” You will receive many smiles.

PROTIP!! Modify this by doing buckethead on the shoulders or over the hair and not the face. Some hesitation comes when participants don’t go underwater or like water in their face. Have them look up and do BUCKETHEAD over their hair and down their back. “accidentally” get some over their face and ignore any crys or hesitation with a huge smile and a congratulatory “GREAT JOB!” Immediately have them do the BUCKETHEAD to you.

Better swimming.
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  1. Why is the best game of all time? Is this a technique to get students comfortable in the water and getting their face wet? I don’t understand what makes this better than blowing bubbles for that goal. I see it can be fun for the student to get the teacher wet but that’s not really reinforcing respect for the teacher or teaching a swim skill.

    1. Have you played Buckethead? It is awesome! As the post says, it is “directly proportional to the amount of effort you put in.” Buckethead is a silly, fun game that creates energy, excitement, and can be a great reward. The brilliance of it is how simple and entertaining it can become.

      It isn’t really designed for blowing bubbles, although that can be a side benefit as water can rush over the mouth and nose and require strong exhale to keep it away.

      Really, it is for beginners who don’t go underwater, are afraid, timid, or shy. This game brings energy to the lesson, amps up the instructor engagement, and makes the lesson fun.

      You can certainly worry excessively about “reinforcing respect for the teacher” but you should be earning that respect through competence, command language, and constant encouragement and control.

  2. Jeff I just want to say that we play bucket head ALL the time at my pool in Canada and we LOVE it up here. Best game ever, you never miss <3

  3. Buckethead is my absolute favourite game to play with all the kids I teach. Everyday, the kids always ask “CAN WE PLAY BUCKETHEAD!?”. I try my best to teach them other skills but they just want to play the best game created by Jeff N!

    1. SO TRUE! Bucket head IS the greatest game of ALL time! People who don’t get it need to get a LIFE (no offence <3)