Swimming Game – Challenge: Backstroke Kick Count


Backstroke Kick Count Challenge

Core Skill

Backstroke and kicking to the wall


Level 3 swimmers who can swim at least 15 yards of backstroke with proper body position and arm movement


A personal challenge game where swimmers try to touch the wall on their back with the least number of kicks after the flags. They are allowed to take only three strokes after passing the flags starting swimming backstroke towards the wall from the 1/2 way mark, and then they have to kick to the wall. For every kick they do after their three strokes after the flags, they lose a point. Whoever has the most points starting from 100 wins after five attempts.


  • Explain the rules of the game and demonstrate how to kick to the wall on the back using a backstroke finish.
  • Have each swimmer start at 1/2 way and swim backstroke to the wall. When they get to the flags, they should count their strokes and stop after taking three strokes past the flags. Keep one hand raised in position 1. Then they should kick to the wall on their back and touch it with one hand.
  • When they touch the wall write down the number of kicks they did after their three strokes. Subtract that number from 100 and record their score. For example, if they did five kicks, their score would be 100 – 5 = 95.
  • Repeat this for five rounds and add up their scores. The swimmer with the highest total score is the winner!

Difficulties Instructors may Face

  • Some swimmers may find it hard to count their strokes or kicks, or to stop at the right spot. They may take too many or too few strokes, or kick too much or too little. Instructors should provide feedback and tips to help them improve their counting and stopping skills.
  • Some swimmers may be tempted to cheat by taking more than three strokes or by looking or stopping at the wall. Instructors should remind them to be honest and fair, and to use their peripheral vision and sense of touch to guide them.
  • Some swimmers may not understand the purpose or the benefit of kicking to the wall on their back. They may think it is too hard or too boring. Instructors should explain that kicking to the wall on their back is an important skill for backstroke races, as it helps them maintain their speed and momentum until the end.

Better swimming.
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