Swimming Game – Challenge: One Breath Waltz


One breath waltz

Core Skill

Side breathing for freestyle


Level 3 swimmers who have mastered the basic freestyle stroke and want to improve their breathing technique and coordination.


A swimming challenge that involves doing a streamline underwater, then at the surface they should take one freestyle breath while leaving the other arm in position 1, then rolling on the back, and placing the breathing arm into streamline. After doing a streamline on the back, doing a fly kick to go underwater and doing a back flip. Ending by standing up and flourishing. The challenge is to do each step of the “waltz” in a 4:4 beat.


The instructor can explain and demonstrate the challenge to the swimmers, then have them practice it in pairs or small groups. The instructor can use a metronome or a music player to provide the 4:4 beat for the swimmers to follow. The instructor can also use cues such as “one, two, three, four” or “streamline, breathe, roll, flip” to help the swimmers remember the sequence of movements. The instructor can give feedback and corrections to the swimmers as they perform the challenge.

Difficulties the instructor may face

Some difficulties that the instructor may face when teaching this challenge are:

  • The swimmers may have trouble keeping their arm in position 1 while taking a breath, which may cause them to lose balance or speed.

    Have the swimmer kick harder.
  • The swimmers may have difficulty rolling on their back smoothly and placing their arm into streamline, which may affect their alignment or momentum.

    Use their kick and hips to start twisting.
  • The swimmers may not be able to do a fly kick or a back flip properly, which may result in them surfacing too early or too late.

    Practice backstroke finishes with one arm and then flipping.
  • The swimmers may find it hard to follow the 4:4 beat, which may make them rush or lag behind the rhythm.

The instructor can overcome these difficulties by:

  • Reminding the swimmers to keep their head in line with their spine and their eyes looking at the side wall when taking a breath.
  • Encouraging the swimmers to use their core muscles and hips to roll on their back and rotate their shoulders to place their arm into streamline.
  • Teaching the swimmers how to do a fly kick and a back flip separately before combining them with the rest of the challenge.
  • Adjusting the tempo of the beat according to the level and ability of the swimmers.

Better swimming.
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