Swimming Game – Challenge: Puppet Master Freestyle


Puppet Master Freestyle

Core Skill

Front crawl breathing


Level 3 swimmers in small groups of 3-4


A fun and challenging game that involves one dummy and the rest puppet masters in each lane. The puppet masters have to manipulate the dummy’s body to perform three full strokes of freestyle with one side breath on the second stroke. The dummy has to remain passive and only move when the puppet masters move them.


  • Divide the swimmers into small groups of 3-4 and assign one lane for each group.
  • Choose one swimmer to be the dummy and the rest to be the puppet masters in each group.
  • The dummy has to float on their stomach with their arms extended in front of them (in position 11) and their legs straight behind them. They have to keep their face in the water and breathe out through their nose or mouth.
  • The puppet masters have to stand on either side of the dummy and use their hands to move the dummy’s arms, legs, head, and torso.
  • The puppet masters have to coordinate with each other to make the dummy perform three full strokes of freestyle with one side breath on the second stroke. They have to follow the proper technique of front crawl breathing, such as:
    • Returning to position 11 after each stroke, where the arms are extended in front of the body and parallel to each other.
    • Keeping the body long and straight, with a slight body roll from side to side.
    • Keeping the face in the water, except when turning the head to the side during the breath at the appropriate time.
    • Breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose or mouth.
  • The instructor has to observe each group and judge who has the best technique. The winners are the people and teams that do the freestyle strokes and breathing with the most accuracy and efficiency.

Difficulties an instructor might face

Some possible difficulties that an instructor might face while conducting this challenge are:

  • The dummy might not be able to hold their breath for long enough or might panic when their face is submerged in water. The instructor has to ensure that the dummy is comfortable and confident in floating and breathing underwater. They can also allow the dummy to wear goggles or a nose clip if needed.
  • The puppet masters might not be able to move the dummy smoothly or synchronously. The instructor has to demonstrate how to move the dummy’s body parts gently and precisely. They can also give feedback and tips to the puppet masters on how to improve their coordination and communication.
  • The puppet masters might not follow the correct technique of front crawl breathing or might forget some of the key points. The instructor has to remind them of the proper form and timing of front crawl breathing. They can also use visual aids or verbal cues to help them remember.

Better swimming.
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