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Intermediate, Swimming Lesson 7

Learning Intentions

  1. Perform a handstand underwater
  2. Exit the water without using the steps

Skill Development: Handstand in water

Success Criteria

  1. I can submerge and touch my hands on the bottom of the pool
  2. I can perform a handstand
  3. I can climb out of the pool without using the stairs

National Curriculum Links

Collaborate with a partner to solve problems

Literacy and Numeracy Links

L Use verbal communication skills to help partner
N Count how long handstand is held, calculate improvements in time

Starter Activity

Divers challenge

Using submerging skills and on teacher’s, command swimmers should touch the bottom of the pool in a variety of ways –
1) One hand 2) Two hands 3) Knee 4) Sit down 5) Elbows etc. Easier: Make shapes under the water Harder: Perform more than one action while submerged.

Skill Development

Handstand underwater
Handstands underwater is a useful skill for swimmers to be able to perform at will. Handstands are a natural step in the progression towards somersaults in the water and eventually tumble turns. It teaches swimmers to be dynamic in the water and then control to hold poised in a handstand; these transitions from dynamic to static teaches them to control their body for tumble turns and other water-based actions
Activity: Handstand practice
Allow pupils to practice as many times as necessary to begin to get correct technique. Try and avoid swimmers getting too tired, allow breaks by pairing swimmers to work one at a time.

Teaching Points

Handstand underwater

  1. 1 or 2 deep breaths before submerging
  2. Surface dive technique (see below for recap)
  3. Travel to the bottom in a straight line
  4. Hands outstretched ready to touch the bottom
  5. Hands flat against the bottom, body in tension with stomach and bottom muscles engaged
  6. Point toes

Teaching Points

Surface Dive

  1. Take 1 or 2 deep breaths
  2. Float on the front face in the water
  3. Bring knees up towards body which should begin to cause the head and body to tip forward
  4. Use breaststroke arms to pull forward and down
  5. Extend the body, so it is facing towards the bottom of the pool in a straight and streamlined position
  6. Keep arms extended in front of the head to avoid hitting the bottom of the pool


Pool exit challenge

  1. Pair swimmers up and challenge them to find three ways of exiting the pool (individually no pulling each other out)
  2. In pairs perform a handstand, climb out of the pool and jump back in—do this for each of the three ways they found to exit the pool
  3. Which of the ways of exiting the pool is easiest, most efficient?

Key Questions

  1. What must you do to perform a handstand with control?
  2. Why is it useful to be able to perform a handstand?
  3. Which way did you find easiest to exit the pool? And why do you think this was?