Teaching Your Kids the Side Breathing Swimming Skill: Mastery

Now that you’ve taught your kids the basics of turning their heads to breathe while they’re swimming, here are the steps you can take to teach your kids to master side breathing.

Build on What You Know

After your child has gotten the hang of turning his head for single breaths, you can increase it to a sequence of them, starting with two and working his way to the width or length of the pool using this kind of breathing. Keep in mind that he won’t need a breath every stroke. Typically, a pattern of taking a breath every other or every third stroke on one side is comfortable.

Work with the Water

It’s likely that he’ll swallow some water and some air during this process. Warn him in advance that water might get in his mouth and practice having him spit it out. Make sure to give him plenty of opportunities to burp so that he’ll avoid getting a stomachache from swallowing air.

Refine the Form

When he’s comfortable with the process of turning his head to breathe, you can help him refine his form.

  • Have him think of pointing his nose toward the bottom of the pool when he’s not taking a breath.
  • Have him focus on having his head turned just enough, so that his mouth is clear of the water but the water is still touching the outer edge of his eye.
  • Have him focus on swiveling his head instead of lifting it.


2 Replies to “Teaching Your Kids the Side Breathing Swimming Skill: Mastery”

  1. Thanks Karen – this is where Josie was last year. Back to trying to get her to take the lesson again this summer. Your advice is great!

  2. Karen….you give great pointers for refining form. My son definitely needs to work on his side breathing, and this seems to be something he is stuck on. I will be trying these tips with him next time we are in the pool!

Comments are closed.