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Historical Background of Swimming in the Philippines

The Filipino needed motivation to appreciate swimming as a competitive sport. This is due to the fact
that their ancestors were sea-faring people owing to the more than 7,100 islandss which compose this
country. The American military men introduced swimming as a comparative sport in the country.

Through the pioneering efforts of YMCA leaders working among the American Military forces, the
rudiments of the sports were impressed upon the Filipinos who saw in 1907 the construction of the first
swimming pool in the country at Fort McKinley YMCA.

In 1911, Filipinos watched avidly from the sidelines as the first swimming championship meet was held
at the American Columbia Club swimming pool with competing American team from the Manila YMCA,
the American Columbia club, and the USS Saratoga.

The following decade, educational institutions, the first of which was the University of the Philippines,
followed later on by the Philippine Women's University, trained swimmers.

The succeeding years up to 1951 saw the staging of the sixth Formosa Philippines Biennal Swimming
championship meets, the 9th and 10th Far Eastern Games and the series of Manila-Hongkong Interport
Swimming meets wherein Filipino men and women swimmers showed outstanding performance.

Women swimmers competed in the 1931 National Women's Swimming Championships meet at the Rizal
Memorial Pool where the University of the Philippines won. The PWU women's team won the
championship in 1934.

Swimming competitions were suspended during the Japanese occupation. It was only in 1948 when
swimming competitions were resumed. The first Asian games held in New Delhi in 1951 gave the Filipino
swimmers the opportunity to participate in international competitions.
Breathing While Swimming: Basic Tips and Exercises

Basic Breathing Tips

First, a few general tips:

1) Wear swimming goggles. Without goggles, water gets in your eyes and irritates them. Furthermore,
having water in the eyes makes you virtually blind, which can lead to anxiety.

On the other hand, you have one thing less to worry about when you use swimming goggles. As a
consequence, you are more relaxed and learning proper breathing technique is easier.

2) In those swim strokes where you submerge your head, don’t hold your breath but exhale
continuously when your face is in the water.

If you do this well, your lungs should be nearly empty when you rotate or lift your head to breathe

3) Inhale quickly when your mouth clears the water. This should occur naturally if you have exhaled
properly in the water before, as explained above.

Basic Breathing Drills

The following basic drills can be used to get familiar with the breathing technique in the water. Wear
swimming goggles to practice those drills.

Drill #1: In shallow water, hold your breath, then crouch down, so your head gets under water. Stay in
that position for a few seconds, then rise up.

Drill #2: Same as drill #1, but exhale underwater through the nose, so you blow bubbles.

Drill #3: Same as drill #2, except that you now blow bubbles both out of your nose and your mouth.

Drill #4: In shallow water, crouch down until the water surface rests between your nose and your

Now practice inhaling above water through your nose and exhaling underwater through your mouth.

Drill #5: In shallow water, submerge your face and blow bubbles through your mouth, nose, or both.
Then hold onto the pool edge and try to get into a horizontal position with your face turned downward.

Continue to blow bubbles through your mouth and nose. To get into the horizontal position, you can use
a relaxed flutter kick.

Drill #6: Bob up and down with your body in shallow water. Inhale while your head is above water and
exhale while your head is under water.

This drill makes you get used to rhythmic breathing, a skill that will be useful later on when learning the
different swimming strokes.


I hope you’ll find the breathing while swimming tips we covered in this article useful.

Ankle Flexibility

If you’re a runner, you may struggle with this. Running is safer with less flexible ankles, since you are
continually pushing off the ground. You don’t point your feet or stand on your toes.

Swimming is the opposite. If could look closely at an Olympic swimmer’s toes while she kicked, you
would probably notice that they are bent past straight.

This creates the least possible drag, keeping them in line with your body and creating a smooth surface
for water to rush by instead of catching it (which happens with inflexible ankles).

Kick from the Hip

The single most important thing about kicking in the water is….

Keep your legs straight.

We already know that flexing your ankles causes drag. Think how much bigger your legs are than your
feet. Bending your knees is essentially the same thing, causing your legs to have a much larger surface

Surface area = drag

You want to allow for some natural bend in your knee as you kick. But keep your legs as straight as
possible and use your hips and core to generate motion.

Aside from creating less drag, your legs get tired faster than your core, so you are being more efficient
and conserving energy!

Point Your Toes

The more you point your toes, the less drag there is with each kick. And if you’re kicking 3 times per
stroke, that adds up fast.

Think of your ankles as oars in a boat. If you turn them flat against the direction of the water, you slow
down. If you turn them so the thin side is hitting the water, you have no drag.

You always want to choose the “no drag” option!

But it gets worse. Not pointing your toes can actually make you go backwards!

Think about it, if your feet are flexed, then every time you kick you’re actually pushing water towards
your body, which is the WRONG WAY!

Ankle flexibility will help with this. Just like anything, the easier it is to point your toes, the more likely
you are to do it.

Control and Timing

Keep your legs straight. Ankles straight. Feet pointed. It all sounds so rigid…..are you afraid of
cramping up and not being able to focus on anything else?

You don’t want to be tense when you’re swimming. Ideally, you should relax your muscles while
maintaining good control over your body. Keep everything in line, but not so tightly that you lose
flexibility or your natural motion.

This ties in nicely with kick timing. You also need to keep control over how often you kick.

Use the 2 beat kick if you want to save energy in your legs. Kick once for every time your arm enters the

Use the 4 beat kick if you think that 2 is a little slow, but you aren’t trying to book it. Kick twice per

Use the 6 beat kick if you care about speed. Kick 3 times for every stroke. This is the standard timing
used in competitions and races. Even though you’re only kicking 3 times per stroke, the speed and effect
that you can achieve varies greatly depending on how hard you kick. More isn’t always faster. Harder is
faster, too.


After you absorb these 4 swimming tips, keep working!

There are lots and lots of drills you can to do self-evaluate your kick right now and then try to improve it.

Vertical kicking is great for focusing on keeping your legs straight. Get in the deep end and instead of
treading water, do a flutter kick. Keep your arms crossed and try to stay in place. If you want to stay
above the water, you’ll need to keep your legs straight...

.and generate the power from your hips and quads.

To work on pointed toes, try swimming with fins and feel the difference. Flex your ankles and see how
much drag you generate with fins on. It will be impossible not to notice. Now point your toes and see
how much propulsion you get that way! You’ll be amazed.
Improving ankle flexibility will take a little longer but isn’t hard. Try sitting back on your feet for a few
minutes each day. Once it gets easier to sit like that, try staying in that pose longer. After a few months
you’ll be able to bend them like a pro!


Grasp the fingers of one hand with the fingers of your other hand by placing the fingers of your first
hand on top of the other with your thumb underneath. Bend your knees and push off the pool wall with
your feet, straightening your entire body in the water with your clasped hands out in front and your
head tucked tightly between your arms. Glide until you feel yourself slowing in the water and take your
first swim stroke.

Separate each swim stroke by a brief glide. When your arm enters the water above your head, as in the
case of the freestyle and backstroke, keep it fully extended for a few minutes before you move your
other hand back out of the water for the next stroke. This will keep your pace steady and increase your
momentum in the pool.

Glide with your body straight in the water, hands out in front, after each flip turn. Use your legs muscles
to push firmly off the wall and straighten your body until you feel your momentum slow slightly; then
take the next stroke.

Practice streamlining your glide to help make gains in your swimming pace. Keeping the arms straight
with your head tucked tightly between them while pointing your toes and keeping your knees straight
and together can help reduce lag and improve the quality and effectiveness of each swim stroke.

Use the mid-swim glide drill to gauge your posture, line and balance while swimming. Do this by
finishing one of your strokes in a side-glide position. Leave the arm that just finished pulling at rest by
your side while the other arm stays extended out in front. Your nose should still be pointed at the
bottom of the pool. Without kicking, see how far you can glide on momentum alone until you come
almost to a complete stop before taking your next stroke. The more streamlined your position the
farther you will glide before needing to stroke again.

Types of Float

Horizontal Survival Float

The horizontal survival float is the most energy efficient floating position, and is used when the swimmer
anticipates being in open water for an extended time. Lie face down on the water's surface, similar to
the position a skydiver assumes during free fall. Extend your arms to your sides and bend the elbows so
your hands are forward and within a foot of your head. Spread your legs apart to offer the most surface
area to maximize buoyancy. To breathe, exhale while using your arms to push down on the water as if
you were pressing yourself off the ground. Lift your head up and back to clear the water's surface and
take a breath. Lower your head until your face is submerged.

Vertical Survival Float

The vertical survival float is also used for survival situations, and is typically used by swimmers with
lower body fat who are not buoyant enough to stay near the water's surface using the horizontal
survival float. Imagine you are standing in the water with your head near the surface. Keep your elbows
bent, with your arms out to your side and slightly in front of you. Cross your feet at the ankles to keep
them from moving. With a full breath of air, you will only sink a few inches below the surface of the
water. Gently thrust your hips forward, then backward, to propel yourself up to where your mouth just
breaks the water's surface. Exhale sharply and quickly take a full breath. You will sink below the surface
again. Other than the hip thrusts, there is no movement in this floating technique.

Back Float

The back float is commonly used by recreational swimmers for short periods of rest. With a slightly
arched back, lie on the surface of the water as if you were lying on a firm mattress. Keep your arms to
your side and move them back and forth in small circles to keep your upper body on the surface. If you
find your legs sinking, use small kicking movements to keep them near the surface.

Treading Water

Treading water has the swimmer in an up-and-down position like the vertical survival float, but the arms
and legs are used to keep the head above the surface of the water at all times. To stay afloat, move the
hands in a figure-eight pattern just under the water's surface and move the legs as if you were pedaling
a bicycle. Treading water uses the most energy, and is used when the swimmer needs a better view of
the surroundings.