Swimming Game – Challenge: Log Push

Challenge: Log Push with Partners

Form a group of 3.

1 person lays horizontal across the lane on their back or belly.

Hands and toes should point perpendicular to the lane lines.

2 friends push the legs and shoulder to “push the log” to the flags.

Pushing people cannot go past the “T” mark.

I often get asked what this game works on. A parent might be watching from the stands or the observation lounge or a coach might wander by with a curious look on their face.

Great question.

Let’s look at the pieces involved in this challenge:

  1. Swimmer needs to remain buoyant on the surface with a rigid body and core (the log).
  2. The other swimmers need to coordinate and push the log person. They can’t go past the T mark, and the log needs to roll or float past the flags or some other nearby landmark. This works on hydrodynamics. The pushers learn that a streamline is better than not streamline, and if they’re smart they’ll use the wall to help them push! This will help their streamlines and flip turns.
  3. It’s fun!

Yes, we play games with a purpose. Even if that purpose is a small skill or teaching a more nebulous skill like “buoyancy and core control.” It is worth our valuable time after a long set to refresh our minds, flush our brains with fun, and do something different. We can spend 3-4 minutes playing this challenge game where kids get to interact and amuse themselves while they’re also learning body control and strengthening their core.

Challenges the instructor or coach might face:

  • The swimmer who acts as the log might have difficulty staying afloat and rigid, especially if they are not confident or experienced in the water. They might need to wear a flotation device or receive extra support from the instructor.
  • The pushers might push too hard or too softly, causing the log to sink or veer off course. They might also push unevenly, making the log rotate or tilt. They might need to practice their coordination and communication skills with each other and the log.
  • The challenge might be too easy or too boring for some swimmers, especially if they have already mastered the skills of buoyancy and core control. They might need to increase the difficulty by adding obstacles, time limits, or other variations.

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