Which Style Should Be Taught First?

Breastroke

It is commonly believed that breaststroke is the easiest style of swimming to learn first. For this reason, it is often the first that is taught at sessions, to give people water confidence and an ability to enjoy and survive in the water. Breaststroke allows beginners to keep their head above the water level, which makes people more willing to try this stroke; they feel more at ease with breathing and visibility is clearer.

When practising breaststroke, both arms and legs are synchronised, making it easier to coordinate. It is also a slower paced swim, than other popular strokes, such as front crawl, meaning it is easier for a beginner to keep going for longer. However, the speed of the stroke, could be considered to be a shortcoming of the stroke.

One downside of learning breaststroke first, is that sometimes people are inclined not to learn other strokes, and therefore miss out on other, more efficient swimming methods.

Freestyle

One of the most popular swim styles around, is freestyle. Freestyle is a difficult style to master, due to the required lateral breathing and the overarm stroke action. However, freestyle is extremely fast and efficient. Due to the fact that freestyle is a relatively challenging style to master, it is believed that other strokes will be easy to learn after this, because coordination and breathing has already been mastered.

Location

It seems that depending on where you live in the world affects which style you are likely to be taught first. Typically, Australia and North America are taught freestyle as their primary style. However, Japan, Asia and here in Europe, breastroke is the most commonly taught style to novices. There are pros and cons to each, as you can see, however, there is no argument that learning to swim is an important skill to master.

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