Monday, September 12, 2011

My Swimming Competition

Taking my mark on the block
After school, I swim on a swim team. At the end of August, I went to a swimming meet.  A meet is a place where you compete against other swimmers.  In swimming, there are four different strokes: butterfly stroke, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.  Each stroke has its own rules and if you don't follow them, you get disqualified (DQ). For example, for the butterfly stroke, if you legs separate when kicking and you don't touch the wall with both hands when you finish then you will get DQ. For backstroke, you can get disqualified if you turn around onto your stomach before reaching the wall.  Some swimmers turn around to make sure they won't hit their heads on the wall.  At this meet I got DQ on breaststroke for not having a correct kick.

There are many directions that a swimmer needs to follow to know when to get ready to start the race. There are 4 or 5 signals used by the Starter to start each race.

For Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly, there are 4 signals:
1. 5 short whistles – next up/call to the blocks
2. 1 long whistle – step on the blocks
3. Verbal – ‘Take your mark’
4. Starter horn – dive in to start the race

Hannah is taking her mark
 Michael is taking his mark

For Backstroke there are 5 signals:
1. 5 short whistles – next up/call to the blocks
2. 1 long whistle  – enter the water/step into the water
3. 1 long whistle – mount the wall
4. Verbal – ‘Take your mark’
5. Starter horn – to start the race

Mounting the wall to get ready for backstroke

 The length of the pool was 25 meters and I swam fifty meters of backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle and 25 meters of butterfly stroke.  Parents volunteered as timers to determine how fast each swimmer swam.  These were my times:
  • Backstroke- 55.94 seconds (50 meters)
  • Freestyle- 54.88 seconds (50 meters)
  • Butterfly-32.05 seconds (25 meters)

 Do you like to swim?
Have you ever been in a swim meet?


  1. Dear Miriam,

    Well done taking part in a swimming meet. You did so well in your swimming meet.

    I do like to swim but I don't do much swimming only when we go on holidays. Mind you I am no where as good as your are.

    I really think it is wonderful that you take part in these meets.

    Keep up the great work Miriam.
    From your pal,

  2. Dear Miriam,

    Terrific post about your Swimming Competition! I remember when you used to run with the Cheetahs. Do you still compete with them or are you trying a new sport?

    I love how you introduced a lot of new vocabulary and insider information about competitive swimming.

    Although I have never been on a team, when I was younger I used to race against my brother and sister in our pool. We had a small pool and it was hard work swimming up, turning around, and coming back to touch the wall. I can't imagine all the meters you do! (We always tried to do that special flip at the wall!)

    What do you do to settle your mind in the few seconds before the whistle?

    What is your favorite stroke?

    Are you part fish? Ha Ha!

    Your former teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Miriam,

    Your post taught me a lot about swimming as a competitive sport. Since my town has a river running through it I have been swimming for a long time. Unfortunately there were no swimming clubs around when I grew up (even now the closest place is 25 miles away!).

    Is swimming something you plan on doing in high school and perhaps in college too?

    Mr. C
    Noel Elementary

  4. Dear Miriam,

    I enjoyed reading your swimming post. Over the years, I've helped children learn to swim and taken part in school swimming carnivals as a teacher.

    Being in a seaside town, swimming and surfing are popular activities. Swimming is a great activity.

    In Australia, children can join Nippers. That's a group set up by the Surf Life Saving Clubs to cater for children. They learn swim and surf skills and have a great time over summer.

    When I was a child, I learnt to swim. My swim coach was an Olympic coach as well. He liked to teach beginners to see if any children had potential. I wasn't one of those but some great champions such as Ian Thorpe, came from my area.

    Ross Mannell (teacher)

  5. We loved learning about your swimming meet! Some students in our classroom practice swimming. They love freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. What is your favorite style of swimming? We would like to know: What qualifies you to be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at your meets? What is your fastest stroke? We can't wait to hear from you. Mrs.Conley's class~ Honolulu Hawaii

  6. Hi,

    My name is Julia. I love swimming too. I can do the flip by the wall but my mom can't. I can do the same strokes too but I am not as fast as you.

    I just started a blog and you can blog on it. My blog is at


  7. Dear Miriam,

    I am happy to have discovered your blog! It is a wonderful example I will be showing my students. Your content is diverse and your writing is solid. I love that you use photos and examples and explain things so well. Bravo! And I will be back soon!

    Ms. Tatiana

    p.s. I have been teaching swimming on and off for almost 20 years. I love it!

  8. Aloha Miriam,
    I never knew there were so many things that a swimmer needs to be aware of to be successful in a meet. Being fast just isn't enough. I would have to say you really need to be concentrating when you dive in the water and begin to swim.

    Mahalo for giving me a new understanding and appreciation for those like you who compete.

    A hui hou,
    Mrs. Jacobs

  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. I still run track and field with the Cheetahs but the season doesn't start until March and so I am doing swimming in the meantime. When track starts, I will take a 3 month break from swimming.

    My favorite stroke is freestyle, because it has the least amount of requirements.

    The flip turn is fun once you learn how to do it right. Sometimes, water gets into my nose and that doesn't feel very nice.


  10. Dear AA,

    Thank you for your comment. I love to swim. I swim in our pool and at swimming class. Our pool at home is kind of small so we mostly play in there. In swimming class, we do many laps back and forth.

    Does BB know how to swim? Do you have a pool near you?

  11. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. My moms name is also is Victoria.

    My favorite and fastest stroke is freestyle. I like it because it has the least amount of requirements. I am not sure what time you would need to get 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. I think it would depend on the kids that are competing at that particular meet.


  12. @Mr. Mannel,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. That is so cool that you were a swimming teacher. Your swimming coach must have been very good.

    What is your favorite stroke? Did you participate in swim meets as well?


  13. Dear Mr. C,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. I might still be swimming in college and high school but since I have so many other activities I might not be good enough to swim on a team.


  14. Dear Miriam,

    The blog about your swimming competition was nice and informative. I like the description of different strokes. I’m so happy that you and your siblings are good swimmers. Knowing how to swim is not only about having fun, but it’s also a safety issue.
    When I was in middle school, I used to go swimming. The pool I swam in was about 15 meters long and it was made from heavy duty tarp held up by about ten
    metal posts. In order to get into the pool you had to go several steps up and then you could go into the water. (Wish I would have a picture of this funny construction).

    Great-aunt Olga


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