We're Bringing Sculling Back!
Yep, that's right. You probably haven't thought much about sculling since your days in swimming lessons. Most learned it as a safety skill in lessons. It's also used as a swimming drill and by synchronized swimmers and in water polo. You might not realize that sculling can also improve your feel of the water and your initial catch phase in the four competitive strokes.
The American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety manual describes sculling as a propulsion technique for moving through the water or staying horizontal using only the arms and hands to manipulate the flow of water. The movements create a force perpendicular to the direction of motion resulting in lift. The lift generated may be used to move forward, backward or remain in place while floating or treading water. To perform a scull, your arms are in front of you with your elbows slightly bent. Hands are positioned slightly wider than your shoulders, and palms, kept flat, are positioned downward and moving in a circular or figure eight motion.
Here are a few drills associated with sculling:
Standard Front Scull: Start with a horizontal body position in the water. Elbows are high, in front of the shoulders and hands in front of the elbows. By tilting your forearms and palms back toward your body slightly, you will begin to propel yourself forward.
Lounge Chair or Bucket: Lay in the water on your back as if you are lying on a lounge chair. Arms are on either side of your body with forearms parallel to the bottom of the pool. Palms are facing down. You should be moving feet-first down the pool using a sculling motion with your hands. If you find yourself moving backwards in the water, try changing your palms a bit so you begin moving forward. This drill works your abdominal core as well as your forearms.
Vertical Arm Windshield Wiper: Start with the standard front scull. Keep your elbows high at the surface of the water and sweep your hands underneath. Once you feel you've got some good momentum, take a pull and breath, then fall back into a face-down position and begin front scull again. Notice that while trying to maintain some sort of rhythm, you'll need to keep the pull small and in front of you at all times. This is a great drill for improving the breaststroke pull.
When performing drills, speed is not important. These drills help improve arm strength. You may vary the speed of the sculling in order to maximize the training, but remain focused on how it feels. Also, try not to propel through the water using your kick. If you find your legs are sinking, use a pull buoy to keep them up.
Want to see sculling in action? This video by GoSwim demonstrates the technique with some additional explanation.
Youth Diving & Water Polo Leagues Focus on Skill & Fun!
Give your swimmer the chance to try something new! This spring, we have two different leagues that are perfect for youth who are new to the sports, or for those looking to improve their skills.
Water Polo League
Our water polo league is offered to swimmers age 10-17. The league teaches kids the nuances of the sport in a low-key, competitive environment. No experience is needed! Register now!
Our dive league is offered to kids age 7-15. This league is ideal for those who are new to the sport or divers who are looking to improve their skills. Emphasis is placed on diver development and fun in a low-key competitive environment. Participants will learn the proper approaches and entries off of the diving board. This program is designed for youth with little or no competitive diving experience. Register now!
For more information about these leagues, please contact an aquatic unit supervisor at any Virginia Beach Recreation Center or email email@example.com.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures
The pool at Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed through March 1 for filter replacement.
The pool at Bow Creek Recreation Center will be closed March 5-15 for valve replacement.
Seatack Recreation Center will be closed March 12-18 for annual maintenance.
Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help. Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.