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Out of Breath in Swimming


Hi Gary,

I have an 8 year old daughter who has been doing squads for one term. We have noticed that she stops a lot during freestyle laps complaining of being out of breath.

On talking to her and the coach she apparently forgets to bubble as she is concentrating on her arms and legs. It is worse when she tries 50m/100m freestyle.

Is there anything we can do to help her? Breathing exercises?

Thanks Kirsten.


Hi Kirsten,

Breathe control when swimming is one of the major hurdles for most children and adults. What you describe above is quite common with new swimmers and adults learning to swim.

Your daughter will really need to focus on her breathing and it may be worth following the advice on the two videos listed below.

The videos on the following two posts will help a lot and explain why it is so important to blow all your air out first before you breathe in.

Learning to Breathe in Swimming

Freestyle – Breathing Correctly with Gary Barclay

Every time your daughter swims she needs to breathe correctly by blowing our before breathing in. This will provide her enough space in her lungs to take a new breath in and then blow out again while doing arm strokes.


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