Swimming has long been a popular activity for fun, fitness, health and safety. Evidence in cave paintings indicates that even stoneage man did some form of swimming. Competitive swimming has come a long way since the first gold medal was won in Olympic competition by Alfred Harjos of Hungary. Competitive freestyle swimming requires training, incorporating strength and flexibility but most importantly for speed swimming the individual must have the correct swimming technique.
Freestyle technique has evolved over years. Archival footage shows many past champions with a variety of kicking actions such as trudgeon, cross over, two or four beat kick. The biggest improvement in modern speed swimming has come from the use of the six beat kick. Almost all the modern champion swimmers prefer this style of swimming. It takes time and patience to teach children this type of swimming action but with good skill development and a graded teaching program all children have the opportunity to learn the modern freestyle swimming action correctly.
The Laurie Lawrence method of teaching freestyle follows a progressive learn to swim approach. Children must perfect all basic learn to swim skills like streamline floating and good body position in the water before progressing to the next skill. This progressive approach that focuses on quality has proven to be so successful that it has taken beginners to medals at the Olympic games.