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Go Swim Teaching Progressions with Steve Haufler

Posted by Glenn Mills on Sep 09, 2008 12:11PM

The essential teaching video for coaches, learn-to-swim instructors, and parents.

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"This is the best presentation on teaching progressions I have ever seen and it is exactly what every coach of novice swimmers needs to view over and over again.  If you are a head coach, buy this DVD and use it as a training tool with your coaching staff.  If you are a coach of novice swimmers, buy this DVD and you will dramatically improve your teaching skills.  Steve Haufler is one of the best teachers on the planet." -- Guy Edson, ASCA Technical Director

"The progressions Steve uses are so good that I use all of his GoSwim DVDs with my University of Iceland students to show them sound teaching progressions in teaching swimming to children as well as how the correct turns should be executed.  His DVD on the creative use of mirrors and visual aids is also fantastic.  His DVDs are not only informative, interesting and extremely effective in training swimming coaches and teachers but also taught from the heart.  These discs are a must for any serious coach/teacher."  -- Hafthor Gudmundsson, former Olympic swim coach and assistant professor in swimming skills, University of Iceland.  

Steve Haufler is widely recognized as one of the best stroke teachers in the world.  In GO SWIM TEACHING PROGRESSIONS, Steve shares his secrets for taking swimmers from floating to whole-stroke each of the four strokes.

Steve’s teaching progressions are amazingly simple and lead to fast results.  They are based on more than 30 years of observation of the technique of world-class swimmers, and on Steve’s unique understanding of how children and adults learn new skills.  

Steve’s progressions have proven effective for thousands of swimmers -- from beginner to advanced, age-group to Masters.  They REALLY WORK...and can be incorporated IMMEDIATELY into any lesson plan.

This video presents a simple 5-step teaching progression for each stroke -- butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.  For each stroke, you’ll learn Steve’s “bag of tricks” for teaching the correct body position...kick...arm action...timing...and breathing.  You’ll see how these correct positions and motions look from multiple angles -- side, head-on, below, and rear -- and from above and below the surface.  

By watching Steve as he gives unrehearsed lessons to real swimmers, you’ll learn how to make effective use of:
    •    Visual Cues
    •    Verbal Cues (word pictures of how the swimmer should feel or what he will look like when he’s doing something correctly)
    •    Guided Movements
    •    Visual and Positive Feedback
    •    Mantras (Steve’s simple and easy-to-remember phrases that can be repeated in the swimmer’s mind to speed the learning process)

By watching Steve Haufler, you will come away with dozens of inventive and creative ideas for teaching stroke technique.  He will help you become a more effective teacher and coach...guaranteed! 

STEVE HAUFLER, head coach of the Orinda Country Club in Orinda, California, is considered by many to be a genius at teaching the four strokes and getting kids ready for competitive swimming.  His teaching methods are also known to instill a lifelong love of swimming, because he knows how to make lessons FUN.   Steve’s young students progress rapidly from lessons to summer league, and then move on to Orinda Aquatics, one of the most successful competitive swim programs in the United States.

was written, filmed, and produced by the team of GLENN MILLS, a member of the 1980 Olympic Swim Team, and BARBARA HUMMEL, veteran of two Olympic Trials.  Both are coaches, learn-to-swim instructors, and World Top-Ten Masters swimmers.


5 stars
Go Swim Teaching Progressions with Steve Haufler is an excellent tool.
By Arlene Hall from Palmdale CA on 9/4/2010

Go Swim Teaching Progressions with Steve Haufler is a fantastic tool.  In easy specific steps, you are able to examine your own skills or pass on the teaching technics to others.  It is challenging, yet clear and easy to follow.  You are able to see progression from each individual movement of arms and legs, as well as what it should look like above and below the water.  My favorite part is the visual way in which Steve tells you how to do the movements such as in the freestyle, the arms go down to the leg and up around like a rainbow.  The visual explanations are very effective.  I recommend this tool for everybody.

5 stars
Great Video!!
By Kid at Heart from TN on 4/4/2010

I love this DVD.   This is great for the hands on coach/instructor.  I've used Steve's techniques on kids as young as 4 and up to age 11.  All understood the steps and mantras.  Our head coach noticed the changes I made and I told her about  the video.  She bought one too. I highly recommend it!

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Archived Comments

Responded Sep 09, 2008 07:11PM

This is really cool to see Steve again. He was one of my college coaches at CSU. He did a lot of stroke work then. He is a great coach.

Responded Sep 13, 2008 12:51AM

Steve is simply The Master...

Can't wait to see this DVD!

Responded Sep 16, 2008 05:02PM

I'm very excited about this DVD. As you know, Glenn, I'm pretty new to all of this---for good or ill, depending---and I'm starting to teach some developmental (Shark School!) classes for Ft. Belvoir Swim Team, so this is perfectly timed. Thanks to you and Steve for making this available.

Responded Sep 23, 2008 07:40PM

I start teaching tonight...already reported on the DVD to our head coach and am working on my mantras. Excellent! How about a starts and turns one sometime? Oh, boy!!

Responded Sep 30, 2008 04:35PM

Just got my DVD and can't wait to use it.
Where can we buy the tools that Steve was useing?
Underwater mirrors and the plastic head?

Responded Sep 30, 2008 04:41PM

Responded Oct 20, 2008 08:47PM

Hi gang
I purchased the DVD and started using the info right away; WOW! I am super impressed w/ Steve's teaching ideas and the kids I have worked w/ have found his style to be easily understood. For example, I have a 5 year old student who is on our development swim team and could already hold her own in the pool before using the DVD. Once we worked on her fly 'Steve's way', however, she really looked like a pro! She's great for my swim lesson business as she really makes me look good! Thanks, Steve and GoSwim, for a tremendous teaching tool! Also, thanks, Barbara, for the links to the plastic head and mirror. I have yet to order them but am looking forward to incorporating them in my 'tool bag'!

Responded Nov 14, 2008 05:04PM

Steve is our favorite coach!! 20 years ago, he was our Masters Swim Coach and we
learned such great stroke technique from him!
Watching this little video clip brings it all back... good work , Steve!


Responded Dec 14, 2008 01:39PM

Hey, love the look of this DVD but will it work in the UK?


Responded Dec 14, 2008 11:46PM

Hi Andrew,
Yes. Our DVDs are formatted to play on machines throughout the world.

Responded May 17, 2009 06:52PM

Hello all,
I'm a swim instructor from NYC and i've been looking around the internet and referrals for good effective videos that can help instructors teach and troubleshoot strokes for learn-to-swim (5-17), adults, seniors, as well as children (tiny tots-4 years old). Will this video "Go Swim Teaching Progressions with Steve Haufler", be effective for the little ones in their progression (i was chewed out by a parent who said that i wasn't teaching properly with their 4 yr old) and seniors/adults that have zero buoyancy (larger body types or lower body sinkers)? I was watching the quickie sampler video and do you need the mirrors and tools that Steve uses...because the facility that i work at will most likely not allow these tools due to liability and other issues. I would greatly appreciate any info or help on this.
Thank you !

Responded May 17, 2009 06:56PM

Also one more thing to note, from watching that sampler, the kids in the video looked really good. I mean they were probably as good as the level 6 kids and slower strokers in the swim team programs at our pool...if the Steve's video can make any new kid in our learn to swim classes that good, i think it would be worth more than $40...

Responded May 17, 2009 07:27PM

From personal experience I can say that Steve's techniques work for any age of swimmer, from young kids to adults and seniors. I had been teaching learn-to-swim sessions for various age groups for five years with good success, but Steve's techniques took everything to a new level. You don't have to use mirrors (actually, they're mirrored acrylic sheets and not glass). You don't have to use any of his teaching toys to get results, but they do help. For zero-buoyancy adults I like to use the Zura Alpha fins, which give some propulsion and flotation. All I can say is that you won't be disappointed with the video!

Responded May 30, 2009 02:10PM

Hey again, i've watched the video and what i liked were the verbal cues and body positions that helped people learn the strokes. Is there a forum or blog for discussing other stroke and teaching topics ? Thank you!

Responded May 30, 2009 02:19PM

We don't have a teaching forum, so the best place to start a discussion is in "Lane 1" of our Forum:

Responded Jun 01, 2009 08:50PM

Responded Nov 20, 2009 10:00PM

It is well know that Haufler steals his ideas and terminology from other coaches. While sharing and borrowing from others is common and encouraged all coaching communities, Haufler will steal, claim as his own and give no credit to those he has stolen from. He is far from a genius.

Responded Nov 21, 2009 12:54AM

Wow. It's been almost 7 years that we've been posting, and producing videos, and it wasn't until now that we've got something like this on the site. Consider this the changing times.

This, people, is what we call "internet brave". You'll see this frequently in YouTube posts, where people tell you what you've posted is stupid, dumb, or worse, use fowl language to make their point. They hide behind the anonymity of the internet. They use fictitious names, and quickly made up email addresses. While this user may be able to check this email address, chances are, they've only created it to make this slanderous post.

You see, in the world of swimming, there are a few type of different people. There are those that hide all that they do, so no one can copy them, and nobody can blame them for failure because nobody knows what they were doing. Then there are those who share their ideas, ideas that they've gathered from many sources, or invented themselves. While I say "share", the cowardly poster may say that Steve isn't "sharing" these ideas, since we charge for the DVDs. Blame these DVDs on us then... not on Steve. Steve shared his ideas with us, and we've determined them worthy of the effort, time, and investment that it takes to get a "product" to market. While it would be fantastic if we, and Steve could gather all the names, places, and circumstances that lead to a sequence of learning, I don't think any of us could accomplish that.

This DVD alone has... off the top of my head... 30 some different chapters. If Steve indeed stole something from someone on each chapter, we'd spend more time thanking the individual coaches, than there would be space for the instruction.

In fact, if you get to it, Steve pales in comparison to thievery to myself. When you think about it, we've published probably 350 or so drills over the past 7+ years. How many of them did I invent? Wow... now that I think of it.. I have no idea. I've never claimed which ones I invented, because I doubt there would be more than a single handful. They've all been borrowed, or taught to me by other at some point. A lot happens during a 40 year career.

You see, when you get down to it, Henry Ford didn't invent the car. From a quick search, I found the name Ferdinand Verbiest. Heard of him? Why not? Shouldn't Henry Ford, or Karl Benz have credited Mr. Verbiest with the idea? What Henry Ford did, was take the process of building the car, and make it efficient. Well... when you think about it, that's what Steve has done. He's taken the ideas, some he's learned from others, and some he's created himself, and put them into a logical sequence that makes these processes easy for just about anyone to follow along.

If indeed Steve has stolen this entire process from someone else, then he is as much to blame as Henry Ford. He's created something useable and accessible (yes, I'm going to admit... we had something to do with the accessible part, why not take credit huh?), that allows so many people to learn a quick, easy, and successful progression to follow to teach swimmers of all ages to swim.

Anyway, at first, I was a bit angered when Barbara alerted me to this post... then when I saw that the poster decided to hide, I thought it was pretty funny. It's like me being jealous of Bob Bowman for coaching Michael Phelps. I mean... did Bob invent each set that Michael did? Did Bob invent butterfly? What Bob did, was make the sets functional, and teach the stroke the right way for Michael.

Steve doesn't hide, just as we don't hide our ideas. We take our thoughts and make them public to help, and for the occasional public humiliation we face when we present a stupid, or dumb drill. It's OK. We're simply not cowards... we're just trying.

So... GetReal... best wishes with your coaching, and hang tight for a few days. We have Steve's fourth DVD coming out within the next couple weeks. If you hang in there, we'll probably offer a pretty good deal on the entire package. We'll be waiting for your order. :)

For the record, we were initially introduced to Steve by John Leonard and Guy Edson, the President and Vice President of the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA). They enjoyed Steve's progressions enough, that he's been a regular speaker at the World Coaches Conference. If indeed Steve has done something underhanded, then the people at the leadership positions in our profession would have certainly been notified, and actions would have been taken.

Edited Nov 21, 2009 12:59AM
Responded May 22, 2011 04:56PM

This is an amazing DVD. I must have watched this about 5 times the first day it arrived, my kid actually hums the backing music theme now. She likes this video best of all the GoSwim ones, because there are scenes in it she can relate to, with children in them. It's something we enjoy doing together.

Well shot, well produced. I'm having real trouble trying to find any 'cons'.

I have no idea what that GetReal chap was on about, to be honest. I'm judging Steve only having met him on the video and but he appears quite humble, able and I would gladly have him teach my kid to swim.

Some assorted comments:
1. Glenn you _are_ a damned thief, I can't seem to stop buying your damned DVD's.
2. I totally approve of your packaging decisions, doing away with the bulky plastic boxes.
3. Where on EARTH do you get your accompanying music? Some of it is truly hypnotic. Can you tell us?

Responded Jul 27, 2011 07:18PM

is this video available in online streaming video?

Responded Jul 27, 2011 07:37PM

Hi, Juan
Yes, this video is available as online streaming video.

Responded Aug 05, 2011 06:10AM

hey, my name is erick am a swimming coach from kenya. my question is, how do i get to order this DVD becouse i can't find a way or link on how to start or place order. thanks as a wait for your responce.

Responded Aug 05, 2011 11:12AM

Click the "add to cart" button at the top of the page. Thanks.

Responded Sep 10, 2011 10:12PM

Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas. I am a seasoned swim instructor and a new novice swim coach. I just ordered all of Steve's videos and I can't wait to get them! I love what I do and I am excited to share with my swimmers Steve's training tips! I will keep you posted on my progression!
Wellington, FL

Responded Dec 06, 2012 06:57AM

Dear Glenn,

I'm completely frustrated!! All these wonderful DVDs and having to budget funds to purchase them. I have been picking up these DVDs from places like Swim Outlet until I just went straight to the source. Question: If you had to prioritize the purchase of DVDs, which ones would you select first? I've got a young swim crazy 8 year old that is in sore need of a stroke coach.... Thanks a bunch!

Responded Dec 06, 2012 11:00AM

Sounds like you're really looking for the full subscription at Much more economical and you get everything.

The Pool

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