Swim Type 2: The Bambino
“you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
– Christopher Robin To Pooh
Lacking in confidence but gets a big buzz from overcoming challenges and swimming well.
Due to limited swimming experience, confidence in the water is lacking.
Bambino Common Characteristics:
- A very gentle swim stroke which lacks “oomph”.
- A rotary / windmill style of arm stroke which lacks catch and hold at the front end of the stroke.
- The lack of purchase at the front means the lead hand tends to collapse offering little support whilst breathing. Bambinos often struggle with breathing for this reason.
- Typically a wide and deep arm pull through, relying heavily on the shoulder muscle groups to pull them through the water.
- Very limited body rotation and lifts head noticeably to breathe often looking to the sky / ceiling.
- Typically a better body position than the Arnie by virtue of a lower muscle mass being more conducive to flotation.
- Really struggles in open water (e.g. triathlon swim starts) due to limited confidence and lack of rhythm in the stroke.
- Limited swimming experience and low enjoyment of swimming.
- Swimming speed is typically 1:50 to 2:30 per 100m.
Poor feel at the front of the stroke means the Bambino’s front arm tends to collapse – making breathing very challenging.
Although female Bambinos are more common than males, there are plenty of guys out there who fit this type very well. As with all Bambinos, the key to improving is by increasing feel at the front of the stroke and introducing more rhythm.
Propulsion First For The Bambino
Many coaches and swimming dogmas view the Bambino’s short stroke and try and length it out by introducing glide. This is a mistake because it causes the Bambino to further lose touch with the rhythm of the stroke. Instead, it is much better for these swimmers to focus on developing their catch – an exercise normally left to much faster swimmers. Catch and feel for the water is important because they are almost completely lacking in this department.
When you get the hang of it, swimming is great fun – and very rewarding!
Once the Bambino has improved their feel for the water and their stroke’s rhythm, they can then look to lengthen out their stroke appropriately. You can see such a swimmer ready to do this in our ‘Developed Bambino’ video clip above.
Stroke Correction Guides
Our Bambino Stroke Correction Guide includes all the support, drills and techniques you need to build up your confidence in the water and develop your stroke technique. There is nothing generic or cookie-cutter in the guide. Each method, drill and visualisation is carefully chosen to target your unique make-up as a swimmer – working on such areas as you breathing technique and support in the water.
You’ll enjoy following each of the four included training sessions, they give you a nice straightforward process to follow and build up your swimming step by step.
The guide is supplied as a digital download straight to your email inbox. You can view the guide immediately on your computer or print it out if that’s easier to read. Find out more here
Swim Smooth’s Swim Types:
BAMBINO Stroke Correction & Training Guide
Just the Ticket
Download our full stroke development and stroke training guide for the Bambino Swim Type
Do You Know A Bambino?
Bambinos are an extremely common Swim Type. Unfortunately traditional stroke correction methods focusing on lengthening their strokes are very ineffective for them. Because of this they often feel frustrated or despondent. If you know a Bambino please let them know about this site! It’s often much easier to recognise traits in others than ourselves so give them a quick prompt in this direction and let us get to work on improving their swimming with a program that will work for them.