Health and PE Swimming Dynamics and Mood Words Lesson Year 5-10


Summary of Lesson Plan:

This lesson provides students with the opportunity to analyse the specialised movement skills and sports psychology (Mood Words) behind the 50m Swim sprint. By comparing and contrasting the Speed Dynamics of their own times and/or their classmates, students can deconstruct the event for further feedback and understanding and devise methods of improvement. This is an ideal unit for years 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 and could have interesting implications for Mathematics measurement lessons.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 5/6 Health and PE


Year 7/8 Health and PE


Year 9/10 Health and PE

***  Links to the Mathematics Australian – Measurement – could be made at each Year level


Lesson Plan Sequence:

Introduction/Warm up:

Research has long shown that when one thinks of words that produce a physical and/or emotional reaction, performance is increased. The mood word content that is used will comprise a “sport language” as opposed to being a technical language. The thinking of pure technical statements, such as “extend the leg” or “elevate the hand”, may interfere with performance (Paralysis by Analysis). The role of mood words is twofold. First, they are used to enhance performance capacities used in a contest. Second, they are used to make the language of a strategy more meaningful. They are more expressive and effective than most of the bland technical expressions used by coaches and mimicked by athletes. Mood words enhance performance. They are a critical feature of the content and expression of competition strategy thinking. (Rushall, 1995)


  • Strength: crush, squash, violent, solid, crunch, intense, muscle, haul, hug, might, force, drive, grind, drag, press, push, lean, grunt.
  • Power: might, force, heave, impel, smash, snap, rip, blast, boom, bang, thump, thrust, explode, hoist, crumble
  • Speed: fast, explode, alert, lunge, thrust, jab, rap, smack, brief, flick, whip, fling, pop, dash



  • By breaking down the 50m Freestyle in a 25m pool (or 100m Freestyle in a 100m pool) into 10m segments (Speed Dynamics) we can address the four distinctly different stages of the event ie: The Start, The Free Swim, The Turn and The Finish. In this manner, specific strengths and weaknesses may be identified and rectified. Segment comparisons with fellow swimmers, or indeed your own previous swims, is a good way to identify where your strengths and weaknesses might be and use them as a potential model for refinement of technique. Each student takes a number of items from the ‘shop’ (students may begin with 1 item if they are having difficulty adding money amounts together).
  • Timekeeping Protocols: One timekeeper only is needed with a Split Time Stopwatch or an iPhone. Begin by standing at the 10m mark and time the split as the swimmers head reaches the 10m marker. Immediately walk to the 20m mark and time the splits for the 20m and 30m. Walk briskly back to the 40m mark to time the 40m split. Finally walk to the finish to record the 50m split.



  • Class discussion about what students learnt from this learning experience.


Assessment Ideas:

  • Annotation of students excel sheets.
  • Anecdotal notes of students recorded during observation, discussion and activities.
  • Designed more as a learning experience. Specific questions could be posed…






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