Examples of Instructional Cues: Similes

Compare to Another Sport

Badminton: Footwork (forward) is like a lunge in fencing.

Tennis: An overhand serve is like an overarm throw.

Compare to Nonsport

Badminton: Avoid a frying pan grip.

Basketball: Same hand/same knee is like a puppet on a string. (lay-up)


Backswing/foreswing is like a pendulum.

Follow through like you're shaking hands/answering the phone.

Catching: Catch around the clock.

Floor hockey: Accept a pass like you would a friend. (gently giving)


Golf around the clock. (driving positions 3, 6, 9, follow through)

Swing the club like you're cutting grass with a weed cutter.

Swing the club as if you're swinging a bucket so the water doesn't spill until it's on the way up.

Putting motion is like a pendulum.

Juggling: Elevator, moon shot, rainbow, tennis.


Gallop like a horse.

Leap as if you're crossing a stream.

Walk as if on thin ice, deep mud, hot sand, etc.

Racket sports:

Backhand motion is like throwing frisbee.

Scratch your back with the racket (serving/overhead). Shake hands with the racket. (eastern forehand grip)

Tossing ball for serve is like reaching up to screw in light bulb.

Volleying is like punching the ball.

Running: Hold teacups in your hands.


Basic position is like sitting in chair.

Don't bail hay. (arm motion when striding)

T-position is like getting ready to curtsey.


Passing ball is like spreading sand with your feet.

Trapping ball with bottom of foot: Not as hard as breaking balloon; not as soft as breaking egg.


Breast stroke kick: Kick like a frog.

Breast stroke arms: Make a heart and cut it in half. Breast stroke arms: Scrape out pail of ice cream, eat it, and go back for more.

Butterfly kick: Kick like a dolphin.

Front crawl arms: Pull like a backward 'S'.

Sidestroke arms: Pick an apple, take a bite, put it in the other hand, and then in the basket.

Tumbling: Preparing hands for a backward roll is like holding a pizza platter.


Look through the window as you position your hands for setting.

Sit down in a chair as you take off for blocking or spiking.


Instructional cues