Teach Swimming Better than your Swimming Instructor
Secrets of Teaching Swimming from a World Class Instructor
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Created by Brian Quinn
- You will be able to teach your child to swim faster than you ever thought was possible, guaranteed!
- You should be comfortable in water up to your shoulders with our anxiety.
Prepare your child to swim quickly and prevent fear of the water
It’s very important to begin orientating your child to the water as early as 6 months. Babies are born with a swimming reflex that begins to dissipate at 6 months. This reflex is a natural reaction to submersion and the baby will instinctively hold their breath as well kick their feet. Babies can’t actually swim, however, you can condition behaviors that will help orientate to the water and increase their chances of surviving an accidental submersion. I will provide information here that will help you prepare your child of any age for swimming lessons and instruction on how you can practice to expedite the learning to swim process.
Remember, drowning is still a leading cause of death or severe injury for children under the age of 5, diligence around any water is paramount. Also, many children are traumatized by forceful lessons or near drowning events. Never turn your back on a child when you are in a pool or near any water. No matter how safe your child seems to be in the water don’t have a false sense of security
Your child will be as comfortable in the water as you are, therefore, if you are scared of the water yourself have another adult practice with your child outside of swim lesson. It’s never too late to learn to swim, if you are a non-swimming adult give yourself the gift of swimming and learn yourself.
It’s important to work with a skilled instructor that can help teach you the skills necessary to effectively work with your baby in the water. However, the key to instilling behaviors that can save your baby's life and help them learn to swim faster is what you do to practice as a parent outside of a lesson environment.
4 Skills to practice outside of swim lessons
The first behavior your child must master is to never enter the water or jump of a wall unless they have been cued to enter. Always, count to three before entering the water. Always, work from the stairs or wall and have your child turn back to where the started . You want to condition your child to return to the wall or stairs after they swim to you.
Step 1 Preparation for underwater swimming:
1, 2, 3 Pour water on the face
Begin with small amounts using small amounts of water and progress to cups and buckets of water. Pour the water after counting to 3, the water should run over the crown of the head and over the child's mouth. With older children that have some fear of water you should begin pours on the back of the head and over ears before over their face.
Step 2 Orientation to the buoyancy of the water:
Let your child float in your hands
Hold your child under their arms and let them float in your hands with their shoulders in the water. Keep your child in the prone position with their legs behind, don’t let them crawl or stand up while practicing swimming.
Step 3 Back float
Your child's head should rest on your shoulder when practicing floating
Back floating is an essential swimming safety skill, however, most children are reluctant to stay on their backs. Start with the students head resting on your shoulder and begin to sing with the student or count. The child should be sitting up with their head on your shoulder when you begin the backfloat. Slowly dip back with your child and when the sit up don’t hold them down, sit them up and do it again the same way.
Step 4 Underwater swimming: It’s important do this consistently the same time you practice
Underwater preparation cueing transition to submersion. After you count to three you gently submerge the child completely underwater then return to the surface. Cuing can be done with lifting and you can also blow in the child face before submersion.
The video below is a great demonstration of the skills described above:
(I am shooting a video that will go over each skill described above next weekend)
Transition from water orientation to swimming
If your child has been orientated to the water then it’s time to begin teaching the fundamentals of swimming.
Maintaining a prone swimming glide position.
Practice gliding with arms straight and legs kicking behind without breaking the surface of the water or bending knees
Practice letting air out underwater with mouth closed while maintaining the glide position.
Practice effective arm strokes, focus on pushing the water not pulling arms through the water.
Begin teaching breathing on the side, focus on keeping head low on the water and looking up on the side.
Who is the target audience?
- Parents or Instructors of any child that can't swim including babies