Learn to Swim - Your First Swim Lesson

by Pool Builders on 11-16-2010 in Articles

Prior to the swimming lessons, it is a practice to plan for my lessons. No matter how experienced I am, I will plan as the student's behaviour during lessons is always unpredictable. Remember there is a saying fail to plan, plan to fail! During the first lesson, I usually get feedback from parents informing me the details regards to their child behaviour. Either their child is afraid of putting their head in the water or is water phobia. After obtaining the feedback, I will briefly explain to them what the focus is for the first lesson and also assuring that their children are well taken care of. Most importantly, I will advise the parents to give their child more practice time to ensure their performance will be improved.

For the first official lesson, I usually play games with them to break the ice and to get the children comfortable in water. Usually, I will conduct games like walking, running and catching each other in the baby pool. These games assist the children to adjust to the water temperature, build their confidence in maneuvering in the water and most importantly to have fun. After that, water activities are followed by blowing bubbles, front and back float. These three water activities form the basic foundation for swimming.

Blowing Bubbles

For the technique of blowing bubbles, I always coach the children to breathe by mouth instead of nose. However, the correct technique is to use the nose. In order to ensure that the lesson more time efficient, mouth is preferred. It will take a few sessions to coach the children to breath by nose instead of mouth. Once their water confidence is enhanced, I will emphasize on nose exhalation. Normally, I will gather the children together and perform the water actions to them. Children like to mirror what they see, so it is essential to demonstrate a few times before granting the children to practice on their own. Based on my experience, when the children are blowing bubbles, they like to blow out a few bubbles only. This is not encouraging. Every time, I will advise them to blow hundred bubbles. This is to effective getting them used to the breathing techniques and not withholding their breath.

Front Float and Back Float

Both of the water activities focus on their water confidence. In swimming, your body position is either lying on the front or the back. The activities can be executed after the child has satisfactorily mastered the technique on how to blow bubbles. The front float technique is demonstrated a few times before the children practice on their own. Commonly, this is also known as star float. Usually, I will emphasize on opening both hands and legs which will look like a star. I will ask the children to look down to the ground as the children will normally look in front. For those who are adventurous, I will take this opportunity to ask them to blow bubbles when they are performing. For those who are non-adventurous, I usually ask them to hold to the wall for support and slowly bring their head down to blow bubbles. For back float, the same exercise applies. I will demonstrate again. I will emphasize on the children must look up at the sky when they are performing it. Also, their ears must be inside the water. If the children are not used to the posture, I will ask them to hold on to the wall for support. When both activities are achieved with satisfactorily results, I will repeat the whole process with the assistance of the kicking board. I will explain what the importance of kicking board in my next article.

First lesson for the children is the most important for their development in swimming. It must be fun yet informative so that the children will find it exciting and interesting to attend your lessons. Have fun.

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