This week I witnessed a younger swimmer showing signs fo fear while working on their floats at the pool. Floating is one of our first building blocks that we use to help teach swimmers. For a 3 year old this could be a scary thing! One can only imagine what is is like floating peacefully on top of the water with unexplored underwater territory below. Over time however these uneasy feelings will fade and give way to a confident and cheerful swimmer. But how do we get there?
If you are a parent that has had experience with a swimmer at the pool who exhibits fear or a lack of comfort level with their lessons you know that this can be a frustrating thing. Here are some helpful tips to overcome this fear:
- CONSISTENCY: With swim lessons it is important to remain consistent. Practicing swimming is like practicing anything else. The more that you practice the better you will get. If you have a goal in mind for your swimmer, the best thing you can do is to have a consistent lessons schedule and stick with it until that goal is realized. Taking breaks can cause a swimmer to forget some of their skills and have to take time to refresh.
- FREQUENCY: How many times per week you come to lessons can also be a factor in the success of your swimmer! Those who choose to practice twice a week or sign up for one or more camps that run every day benefit greatly. Coming every day and remembering where you left off on the previous practice allows the swimmer to stay focused on their goals and progress more quickly.
- ENCOURAGEMENT: It is important to respond when a student is acting reluctant in the pool. Like the mom I saw this week, we can provide encouragement but reassuring the swimmer that they are in safe hands, that swimming is a life-skill, and that with continued practice they will get better. Let your swimmer know that they are doing a good job and that the more they work on it, the closer they will be to moving on to bigger and better things!
So like the mom I saw this week, as parents we can be consistent, frequent and encouraging when it comes to our children’s swim lessons. With this in mind a swimmer’s reluctancy can quickly dissolve and be replaced with confidence.