Goggles. They are an essential item in any swimmer’s equipment bag. They have an important place in learning to swim and even more so when swimmers start training more seriously. Goggles, however, should not be relied upon heavily in the early stages of learning to swim. Here are some important things you should know:
- Goggles can be a real blessing for swimming instructors working with timid swimmers who are scared or reluctant to put their face under water for two reasons. 1. It can give swimmers a little more confidence because they can see clearly. 2. Frightened beginners often dislike water on their face and goggles will protect their eyes from the water.
- Goggles can be a real pain for swimming instructors if they are ill fitting or they leak and require adjusting after each lap. Wouldn’t you rather your child’s instructor spend time on teaching important swimming and water safety skills? Time spent adjusting goggles is time wasted in the swimming lesson. Make sure you invest in a good pair of goggles. Your swim school will more than likely stock reputable, good quality brands – do your child and their instructor a favour and buy a good pair when the time is right for them to start using them in their classes.
- Googles are not essential in the early stages of learning to swim. For infants and babies, time spent underwater and submerged will be limited at the start of their learn to swim journey. As young swimmers grow, develop better swimming skills and spend more time underwater as their breath control improves, goggles may be required if eye irritation occurs. Be guided by advice from your instructors but don’t become reliant on goggles.
- Goggle free time is important in swimming lessons. This will help to promote water safety skills. Some swimmers could panic if they fall into water without goggles when they are used to wearing them. Swimmers need to understand that water is blurry if you aren’t wearing goggles but you will still be able to navigate your way to the side and to safety without them. If young swimmers only know how to swim or put their face under water if they are wearing goggles, do they really know how to swim or put their face under water?
- Goggles can be great for water play and exploration. By allowing swimmers to play and explore under water you are encouraging them to build their breath control. Goggles can make under water play exciting because they can see everything clearly. It also allows swimmers to grow in confidence and ability outside of formal swimming lessons.
Keep these things in mind when you are attending swimming lessons with your child and remember that while goggles can aid in the learning process they should not be relied upon in every swimming situation. Sometimes swimmers should go without for the sake of learning water safety and true capabilities in the water.
How do you keep kids interested and engaged in swimming? Share your ideas in the comments below.