Utilising shallow water where children can stand is the ideal way to teach frightened beginners to swim. In this instance, the child feels safe and in control as they independently progress through the water familiarisation stage. The shallow water environment also enables maximum practice time of all the swimmers. The teacher is not required to take children one at a time and can move all the children together as a group. But what should swimming teachers do when they don’t have access to shallow water? Laurie Lawrence has put together his top tips to help teachers make their lessons as efficient as possible.
Deep Water Swimming for Beginners: Our Tips
Plan the lesson
Planning the lesson will be vital to ensure that you can achieve the best learning environment and progress the children as quickly as possible through the learn to swim process. During this stage think about; what skills the group needs to work on, what activities you should use to help develop their skills and how will you keep everyone safe?
Use teaching equipment
Organising teaching equipment before the lesson will be essential. Setting up your teaching space prior to the lesson with lane ropes and moveable teaching benches/platforms will help to make the class run smoothly.
Establishing independent mobility like monkeying along a high wall and climbing in and out of the pool will help the class flow. If you teach the children to move around the pool space independently it will avoid you having to take the children one at a time.
Build skills slowly
It is important to build children’s confidence slowly and reward even the smallest success. Following a building block approach of water familiarisation, breath control, submersion and free floating will get the best results. If you rush these early learning steps children will not become relaxed and at home in the water.
Play outside of the formal swimming lesson will be essential for children to learn quickly. Explain the value of exploratory play to parents. They should know that not only will it help to progress their child but it’s also essential to teach children a respect for the water. The more children are exposed to the water the sooner they learn their capabilities and limitations.