Swimming is one of those important life skills that somehow eludes many people into adulthood. Fear is often the roadblock to learning to swim, but hopefully if you are thinking of teaching this, after reading this article you will have a better idea of the steps you can take to spread awareness of this valuable skill.
As a teacher, you will have a variation in the speed at which your students learn to swim. It is very important throughout the teaching process that you maintain an encouraging demeanor towards your students, regardless of the difference in learning rates.
One thing you can do is pay individual attention to those who seem to be struggling to catch up. By doing this you get a more accurate view of what is stopping them and correcting your technique sooner.
First of all, before diving in, you may want to buy some swimming books so that you can learn more about the layout and structure of the lessons. By doing this, you will become a more resourceful instructor armed with additional perspectives.
Before even hitting the water with students, it is important to do some research for local organizations dealing with certification and also learn CPR.
It is really important to always emphasize safety, it will not only create a safe environment for learning, but it will also make you a safe teacher who is competent to handle emergencies on the water should they arise.
Some people are afraid of swimming. Be sensitive to this. You can help make the process smoother by relaxing them mentally, giving them peace of mind and knowledge of what to expect before they start learning to swim.
Some helpful tips to consider:
• Make them feel safe by starting at the shallow end of the water and baby-step their progress.
• Teach them to feel comfortable with diving and hold their breath.
• Teach them to float.
• Teach them fundamental movements like kicking, this will help build confidence.
A highly suggested structure is to start with the basics until they are proficient at it and then move on to the more complicated swimming techniques.
You can focus on slowly relieving them and making them more comfortable in the water as they become more proficient in swimming.
This can be done using swimming aids such as; bracelets (flotation devices), noodles and flotation boards. They help them focus more on enjoyment and learning than on worrying about safety.
Swimming is a great skill and once you have it, you have it for life. Just remember, it’s one thing to know how to do it and another to teach it to others. Be patient; Learn from other teachers and pay individual attention to the needs of your students and in time you should be on your way to being a well-rounded swim teacher.
Written by Tom Lekhanya