Swim School’s Out
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! During swim lessons, when your child repeats activities as guided by their swim instructor, they move through the levels, learning the building blocks of swimming. Bit by bit they develop technique and build strength and stamina. And learn valuable lifelong skills.
However, did you know while group swim lessons are temporarily on hold, there are lots of ways you can support your child’s swimming progress at home?
Here are some ways you can help them practice their skills outside of the pool so that they will be ready to jump back in once lessons resume….
One of the most important aspects of swimming is having good breath control, which is necessary for a safe and effective swim. So one way to help your child practice this at home is during bathtime or with a bowl of water.
Pick a time when your child is relaxed. Get them to put their face in the water and blow bubbles for three seconds. Get them to pop on their goggles if that makes them feel more comfortable.
You can also practice breathing exercises out of water. Get them to hold their breath as part of a game, perhaps competing against siblings to see who can hold it the longest.
2. The Front Crawl
The front crawl is the fastest, most efficient swimming stroke. However, it can also be tiresome for little learners if the technique isn’t correct. To practice these movements out of the water ask your child to:
- Stand straight, facing a wall with their two arms over their head
- On the count of three ask them to rotate their body to the right
- Bringing the right hand down by their thigh
- Chin up over their right shoulder and then recover the arm back over their head and turn back into the forward-facing position.
Another way to practice this stroke, is by using a chair. Ask your child to stand a metre from the chair. Bending at the hips, knees slightly bent and keeping their head down. Then get them to:
- Bring one hand over their head until their fingertips touch the edge of the chair
- Keeping their elbows pointed to their ceiling as they move each arm
- Then turning their head to the side on every third stroke
Make sure your child fully completes each arm rotation in all of these movements as if they were actually swimming. This helps to improve their coordination.
3. Front Crawl Legs
Often young learners struggle to keep their legs straight during flutter kicks. So practicing this at home will help to improve their technique for when they return to lessons.
To practice this have your little swimmer lie down on the ground or a low stool on their stomach, then:
- Raise up the right leg first, then the left leg
- Keeping the back straight, toes pointed,
- Don’t bend the knees too much
4. Back Crawl
Similar to the front crawl, the aim of the back crawl is to keep the body as flat as possible. With a slight slope at the hips to keep legs under the water while kicking.
Get your little swimmer to practice this at home by sitting on the floor. Make it fun by asking them to imagine they are on the edge of the pool, then:
- Hold both their arms out in front of them
- Pull their legs towards their body
- Then push off from the pool edge, bringing their legs and arms down
- End up lying in a flat, straight position
- Eyes up, chin up, tummy up
Most young learners find the breaststroke the most challenging to learn. This is because it requires a strong kick and perfect timing.
To practice at home, get them to lie face down on a stable low bench or on a mat on the floor. Starting off in a streamline position:
- Keep the feet together, toes pointed
- Heels together, knees together
- Then bring the feet up towards the bum
- Next turn the feet out to each side, flexing the feet
- Then make a circle, bringing the feet back together
Finally, remember learning to swim should be a positive experience for children. It takes a lot of practice to master these swim strokes so make sure to give them lots of praise and encouragement. Make practising these skills a fun activity at home. And you’ll find when it’s time to take those skills from dry land to the pool, they will be more confident about returning.
Looking forward to seeing everyone back in the pool soon!
If you would like more information about swimming lessons at Gym Plus, contact us today: