Are you uncomfortable in the water? Have you ever been on holiday and wished you could get in the ocean for a quick dip? If the answer is yes, you are not alone! According to a recent article published by Swim England 1 in 3 adults cannot swim 25m. However it is worth noting that it’s never too late. If you live in London there are plenty of adult only swimming schools who can help you transition from uncomfortable in the water to competent in swimming.
What do you need?
The desire to give it a go, at least for one initial lesson. This should help with getting an idea of what to expect. Purchasing proper swimwear and goggles is a must, baggy shorts will make it more difficult. The goggles I would suggest purchasing are zoggs predator flex with clear lenses, mirrored or darkened lenses are best for outdoor swimming.
First things first
Before you learn how to swim or move your body in the water you need to get comfortable with blowing into the water through your nose and mouth and holding your breath. Should you keep your eyes open or closed?? The answer is of course open, if you close them you may tense up in expectation of something happening. Floating while blowing into the water is the next step, then kicking, then arms, then breathing and then eventually timing everything together.
It generally takes about 20 hours of lessons to be able to swim one length front crawl with breathing. I have taught a few in 3-5 lessons however I have also taught someone who took close to 40 hours of lessons to be able to swim 25m front crawl with breathing, it is different for everyone.
How is your breathing when you swim?
In the teaching experience it’s best to wait until your swimming movements are correct and autonomous, otherwise there can be a lot to think about. The teacher, provided they are experienced and have the knowledge will know when to introduce this, if it is rushed it can seem quite tricky. Why can breathing seem a difficult task to get to grips with? There can be a number of reasons. Ask yourself these questions.
Are you breathing out while you are swimming?
How are you blowing out?
Are you blowing out through your nose?
Are you blowing out through your mouth?
Are you holding your breath?
If you are blowing out through your nose, is your mouth open or closed?
When you turn to breath, are you turning your head or your body?
When you have turned to breath, are you attempting to take a breath immediately?
When you attempt to breath in, are you using your nose or your mouth?
Have you expelled all of the air in your lungs before breathing in?
Not everyone will breathe the same way, one of the mistakes I have witnessed is not having exhaled all of the air in your lungs before attempting to breathe in. This secret is in the exhale, if you do not exhale all of the air you will only be able to take a shallow breath. This may or may not be a good analogy but it’s a lot like a cup of water, you need to be able to completely empty it in order to fill it up. You are able to test this theory as you read this, trying blowing out a small amount of air and then try to take a deep breath, try this 3 to 4 times in a row. Are you out of breath? But how you might be asking as you are stood still and clearly not burning much oxygen. As mentioned above it’s all in the out breath.
If you have any further questions please drop me a message and if you live in London and wish to try a 30 min lesson but you are hesitant for any reason, come along and try the lesson and if you did not enjoy the experience and feel that progress was made then there will be no charge.