7 Basics to Learn Swimming
7 Basics to Learn Swimming
Swimming is not a natural gift but is an acquired talent that takes coordination and stamina. Each person will also have different swimming style that depends on their physical capabilities. While learning to swim can be a difficult task it is no rocket science. Anyone can learn to swim if they have the right attitude and willingness to learn. With the right instructions and training, you can start swimming easily. But there are a few basics that you must know to master swimming. Get strong in the basics and soon you will be able to master the most difficult techniques also.
#1 Get rid of your fears
If you are going to be forever afraid of water, you can say goodbye to swimming. Get rid of your fears and treat water like a friend. Many people have done swimming before you; even people with disabilities have proved sport knows no limits. So why should be scared? Overcoming your fears is the first thing you should do when you decide to learn swimming.
You can try to overcome your fears by starting at the shallow end of the pool. Try standing up in the shallow waters and then try to squat so then you can get your chin touching the water. Be relaxed and breathe easily. Try going deeper as you get more comfortable being underwater while holding your breath. Go up and down in a relaxed manner and not in a jerky scared way. Improve your relationship with water by trying to stay submerged for a little longer and look around the water world through your goggles.
It is recommended that you never swim alone. Always go swimming in groups or with a swimming buddy who knows to swim well. Get strong in the basics and then move on to learn the advanced techniques. If you start your first swimming lesson in moving water, there are high chances that you will be scared out of swimming and you also have to pay attention to the safety issues of learning to swim in moving water. Start with shallow waters and then move on to deeper parts of the pool only when you are confident enough and have already learnt to swim a little.
Avoid swimming in bad weather conditions and cold water.
#2 Learn to Float
Floating is very essential to learn swimming. Laying horizontal on the water is not natural for everybody and hence many people will feel disoriented while trying to be horizontal while swimming. There will be a fear of falling down and people will struggle to get back on their legs. If you want to swim you should forget about walking in water. Feel the water as a soft nice bed and try floating on it. You should learn to relax yourself. When you feel at ease and relaxed, your muscles will loosen up and this how you should be when you are floating in water. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to float.
Avoid using floating equipment to keep you afloat. You may grow to be dependent on these equipment and feel at a loss when you have to float by yourself. You may find it difficult to swim by yourself if you rely too much on kickboards and waist belts.
Try to float on your back or stomach and try to make a T shape with your body and arms for stability
#3 Blow Bubbles
Learning to breathe properly is of utmost important for proper swimming. If you don’t do the breathing properly, you will get exhausted soon and find yourself struggling to swim. Do not hold your breath. When you get under water after taking a breath, start exhaling bubbles slowly through your nose and mouth. Doing this will help you relax and enjoy swimming. Much of the breathing while swimming will take place through the mouth.
To start with blowing bubbles squat down while holding a wall so that your mouth is under water. Now start blowing bubbles through your mouth slowly. Try this again after taking a nice and relaxed breath. Exhaling bubbles under water will get you relaxed while swimming and not too worked up because of the fear of breathing while you are in the water.
#4 Standing Up
Just as you learnt to float on water, you should get good at standing up from your horizontal position while swimming. While standing up, keep your arms at your side and keep your face down on water while bringing your arms above your head. You should lie in the water like a tree log and then stretch your arms forward keeping your palms down. Hold your breath and be relaxed. Get your head under water so that your chin is near your chest and the back of your hair is touching the surface of water. When you are ready to stand up, bring your knees up near your chest and extend your arms forward and get under water. Your body will change its position from horizontal to vertical. As your butt sinks in to the water make a half circle with your arms towards your hip. Now as your body gets vertical, bring your head out of water.
You should also learn to tread on water as it enables you to keep your head above water and your body upright. You can use treading to observe something happening around above water.
Wear goggles as these can help you see while under water. This is optional, but getting goggles and equipment like fins can help you learn better. Use goggles that have spongy circles around the eyes and fit them tightly around your head. Getting small fins will also help you swim better.
#6 Learn The Basic Strokes and Techniques
After you get comfortable with water by mastering your skills on breathing and floating, you should try to learn the basic strokes that are used in swimming. Beginners are usually taught the breast stroke first as it is easy to learn. Start with learning to do the leg kicks such as the flutter kick and then get to know the basics of the swimming strokes. Some of the basic swimming techniques you should know are
- Flutter kick
- Starfish float
- Breaststroke kick
- Sculling water
- Dog paddle
- Elementary backstroke
#7 Learn Swimming in Parts
Learn to swim by breaking the learning process into manageable chunks called drills. Drills are used to master a single move first and then move on the next move in learning a swimming stroke. This is usually done in a sequential manner where you learn the kicking first and then go on to learn the arm movements. First practice the moves on dry land and then go jumping into water.