Hard to believe summer and swimming are nearly upon us! I have been teaching a swimming class to two women every Wednesday night for the past month. They both had swimming laps on their bucket list to learn this year. Both were fairly comfortable in the water and had the general skills to stay afloat, but were not comfortable leaving the shallow end or swimming. I couldn’t believe all of the progress they made over the course of four nights, it was fantastic to see them swimming without assistance and even making across the entire length of the pool!
Their biggest issue was a lack of confidence in the water, and I think this is something many people have a problem with. I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for becoming more confident and comfortable in the water. This applies especially to people who are struggling with swimming because of fear of putting their face in the water.
First and foremost, if you’re trying to keep your entire face out of the water while you are swimming it is going to be 1000 times harder for you. The easiest way to swim is when you have the lease resistance against the water, therefore you must be laying almost flat. When you try to swim with your head out of the water you cause your back to arch and your legs to drop and you are more like a seahorse bobbing in the water than a fish gliding through. Teach yourself to put your face in the water, or at least close to the water and you will be much more successful.
Here are the steps to take to be comfortable putting your face in the water…
Learn to blow bubbles in the water. While standing in chest deep water try blowing bubbles out through your mouth and your nose. Just get comfortable having your face covered with water.
While holding onto the wall- or ladder with your feet planted blow bubbles into the water on your exhale then lift your face out of the water for the inhale. Repeat this until you can complete a few breaths in a row.
Now try the same procedure while kicking your legs up behind you, but still holding onto the wall.
Try this whole thing stretching your arms out in front of you holding onto a kickboard. Use the same kick and breathing patterns, but this time you’re moving!
These are the first steps to getting more comfortable swimming with your face in the water.