5 Swim Lesson Tips for Beginners
If you are interested in taking a swim lesson and improving your skills, here are 5 quick swim tips for your child or yourself to get you started on the path to swimming excellence.
1. LOOK UP
Keeping the swimmer’s head up makes treading water or doggy paddling much easier. When giving a swim lesson to a child or adult, a good suggestion is to hold the back of the swimmers head, constantly instructing them to look at the ceiling while paddling their arms and kicking their legs.
2. NOSE BUBBLES
In other sports, we are encouraged to inhale through the nose and out of the mouth, but swimming is not like other sports! To avoid water going up your nose, establish a respiratory or breathing rhythm in your mouth and out of the nose. A great way to build muscle memory is to practice blowing bubbles out of your nose while your face is submerged in the water. When giving a swim lesson to competitive swimmers I also teach exhaling through your nose because it causes less drag while underwater.
3. DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH
While giving swim lessons I find many of my students instinctively holding their breath while swimming because they are nervous or think this will help them swim longer. As soon as your face enters the water you should be slowly and steadily exhaling through your nose or mouth. There are three reasons to exhale: 1. Proper breathing prevents your body from tensing up, 2. Exhalation prevents a build up of carbon dioxide in your lungs which will cause discomfort and 3. It will reduce buoyancy in your lungs and allow you to better glide through the water. By the time you lift your face to inhale you should have completely exhaled the air from your lungs.
4. FLIP ON YOUR BACK
This is a big safety tip. If you catch a cramp or get disoriented, especially in open water, flipping on your back can save your life. Young swimmers are taught flipping while learning the doggy paddle. In my professional experience, the two go hand and hand. Even an experienced swimmer will sometimes need to flip on their back to take a break and regain composure.
Once you are comfortable in the water and can safely keep yourself afloat, the next important thing to work on is making the most efficient use of your energy expended while swimming. Streamlining can be used when kicking off the wall or during strokes, and helps you conserve energy by reducing hydrodynamic drag and resistance caused by your body. Keep your body and limbs as straight as possible, and turn your body into a mini torpedo!
These are just a few tips and tricks to consider when you are starting out in the pool. Please email me at Edwin@tcr-nyc.com with any questions you might have about swim lessons or water safety, and check out our private and group lesson options in our swim brochure by clicking here: TCR Swim Brochure
See you in the pool at TCR!
TCR Aquatics Director