FEAR! - Friend or Foe?
I was thinking the other day what was the biggest challenge to my students when setting out to learn to swim. Well, apart from the giant step of finally deciding to take lessons and to contact me! - the challenge is one of overcoming the fear,- not just about the water but the process involved including trusting the instructor and freeing the mind to the learning experience in an alien environment - water!.
It is very important therefore for me to spend time to subdue this fear by gaining the trust and putting myself in their shoes to explain that fear is their friend, natures way of of keeping them safe until they learn to adapt to the water.
With out spending time on relieving these fears the relatively simple mechanics of swimming can not be sustained.
So we have to calm natures primal instincts that are telling the body not to enter the water - this can only be done through gradual reassurance and introduction to exercises such as floating, which demonstrate that when it comes to learning how to swim the water becomes their friend, not foe.