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To See Is - TO DO?

It’s that time of the year and I am reminded, as usual, that it’s been a while since my last post. So here we go again folks!

Every time I teach a new person to swim it always amazes me to know that I will be learning something new too about swimming instruction and the importance of communicating the instruction through visualisation.

By this I mean that every individual is different in their ability to pick up the various skills needed to swim. When I see a student being challenged by a movement, I have adapted my teaching to focus on breaking the movement down as simply as possible. I have learnt many ways to do this when I see the difficulty arise and it here that the student and the instructor work, as a team, to communicate the difficulty and form the remedy.

How is this achieved? Well, it usually involves learning by my example with a slow exaggerated action so the student can see exactly what’s going on in the movement and to visualise in their own mind what is required from them.

An example could be not understanding the concept of rolling the body to the side enough to breath. The student naturally wants to lift their head to breath which causes all sorts of problems – remedy? Keep them on their breathing side with the ear resting close to their lead arm whilst looking to the sky or to end of the pool.

It’s an exaggerated movement, yes, but it is key to gaining the technique of rolling to breath and not lifting to breath. Some students find this relatively easy some require help with me guiding the lead hand or by using a floatation aide or even with flippers until they achieve the action.

So, everyone’s different in their ability, all have individual plus and minus moments, it’s really just a case of accentuating the positive and negotiating the negative with some visual examples and, yes, plenty of reassurance / energy for me!


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