3 Common Stroke Mistakes that New Swimmers Make

Learning to swim is an exciting moment for people of any age, and even the youngest child benefits from lessons on how to safely spend time in the water. While swimming is one activity that people with different levels of abilities can learn, new swimmers often face a few challenges when it comes to learning the strokes. These three common stroke mistakes that new swimmers make are all correctable with practice and the help of a professional swim instructor will provide trust to teach this vital life-saving skill.

Breathing Properly

For many new swimmers, learning how to breathe properly is a challenge. Young children often focus on pulling their entire head out of the water to take each breath. While it is important to breathe while swimming, the sudden upward movement of the head creates strain along the neck and spine that throws the swimmer’s whole body out of alignment. Typically, the head and legs drop down as the head goes up. Once this happens, a swimmer is no longer able to maintain the alignment that they need to perform their swimming strokes properly. In swim lessons, swimmers will begin practicing breathing from the very beginning. Over time, they gradually learn how to lift just their face out of the water to only the point that they need to catch a breath before continuing with their strokes. Once this important skill is mastered, new swimmers can continue to refine their skills by learning advanced techniques such as rhythmic breathing.

Relying on the Upper Body

Many of the most common swimming strokes appear as though the upper body does all of the work. For instance, the breast stroke requires swimmers to thrust forward using their arms, and this is often the most apparent part of the stroke that new swimmers notice when they watch others swim. However, the breast stroke also requires swimmers to use a whip kick that helps propel them in the water and maintain their momentum. Without the important leg work, the stroke is impossible to perform correctly. This same concept applies to all of the other strokes. For this reason, new swimmers need to spend a great deal of time learning how to use their legs along with their upper body to perform the strokes.

Focusing on Finishing the Strokes

Once a new swimmer gets going, they often get so caught up in thinking about what to do next that they forget to finish their first movements. Lifting the hand out of the water too soon results in a loss of energy that affects how powerful each stroke is and how long a swimmer can swim. This mistake is simple to correct since it only requires a swimmer to slow down and be careful to complete each stroke so that their hands function as a paddle that pushes them through the water.

Learning any new skill often involves many mistakes, but the rewards of finding ways to correct them is worth the effort. Whether a swimmer is simply interested in being able to swim better at the local pool or they have a desire to compete, making minor corrections is often all it takes to improve their ability to execute proper swimming strokes.

Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Child’s Swim Skills

Swimming is one of the most exciting activities that people can enjoy alone or with others during their free time. Knowing how to swim is crucial because you never know when you might need this lifesaving skill when you or someone else is in a dire situation. For this reason, many parents enroll their children in swimming lessons as young as age two so they can learn to swim as early as possible. While most kids will learn how to swim quickly because they are young and teachable, some will catch on faster than others and leave parents wondering why. Here are four ways to help you have realistic expectations of your child’s swimming ability.

Do Not Compare One Child to Another

Every child is unique, and you should never compare to others. The best way to set the right expectations for your child is to learn who he or she is individually, and forget about all the other kids, including siblings. Learn your child’s abilities, temperaments, strengths, weaknesses, and needs so you can find a way to help them achieve realistic goals.

Adjust Your Expectations to their Level

If your child is afraid to get into a bathtub, chances are swimming pools will elicit the same anxiety, if not more. Knowing all about your child and the developmental stage they are at will help you know where to start and what to expect for the future. Don’t expect to go straight from A to Z without hitting every letter in between.

Lead by Example

Kids are very malleable and impressed by their parents. The best way to know what to expect from your child is to do things with them and set a good example. You can start by showing them how to do certain activities together to build their confidence and skill level.  Once they are comfortable and building self-esteem, start letting go of the reins and let them be more independent. Coach them through any anxious feelings and let them know you are still there for them no matter what.

Leave the Graphs and Charts Alone

Do not pay too much attention to those charts and graphs that say where a child should be at every age. As we said earlier, every child is different and will grow and develop at their own pace. At Into the Swim, classes consist of 2 to 3 students per instructor, matched together according to age, skill, maturity, and comfort in the water in order to understand each student at a personal level. All classes go at a pace the students can handle so no one is held back or forced to be a swimmer more than they can handle at that time.

For over 15 years, Into the Swim has been providing fulfilling and fun swimming lessons in New Jersey for adults, kids, and infants across the country. We pride ourselves in putting safety first; our instructors are highly experienced and the indoor pools are heated to create a conducive learning environment. We also have swim lessons for infants and parents, as well as for people with disabilities, and those who are afraid of water.

If you’re interested in teaching your child how to swim, chose a company that sets realistic goals and has years of experience. Your child will be more comfortable and proficient in the water.

Why Swimming Classes are the Best Exercise

swimming exercise

It’s no secret that Olympic swimmers have amazing physiques. Swimming is an exercise that every person can enjoy, from tiny infants to octogenarians. With our swimming classes, you have a chance to learn the various strokes in either a group or private setting. Before you sign up for any classes, understand why swimming classes are the best exercise. You’ll be ready to dive on in.

Mental Clarity Exercise

Before you focus on the physical advantages to swimming, consider the mental impact. As you slide into the water, your mind is filled with calmness. The sound and sensation of water is known to ward off stress on even the most frustrating days. As you dip your head under the water, you’re removing yourself from everyday life. You’ll feel better after a swim on a mental level, which is part of good health and well-being.

Low-Impact Perks

Take a swim or aerobics class in the water to see the difference that it makes with your health. The water supports your entire body, which leads to less stress on your joints. As you grow older, those joints will have more difficulty moving. Get into shape by stepping into the pool. Perform laps, walk, and float around so that you’re burning calories. The resistance in the water helps you build muscle while burning fat.

More Than a Limb Workout

You may concentrate on working your arms and legs during a swim, but your core muscles are also improving. The core consists of your abdominals and back muscles. As you stretch and pull the water around you, every muscle in your limbs and core are performing some work. You receive an all-body workout that’s difficult to attain on dry land. A strong core is especially important as you get older because your posture has the necessary support to ward off slouching and muscle loss.

High- or Low-Intensity Options

Many exercises tend to have limits on intensity levels. You can either perform them at a low intensity, such as lifting weights, or high intensity, like mountain biking. Swimming remains as one of the few workouts that can be altered. Perform several laps as quickly as possible to achieve a high-intensity workout, or casually swim to the pool’s edge for a low-intensity experience.

Lung-and-Heart Advantages

Swimming classes are the best exercise because they work out your heart and lungs. It’s a fact that your heart will beat at a more comfortable rate when you exercise it on a regular basis. You’ll even have a better lung capacity with regular swimming too.

Our swim classes are where you can start your journey toward being a whiz in the water. Every class is designed around the age and skill level of the participants. It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or an adult because everyone can learn how to swim. You simply need to dedicate a few hours each week to learning this critical, life skill.

 

5 Qualities to Look for in a Swim Instructor

swimmer

Are looking for a swim instructor for your children and don’t quite know where to begin your search? There are certain criteria that should be examined before your final decision as to which professional to use is made. A good swim instructor should possess the following qualities:

Training

A swim instructor should not only have expert knowledge in swimming but great interpersonal skills as well. Each student is different and a great teacher will be able to relate and adapt for each student’s level and personality. It’s a great sign if the instructor holds a lifeguard certification as well. You can rest easy that your child will be in a safe environment while learning to swim. Often, training within the company is a regular practice. This is wildly important as it ensures that there is a unified vision where everyone teaches the exact same approach.

Experience

Inquire as to how much experience this person possesses. The instructor should be able to tell you how many children have benefited from their lessons and how many different places they have worked. It is not necessarily a negative if the instructor has little experience. Sometimes that type of individual will have more enthusiasm and commitment to the job. You may have to monitor the lessons though to ensure that all bases are covered.

People Skills

A good instructor needs to know how to deal with students and parents alike. Their communications must be clear and articulate. Instructions should be delivered in the manner that the child can understand. An instructor can be very knowledgeable, but if he or she does not know how to effectively pass on that knowledge to the student, it may be best to keep on with your search. In mommy and me swim classes, an instructor would have to deal with both parents and children at the same time.

Reliability

The best instructors are reliable. They are available when they say they will be. They show up on time and sometimes even earlier. They work with your schedule to provide the best in services.

Specialization

Consider the reasons you want a swim instructor for your child. It may be to prepare him for a competition or teach him the basics of swimming. Whatever the case, it is important to look at what the instructor is best at and what age groups they are most experienced in dealing with. Some instructors truly enjoy teaching toddlers to swim, while others are most proficient at preparing tweens and teens for upcoming competitions.

As you can see, choosing a swim instructor or attending swimming classes does not have to be an incredible challenge. Just ensure that the preceding attributes are in place before making your first appointment. You want your child to benefit from the instruction and you want to have the peace of mind in knowing that you are getting what you are paying for.