How to teach swimming lessons - Treading Water

How to teach swimming lessons – Treading water

This brilliant swim lesson hack, tip, and guide comes from swim instructor Teresa from Arizona. She has been teaching swimming for 10 years and has a wonderful swimming lesson tactic for teaching treading water.

I found her description to be excellent; brief, concise, and so obviously awesome it needed to be shared. If you’ve taught treading water before you know that it is a difficult and nebulous thing to describe. You just kinda move your arms like this, but you have to push the water, but not the whole time, and not at the same speed, but you have to really “press” fast, but not too far, and not just splashing. Woah. Yeah, teaching treading water is difficult.

It is so time consuming and more of a “feeling” for the water that makes someone good a treading that it isn’t even included in one of the Swimming Ideas 15 essential swim skills. Generally, our approach to treading has been, “if you can float or glide do that first.” Treading is good, but let’s focus on swimming.

 

Now we can teach treading quickly, effectively, and use a little fun too!

 

Balance before lift

Teresa will show in her own words how you have to teach balance to the swimmer before you can start teaching them to keep their head up while stationary. I think a true confident swimmer is the person who understands this concept of water balance; the person who can float at the surface barely moving their body to stay at the top using breath and treading. That person can rotate, press, lay down or forward and still stay at or near the surface with barely any effort. The first step to this control is balance. Teresa attacks treading water by starting with body position and control. It is a brilliant and simple activity that gives purpose to the treading motions we typically teach with lackluster results. Now we have a quick, easy solution.

Treading water taught by Teresa from Arizona:

Teresa from Arizona

“I thought you might be interested in a few methods I use while I’m teaching my 4-5+ year olds how to “TREAD” in the water.  My kids have learned to tread a lot faster ever since I started using the methods so other Instructors might find them handy too.

 

I realized a few years ago that there is more to treading than just teaching a student how to use their arms/legs.  They also have to know HOW TO BALANCE IN THE WATER without falling over and each student HAS TO TREAD AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS to keep their head out of the water.  (Not everyone treads the same way EVEN THOUGH an Instructor teaches every student the same way….some peoples motions end up being more effective than others.)

 

PHASE 1:

ride the noodle like a horse

1-I have my students sit on a noodle like they are riding a bike and then we practice balancing on the noodle until they can do it without my help.

 

2-Then I ask them to let go of the noodle and make sure they can balance by themselves BEFORE I move on.

 

3-Once they can do that…..I teach them HOW to move their hands and HOW to move their feet properly WHILE ON THE NOODLE.

 

PHASE 2:

swing-1188131_1920

1-I have my students sit on a noodle like they are on a swing which is a lot harder for them and then we practice balancing on the noodle until they can do it without my help.

 

2-Then I ask them to let go of the noodle and make sure they can balance by themselves BEFORE I move on.

 

3-Once they can do that…..I teach them HOW to move their hands and HOW to move their feet properly WHILE ON THE NOODLE.

 

PHASE 3:

 

*Then I do what we all do.  (My students are learning to tread in 1-2 lessons average instead of the 1-2 weeks it was taking before I started using these methods.)”

 

Have you used this technique? Let us know! We love hearing from you about your swimming lesson successes and failures.

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