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Training: Line of Sight
- Keep whole class in front of your face
- Create clear expectations
- Guard the leapers going past you
Set up your training
Start in one large group. Handout a copy of this PDF (found at the top of this page).
Briefly go over the main points found in the PDF (color bands), and discuss what you mean by “field of view” and “line of sight.” Explain why it is a safety issue to have your swimmers in front of you at all times.
Ask your large group these questions:
- “What is the field of view of an average person with both eyes in degrees?”
- answer: 180 degrees of view horizontally (left to right)
- BONUS: Vertical (up and down is 135 degrees.
- 180 degrees is a half of a circle. You can basically see from shoulder to shoulder without rotating your head.
- answer: 180 degrees of view horizontally (left to right)
- “What skill might you have some people NOT directly in your field of view, and how can you mitigate (reduce) the potential safety issue that comes with it?
- Supported back floats where instructor is walking backward returning to the bench or start area.
- Fix, rotate shoulders and return at an angle so you can see the class by slightly turning your head and body.
- “How can you establish an expectation in your students to stay inside your field of view at all times without saying, “stay where I can see you?”
- Training point #2: create clear expectations on where they should stay so you can orient yourself to their location and keep that place in front of your face.
Once you have your group discussion, break up into groups of 5-6 people.
Small Group Work:
Activity #1: Peripheral Colors
Each group should get 5-6 pieces of different colored objects or paper.
1 person in each group takes a turn as the “Caller.”
The other 4-5 people in each group lines up about 5 yards away in a semi circle ranging from the shoulders of the “Caller” and directly in front of them. See the picture. Group members face the “Caller.”
The “Caller” stares directly straight ahead to the center group member. They are not allowed to move their face, shoulders, or body, but CAN move their eyes.
The center group member shouts, “GO!” and the Caller gets 20 seconds to say the type of object and the color of every person in the group. They can go in any order (most start with left and go right).
Every person gets to rotate through as the “caller.”
Switch colors and objects each time to avoid memorizing.
This game illustrates the ‘field of view’ for each person in a fun way. Make a point to describe how each person can make use of their head and their body position to keep a group in their line of sight.
Activity #2: Circle Herding
You will need chalk or string to create a circle on the ground. Draw or string a circle on the ground that is about 10 feet in diameter.
1 person is the “Circle Director,” and everyone else in each small group is an animal of any kind.
At the beginning of the game every group member can be anywhere near the group’s area. The “Circle Director” must herd each individual animal in a unique to that animal into the circle, and through gestures that that specific animal would understand, tell it to stay inside the circle.
While doing this, the “Circle Director” must not loose sight of any animal inside the circle.
IF an animal inside the circle becomes aware that the “Circle Director” has turned their head away from them, they may leave the circle and ‘graze’ nearby until the “Circle Director” herds them back into the circle.
The challenge is to always keep your face pointed to the circle while moving around and herding the other animals into the circle.
Every group member takes a turn as the “Circle Herder.”
This game focuses on keeping your face pointed in the direction of the circle. Our swimmers will be watching us and will think we see everything even if we don’t. Just by keeping our faces aimed in their direction we will keep them following our directions because they THINK we are watching just them. This exploits the fact that younger people have no concept of others and operate mostly in a “me-centric” universe where they are the center of all. If our face is aimed in their direction they assume we are looking at them.
The game is also fun!
Activity #3: Goalie Grab
This activity needs no additional props. It is done in the pool.
For partners, or you can do 1 person is the Goalie, and the rest are torpedoes.
The torpedoes line up along the wall. Based on how tall they are (the torpedo people) the Goalie stands about 1.5 body lengths away from the line of people.
The Goalie cannot move their legs and needs to stand directly in the middle of the line.
Each torpedo goes one at a time and launches off the wall trying to get past the Goalie. The Goalie has to physically stop the torpedo any way they want without moving their feet (if possible).
Each group member takes turns being the Goalie.
This game is to simulate the instructor grabbing a child as they try to jump off the bench and launch past the instructor. The instructor should stop them and keep them from going past them.
This game has a potential to be a little wild, so remember to reign it in if you need to.
Gather your staff and review the key points of the training:
- A crucial level of safety for your students is to always keep them in your line of sight
- Keep your face aimed at your whole class at all times.
- Establish clear expectations about where your students are expected to be at all times.
- Block all attempts to go behind or past your when teaching.
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