Do you want to electrify your swimming lessons? See the spark of pure joy blossom in your swimmer’s eyes?
We can capture lightning in a bottle. We can reproduce delightful laughter and thrilling accomplishment.
We have two “super powers” in our toolbox.
And you can use them in your lessons right now!! There is nothing holding you back from supercharging your swimming instruction but your own hesitation.
1. Activity, Activity, Challenge Formula
We’ve covered this extensively elsewhere but the essential point of this formula is that you do a basic skill, iterate on it with the next skill, and then play a challenge or game to reset your learners interest.
Check out the top row in the picture above. You see that this is for level one where we had begin with the initial skill bubbles and bobs. The swimmer will get accustomed to being in the water, do something fun, and the instructor has a clear instruction on what to do.
Moving from left to right into activity number two we see that the class is going to be using benches and will begin moving through the water. They should do this independently on their own with the instructor on the outside of the benches guiding the activity. This is the beginning introduction to free motion and play. One of the essential swim skills.
Finally continuing with that top row we get to challenge number one. This is a simple challenge for someone that can do it but leans on many different swimming skills that can be taught or introduced at this time. The challenge is:
Lift one foot out of the water, including all five toes.
It is super simple but requires that the beginner swimmer does something outside of their comfort zone. Is not immediately apparent that they will be able to do it and most children will struggle to lift one foot above the water if they are standing in chest deep water.
Briefly, let’s talk about how this formula is so effective. It takes simple progressive skills that are connected to each other in activity number one and activity number two and provides an opportunity for the swimmer to do something focused on deliberate practice. We are pushing our swimmers to doing stuff they may not be comfortable doing. We attempt to make it fun and interesting but sometimes it is simply repetition and drill work. Drills and reputation can be fun but they may not be inherently fun.
Challenges are specifically designed to be fun. More than fun they have A specific swimming skill with an attached roadblock. They are designed to elicit excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
We have a period of dedicated practice or skill work followed by a reset. The reset for attention and interest comes from the challenge. We find that the more. We introduce challenges that are fun and interesting it gives participants more energy to focus on their specific swimming skills scattered in between.
Challenges are different from games.
A game can be an effective tool in swimming lessons but not necessarily contain an attached or specific swimming skill. Games can be joyful and fun like “Bake a cake.” But games are generally more complicated and require a group or swimmers to all be at the Exact same skill level.
Challenges however are often broadly available to all abilities within a specific range. For example you can do a challenge that can be played by level 1 and level two swimmers but may not be appropriate for a level 3 or level 4 person because it would be too easy.
The best thing about a challenge is that they perusing the best moments of pure joy and accomplishment.
If you are using them in the correct level or skill then it is just beyond the swimmers comfort zone.
Following the challenges that are in our lesson plans will give your swimmers abounding excitement and unbridled joy when they finally accomplish The challenge’s goal or get a success.
let’s take a look at that initial challenge again. Lifting one foot above the water with all five Toes. It seems pretty simple. Swimmer could hold on to a bench and lift their foot up in the air. Simple enough. Put another roadblock in front of the swimmer. Or request that they can only use one hand to provide support. If that is too easy still, you can say that they cannot hold anything and must lift their foot above the surface of the water without touching anything Else. Highline to make it super challenging you could require that this former float on their back and lift one foot up in the air.
From this one simple challenge we can put a series of roadblocks in front of accomplishment and as the swimmer struggles to overcome them they will experience A wide range of skills and related understanding when it comes to being in the water; buoyancy, center of balance, floating, and support.
Challenges are the superpower to our lesson plans. The formula is like the secret serum that turns a boring swim lesson or swim practice into a lesson full of laughter, joy, and excitement filled with anticipation.
Podcast episode on the activity, activity, challenge formula:
Which challenges in the free lesson preview have you tried?
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