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Teaching Swimming

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Lesson 1, Topic 2
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Underwater Progression

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Going underwater can be a scary thing for new swimmers, especially the younger kids. When you’re working with three year olds or infants remember the underwater progression. This is a series of steps that you should flow through to get the person to go underwater.

Start at number one, or the easiest and move up the list putting more and more underwater.

  1. Chest
  2. Shoulders
  3. Chin
  4. Lips
  5. Nose
  6. Eyes
  7. Whole head

Go slow.

Ask swimmers to go underwater to their level of comfort.

If your swimmer is apprehensive, scared, or reluctant, ask them to first put their shoulders in the water.

If they do that, then begin asking them to do the next step of the progression.

If a swimmer puts their chin in the water, ask them to “kiss the water” so their lips go in.

Avoid jumping steps of this progression.

Remember. You want to follow the sequential progression. Move from 1-> 2. Do not do #2–> #5.

Skipping parts of the progression leads to swimmers refusing to participate. You will get push back and reluctance.

Go up to the level of the swimmer’s comfort and encourage the next step.

If they put their nose in, ask to put their eyes in. Try it with closed eyes, open eyes, or just one eye!