3 key ways to improve adults water confidence
An ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) report stated recently that one in five adults in England are unable to swim. If you are a parent that cannot swim, this may be holding you back from being able to swim with your children or even from taking them to swimming lessons. But, don't worry, there are many things to do to help build your own water confidence.
There are many reasons why an adult may be unable to swim such as lack of time, opportunity or even simply a lack of interest in the sport due to fitness and body confidence, however, the most common reason for adults not to know how to swim is due to a fear of water which, in some cases, has been present since childhood or sparked by a traumatic event.
We have covered in a previous blog post what you can do as a parent to
help your child overcome a fear of water, but overcoming a fear as an adult, especially a deep-seated one, can be a little different.
Thankfully there are a variety of techniques you can try out in order to reduce your fear
and boost your confidence in the water, meaning you could be swimming alongside your little ones in no time. Here are some you can try today:
1. Start slowly
Starting to address your fear of water slowly and always in shallow water; this will help you acclimatise to the experience in a much gentler manner. Just join the kids for a splash about to get used to how it feels to be in the pool and the surrounding environment.
2. Visit the pool
Visit your local swimming pool (preferably not at peak time) and try sitting on the edge of the pool to begin with. Submerging your feet is a good way to make contact with the water without having to enter straight away.
You can also try scooping up the water and applying it to your face. Wear a pair of swimming goggles here if you want; this will allow you to keep your eyes open at all times which, in turn, helps many people stay relaxed.
3. Try water exercises
Performing basic water exercises can help get you used to the water once you’re comfortable getting in, and will allow you to try new things at a pace you are comfortable with. Here are some useful ones to start you off:
Walk slowly around the shallow end of the pool
This will help you get used to the feeling of the water moving around your body and can be done for as long as you like until you feel more at ease. Try some repetitive deep breathing exercises to keep yourself calm during this time.
Learn to float
Floating is a very relaxing exercise and will help you recognise the fact that your body is far more likely to float than sink when you’re in water. Crouch down in the shallow end of the pool and lean back until you are lying on your back with your arms and legs spread wide like a starfish. Lie there and float for as long as you can and let your body be carried and supported by the water. This can be tricky to master at first, so you may want to use a floatation aid or get a friend or family member to support you and help keep you in the correct position with your head above water.
Gradually allow the water to touch your face
Hold your breath and crouch down until the water touches your bottom lip. Once this feels comfortable, lower your head further until your entire mouth is submerged. This will help you realise that no water can get in and that you are still in total control. Keep repeating this until you can submerge your nose, ears and eventually your entire head.
Once you’re comfortable with your head being underwater, you can teach yourself how to blow bubbles. This helps you to recognise the fact that you can exhale whilst fully submerged and no water will enter your mouth or nose. Start by taking a deep breath and then submerging only your mouth. Slowly blow air out through your mouth and make bubbles in the water. Then stand up, take another breath and do it again, this time submerging your nose too and exhaling through your nose. So long as you’re exhaling, the water will not get in.
These techniques may seem incredibly basic, but they are a great starting point on your journey to feeling confident in the water. Once you’re happy with them, you will be ready to move on to bigger things. If you persevere you may find yourself swimming and splashing around with your little ones far sooner than you think; just take your time and ENJOY!
Best wishes, Baby Swimming Shop team