It seems so simple to be able to swim and enjoy the water but you might know people who are doing everything to avoid the water. They can’t play with their grandchildren or perhaps their training is limited. Swimming is considered an amazing exercise for rehabilitation, health and fitness; and also for meditation. I spent time in France practicing this theory and would like to bring my findings to Kuwait.
Most of the ladies I worked with became so much more confident as they learned to swim. They loved the feel of the water and the idea of starting the day in it. It’s simple to sum up – life changing. There is an important mental skill in the process of learning to swim. It’s like building trust. Each person’s approach will be different depending on their personality.
I always stay in the water with the beginner. This creates a feeling of trust and safety between us and is really important for improving their ability to overcome fears.
Aquaphobia can usually be traced to a single incident in a person’s life in which he or she panicked in the water. Tales of personal horror range from being tossed into the deep end of a pool as a child, to surviving the sinking of a seagoing vessel as an adult. Moreover, adults who can’t swim typically have at least one parent with aquaphobia. They may have taken traditional swimming lessons as a child but for whatever reason were never comfortable in water. Many are embarrassed at their inability to swim.
People have difficulties adjusting physiologically or psychologically to the weightless environment of water, but they hide it and make excuses to stay out of the water. Like the fear of heights, the fear of depths is a defense mechanism. These fears are absolutely intuitive. However, our recreational culture makes us believe that swimming and water sports are a normal part of life. Some people want to learn to swim because they believe being a non-swimmer is a social handicap. Others want to make someone in their family proud.
Swimming in our region is very different to swimming in places like Australia or California where you swim and surf every day from a young age.
When you are swimmer, you create a really close relationship with the water. It’s something magic and special that we, as swimmers, call ‘feeling the water’. There are different ways of learning to feel the water for different levels of learners. The feeling becomes intuitive and the proprioception or kinesthesia is developed.
Proprioception includes receptors and the set of nerve endings that allow an individual to know the position and movements of his or her own body without having to observe them visually. Proprioception occurs within the framework of somesthesia, that is, the deep sensitivity of the human body. For this purpose, the so-called proprioceptive receptors are capable of having a reaction to an excitation caused by or on an organ and transmit the information. Note that the term kinesthesia is sometimes used synonymously with proprioception.
The key to developing an awesome feel for the water is consistency. The more time spent in the water, swimming with deliberate focus on technique, the more your feel for the water will develop.
Nothing will help you develop your feel for the water more than being in the water, having your hands in there playing with various speeds and pressures.
Developing a better feel for the water happens over time, with consistency. The more you are in the water, the better you learn to move through it.
It is an amazing feeling when, one day, you get this magical sensation of feeling the water. Incorporate some mindful drills, some sculling – and do it with consistency – and you will be well on your way to developing that mythical feel for the water.
It’s like reading and writing; adults don’t like the stigma that goes with not being able to swim. There are so many adults out there who could benefit from a learn-to-swim program. The water is such an amazing element in life and everyone should enjoy it.
Water that’s warm and deep (or semi-deep) aids tremendously in getting adults to feel at ease in the water. Do sessions that last at least a couple of hours and only use experienced coaches who are comfortable working with adults. Teaching adults to swim is a pretty specialized area. The instructor needs to recognize their desire to overcome their fear and to teach them to swim freestyle so they can benefit from their community pool and do their own thing.
DON’T BE AFRAID. Overcoming a fear of the water is the first step towards learning how to swim as an adult. In fact, research suggests that men and women who swim for exercise live longer than those who run or walk. Swimmers had almost a fifty percent lower death rate than runners and walkers.
Swimming to maintain personal health is one of the most common reasons that adults finally decide to face their fears. The objectives for each person are individual. Some people just want to be able to be safe in the water and feel comfortable. Others want to be competitive. Most people come to the pool looking for swim-skills training based on their need for fitness.
It’s a beautiful feeling being able to teach someone to swim. You can’t stop – and won’t stop – until you remove this life changing obstacle for them. I started with a small group of ladies and every day it is increasing. Observing the fabulous results and the joy they find in the water is so rewarding. It’s a challenge to step out of your comfort zone but it’s magical to overcome your fears, both physical and emotional.< Back