You already have the most important piece of equipment needed for teaching your child to swim: your very own backyard swimming pool. The amount of time it takes to teach a person to swim varies greatly, but the most significant factor is frequency of swimming opportunities. You’ve got that covered! So after teaching your child a few basic skills, you’ll be ready to progress to teaching your child how to swim underwater. For some people, being able to completely submerge their faces can be extremely terrifying; for others, it comes naturally. Regardless of how daunting that prospect may be for the child you are teaching, there are 3 basic steps to being able to swim underwater.
Step 1: Getting the Face Wet
The more intimidated your beginning swimmer is, the more gradually you’ll have to introduce each step. For someone who is uncomfortable in the water, you may have to actually begin with blowing bubbles on the surface of the water or blowing an object across the water while kicking, using your chosen flotation device. You can alternate types of blowing, ranging from blowing as if through a straw or blowing out birthday candles to trying to blow up a really big balloon.
Instead of splashing a hesitant swimmer in the face, which will be likely to increase fearfulness, the key is to allow that person to remain in control. You can try encouraging the child to cup water in his or her own hands and throwing it into his or her own face. Another way to play with splashing is to play catch in the water. The gentle splashes will result in a wet face, but with the distraction of the game, they won’t be likely to seem frightening.
Step 2: Holding Breath and Partially Submerging
Once the child has gained a measure of comfort with getting his or her face wet, the next step is to learn to hold his or her breath. For a child for whom this does not come naturally, you can instruct him or her to breathe in and “hold it in.” You can then place an item just beneath the surface of the water so that the child’s mouth must be submerged to reach it. Once the mouth has been submerged with confidence, the item can be placed a little lower, requiring both the mouth and nose to be submerged.
Step 3: Completely Submerging and Swimming Under Water
Once partial submersion has been mastered and the child can do that in an easy, relaxed manner, the child will soon be able to hold his or her breath for longer amounts of time, completely submerge his or her face, and retrieve objects from the floor of the pool.
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Source cited: https://www.swim-teach.com/swimming-underwater.html
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