Friday, 30 March 2018

What makes learning to swim so hard?

So I was just hanging out at the seating area by the poolside, watching people swimming (or just simply chilling in the pool) and swimming instructors in action; teaching swimming to students of all ages. This is a rare occasion for me by the way. Usually I was the one inside the pool- teaching swimming. But anyway, it is a good thing to be the one outside the pool sometimes. So you get a view from another perspective.

Watching people trying to get to swim. Learning to swim. Some are struggling. Okay, MOST of them are struggling. Instructors giving so many examples... Now and then they would demonstrate the movement. And then they would assist the student to which particular movement they are supposed to do.

What makes it hard?

The water itself. Being inside the water itself is a whole new thing. We don't live inside the water... And now you want me to move my legs like this like this like this... Even balancing your body inside the water is a challenge. Okay, try walking inside the pool. Even in shallow water you can feel the difference. Got resistance, one of the many unique water properties. And don't let me get started on breathing... 

The pool is a fun place, if you know how to 'be' inside the water. Some people shy away from the pool, instead stay just by the side watching other people enjoy themselves.

How to 'be' inside the water, while at the same time learn new movements. The frog kick, for instance, we don't walk legs apart like that. And then we (instructors) would sometimes say try kicking like a frog. You are not a frog... How? And how many people have seen a frog swimming? Go search on Google. I'm not going in deeper and explain on the wedge kick, whip kick or flutter kick or butterfly kick. That would be too technical. 

Sometimes you ask the instructor to demonstrate again and again that particular movement. You think you got it all figured out... But when you tried it on your own. Nope. Not right not right...


Years of teaching, students have been telling me almost the same thing- TOO MANY THINGS TO DO AT ONE TIME. I teach them how to glide, in a streamline. Okay. Pass... Then I added on the kicks. The leg movement. Okay. Pass... Then I ask them to bubble. HAHA. It's either they get to breathe or they get the leg action right. Too many things to do, yeah. Too many 'new' things to do in a 'new' environment.

And THAT is what makes it hard to learn swimming. New feel. New movements. So that's why some people took months just to learn how to swim. And some people also, after months of learning, still don't know how to float.

At IRenang, we simplify and make it easier for you to learn swimming. IRenang Survival Swim (read our previous post to find out more). You get to be comfortable inside the water, get to move from point A to point B, breathing comfortably, basically, you are swimming! We make learning easier for you 😊


Written by Bashtiah, a swimming instructor struggling to find time out of the pool to write more entries.

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