Saturday, 30 November 2013

About hearing and listening .... post 19

We hear sounds with our ears. We listen by paying attention to the sounds we hear with our ears

Listening is the most difficult skill to develop. We can learn to do so with our senses. That which is said to us also has a voice tone, reflects our emotions, intentions. What and how it is said creates a communication with another causing a reaction according to what is heard and understood

When teaching or learning an instruction is heard, listened to, motivates thinking, processes the action in our imagination, we attempt to practice the skill. In water, mostly, we cannot watch our actions or stroking. We do not know how good our technique is. We copy the very well demonstrated actions and strokes. In water good technique feels good

The successful achievement of the swimming skills we get to master through teaching and learning need a quiet, warm, water environment where we can hear audible succinct instruction which guides us towards achieving swimming skills. The direct eye contact of the teacher, such a valuable tool to develop 'observational skills', the overall effect and reaction to instruction ....

Swimming Guidance Introduction Module reflects the achievement of consistently, repetitively using the various skills mentioned in this and previous blog posts. Watch each 'little person' carefully. Our attention of each other is sure, courteous. 

We love and like each other ....

Friday, 29 November 2013

Courtesy and good manners .... post 18

We have touched on so much good stuff in previous blog posts which are part of courtesy and good manners. We think before we speak directly to each person making eye contact, audibly, with simple instructions, in a kind way ensuring that we are understood

Though we are giving an instruction we say 'please' which carries a kind yet firm, definite request with a positive intention. The 'thank you' which follows the attempt or achievement too has a kind voice intonation. Leading by example ( post 15), consistently using 'please' and 'thank you' reflects our patience, self respect, shows respect and appreciation of the values we share. We take time to speak and to listen to each other. Such a positive environment for teaching and learning in and from each other

The manner in which we speak indicates the manner in which we wish to be spoken to. At times we might need to create awareness of this manner of speaking and the value it has outside of the teaching/learning of swimming environment. Good manners are never challenged or frowned upon, rather, on a social basis they indicate that one is a peer

Courtesy and good manners develops a fondness, confirms a trusting comfortable relationship, sets boundaries between us

When young children learn to say 'please' and 'thank you' this is a skill which encourages them to talk, to speak for themselves, to develop self confidence. Yet another life skill 

In each Swimming Guidance learn/teach skills Module you will see that interaction is friendly, comfortable, respectful. Even though you cannot hear it 'please' and 'thank you' are an integral part of verbal interaction

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Assume you are understood .... post 17

To assume that whoever and however we teach swimming skills is understood in the way that we teach, give instructions, explain the skills to attempt, their purpose, will create a breakdown in a relationship if and when we are not understood. Fear, insecurity, embarrassed to admit the truth, shyness, the desire to please inhibits freedom of thought, movement, senses

Blog Posts  7, 11, 12,13,15 more comprehensively shares with us the simple insight needed for teaching though re-reading all the posts are of value to remind us of the little skills we can go back to time and again. Each new experience to teach requires the same skills though constantly teaching different personalities, watching different development and progress

Until we know the ability of whomever we are teaching, using the guidance shared with you found in previous blog posts, safety is prime. Best is to 'ask' to 'show me what you can do'. Demonstration should start in shallow then progress to deeper water to realise the limit of ability. Whomever we are assessing should be 'within arms length' if support is needed

With a child never assume that the parents opinion of ability is accurate. It could be that a child generally uses swimming aids which are not used during an assessment or their ability is great in very shallow water. The variables are too many so let us rather presume that a safe assessment that is easily managed is necessary  ....


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The overflowing 'Glass of Water' explained by my dearest friend .... post 16

About why I can guide you .... the 9th 'blog post'. Go back and read it. You will have a bigger smile on your friendly face when you read this post

My dearest friend of very many years said it like this when we were talking about why I started this YOUTUBE, BlogSpot, website project. You have so much knowledge and experience that you are like a 'Glass of Water', overflowing, and you just have to share it all with the world, splash the water. How apt how nice how precioussss my friend, thank you

Konnie did say that I may quote him and so this 'blog' is dedicated to him for many reasons. He is the Dad with his daughter Michelle, seen in the YOUTUBE Module 2 of 16 Swimming Guidance learn/teach skills in the Bath/Paddling Pool  The wonderful relationship between Dad and Michelle gave to this production which we share with you the simplicity of the teaching/learning process. The cameraman, Charles Maxwell, did one take in the paddling pool and one take in the bath. We see the skills, Michelle's ease and comfort of attempting, achieving them. Thank you Michelle

Since 1993 Konnie had also said that this production is years ahead of its time. Often he tried to talk me into writing a book. Twenty years later ... here we are and he is still my greatest supporter. We have so much to share with you too ....

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Trust .... lead by example .... post 15

Trust .... a life skill. Be it, share it, lead by example. Creating trust teaches trust

Trust is a quality, a value we set as a standard when teaching. Learning from a trustworthy person or source means we need not have any fears or disappointments of the new swimming skills we are learning in this, what we know to be dangerous environment that we know we cannot manage ourselves in, especially when it is a large body of water

To lead by example to create a basis for trust is done in simple ways. Direct eye contact, speak audibly, simple instructions, one instruction at a time, set short term goals for short term achievements, praise when a skill is attempted or achieved. Those little orientation skills when entering a pool, sitting, the 'crocodile walk', walking on the steps. At each session repeat and practice skills learned at the previous session 

During group participation treat each person equally regardless of their ability or age. Give each person equal attention. If one of us is a little slow to understand or catch up, have everyone repeat skills. That tiny bit of time given with care ensures that we are all equal is so valuable to those of us who struggle at times

Speak softly, gently, encouragingly. A supportive voice, kind words, praise, builds trust, motivates us to achieve. Learned trust has the most amazing effect on us. We learn self esteem and self confidence. These life skills teach us to share these qualities in our lives, with others

Never ever say 'I'll catch you' then step back. That is a promise broken. A lie. Trust broken. Once trust is broken it is gone forever. Essentially, creating trust is about your own personal honour and integrity

When teaching swimming, when in and around any water environment as a competent swimmer safest is to trust only your teacher or yourself ....

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Swimming aids .... post 14

So many different types of swimming aids. Most are attached to a body whether it be the arms, the torso, a tube for the waist or an object/s to hold onto. What is their purpose? Can we manage ourselves in deep water? When do we remove them to swim freely? When do we no longer need the 'crutch' to support us. Are the swimming aids only safe in a small water area or are they safe in open water. Can the wind blow us out into open water, a dam, lake, river, the ocean. If so, can we manage the panic we feel the imminent disaster? From what age can we use swimming aids? There are many more questions . This sounds too complicated. Too many fears and responsibilities, so let us simplify this process ....

The use of swimming aids reflects the lack of taking responsibility for a child in water. We do not learn to think for ourselves. We have a false confidence of our ability. We put ourselves in danger. Swimming aids which control a child, arms, torso, waist, place their body into extension causing the head and neck to constantly strain against putting their faces into the water are cruel. We cannot feel the discomfort, the child can. The body position which should be horizontal to stimulate a proper, correct kicking action will be incorrect too, mostly forever

Swimming aids which are hand held teach the action and skill of holding onto which action exercises and develops hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, joints, most of the body. We learn many other skills. Our self confidence develops, safety, thinking of our limits in water, consciously assessing and taking on new challenges. We can make a choice for ourselves when to let go of a 'crutch' to swim freely. Realise our own achievement ....

Monday, 18 November 2013

About being 'heard' in water .... post 13

'The sound of a voice which carries audible words of instruction or encouragement is easily heard'. This manner of speaking reflects how we wish to be spoken to 

Hearing splashing water, the drone of machines running their power to generate their purpose (pool filters, heat pumps), uncontrollable shouting by others frolicking, a parent swim teacher or coach, swimmers training is a distraction rather than the encouragement needed for teaching or learning

Eyes level with each other, direct eye contact, specific simple instruction (which I have mentioned before), a gentle yet firm voice carries over the water to be heard. Wait for the skill to be attempted or carried out before correcting or encouraging through praise. Wait for attention from to give attention to. It only takes a few seconds ....

There is no purpose in shouting especially when a face or head is in the water where your voice will not be heard. Shouting will probably be understood to be that you are angry, out of control, frustrated. Shouting is not functional, rude, as is the inconsideration of those who sit around the water environment where teaching or learning takes place

Stimulating trust, encouragement and all the good stuff that is needed to teach or learn is dependent on how we 'speak' to each other

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Water temperature .... post 12

Ooooh! Cold water! Not for learning or teaching in. Not for athletes to correct stroke, bad swimming form or skills in

Can we think about anything other than how cold we are or when we are able to climb out of the cold water to have a hot shower or dress into warm clothing? Our thinking process imagines in our minds a steaming hot shower or the thought of layers of long sleeved jumpers, long pants, socks, boots, a woollen beanie, something hot to hold to drink from. So much thinking about discomfort and the longing for comfort

Ignorance will say that the person who learns to swim in warm water will only swim in warm water. Confidence and trust of our swimming skills encourages us to swim anywhere and at anytime, by choice. We can judge for ourselves what our time limit will be in cold water and enjoy that quick dip or training session without danger to ourselves ....

Rather use the thinking energy to learn. If we expect learning to be successful in cold water we should stand in cold water to teach to realise that cold is what we will all remember rather than what we are meant to learn

Imagine the sensations of feeling comfortable, of learning, of being able to focus, of achievement in a comfortable water environment. Know that your kindness of this consideration to yourself and others will cause the success and appreciation of your teaching skills

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Using proper languange .... post 11

Hearing, speaking using the correct language to teach or to learn swimming or any related skill is vital to being understood. When we all use the same correct language then we can learn from anyone and teach to everyone. The language is universal, properly associated with skills, their actions, their purpose, their part in a complete movement or the intention of that movement. What is a 'fishy'? When do we move on to talking about a 'fish'? Which of the two do we use when speaking to an older child or adult? In the context that adults are inclined to use the word 'fishy' it does not exist in the English language ....

That which we teach or learn is meant to be copied by association to its action. We mean to through repetition cause an interpretation which causes a reaction which eventually becomes automatic. So, when we hear the word 'kick' this instruction activates the up and down beat of the legs

Swimming, like every other sport or hobby or craft or activity has her own language which is specific to it and much of that language is associated with diversified water sports or activities which also have their own language

Correcting our language, understanding the true meaning of the words that we use is a life skill, is so interesting and fun. Learning, using the universal language used in swimming creates simple understanding. This life skill is a part of learning to 'think' and learning to 'listen'

Monday, 11 November 2013

Swimming Guidance, the Modules, their purpose .... post 10

As each Module appears the tutorial might lag behind a little. The knowledge and guidance you need will be shared in as simple a way that I can, especially for you. The skills of each and every Module is inter-linked. As we learn each basic skill, progressions will follow. Each basic skill is an integral part of each part or complete swimming stroke or drown proofing technique. Trust that as you learn each skill there is great value in it. Our objective is to feel, to understand what we learn. Our bodies will develop, strengthen for movement in the water

The first Module merely an introduction for you to experience the wonder of ability learned through stimulation, repeated practices, guidance in a kind yet firm way. 'Listening' was the key. Thereafter, each Module shows a basic skill, progressions, attention on safety at all times. Each and every skill seen so far is necessary for each of us regardless of age or ability/inability

Orientation in any body of water is necessary for a little one or any beginner on entry into an unfamiliar environment. Our skill of 'conscious thinking' decides for us where and how and when to feel comfortable in water. If we try to climb into a swimming pool with our eyes closed our 'senses' will scream with 'fear'. We realise the value of 'conscious thought'. We will learn well, always move back to 'what and where we know'. Allow that each of us has a different way of understanding and learning, in our own time

A later Module will show us how orientation is used as a goal for achievement .... 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

About why I can guide you .... post 9

That which I share with you on this blog comes from personal experience, knowledge and research. I too need to build your trust so that the guidance shared, the advice you ask for is real and universal

Regardless of where you live in the world all skills used in water are the same. All water sports, disciplines are the same. We learn skills associated to that water activity in which we want to learn, participate in. The way in which we are taught or learn is the only difference. This skill is determined by knowledge and personal experience

The level of my participation is not important. My understanding thereof is. I was born with the intuition of 'just knowing how it feels', observational skills, the sense of where and how of the mind, which part of the body, the senses is used and the reaction to an action

I do not remember learning to swim, I always just could. This tells us that I learned from a really early age with no memories of fears just the love of being in water. Various collective water includes swimming pools, dams, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, estuaries, mangroves, the ocean. Activities include swimming and related sport, inland and surf life saving, open ocean kayaking, waveski surfing, kneeboard surfing of which each is self propelled

The gift I was born with, the experience of sport, recreational activities in water, the years of teaching gave to me the precious insight and understanding of desires, fears, frustration, achievements which in turn gave to me that which is needed for the rehabilitation of physical injury, joint replacement and much more

We have the advantage that any struggle of skills can be corrected via this written medium. Mostly, going back to basics is the simplest way. I think that you can trust me, hey!


Even athletes need to go back to 'grassroots' practices .... post 8

Briefly we'll shift a little to focus on the tri-swimmer, an athlete who participates in a 'triathlon' which is a multi-sport endurance event consisting of swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances

Regardless of the level of achievement in this or any sport discipline, from time to time it is necessary to return to basics to correct little faults and bad habits which creep in affecting the overall performance of, which has an affect on the 'mental' state of the athlete. They too must go back to the very basics of swimming techniques, form and skills, part practices and swimming drills, stretching the mind/body/emotions

We are back to 'thinking'. For the athlete, the teacher, the beginner tri-athlete, this insight is of value to you 

Most tri-athletes find that physically and/or psychologically the swimming segment of a triathlon to be the most difficult.  Swimming technique is not good. Most are inexperienced in open water swimming. The water is cold. It is windy. The water environment we are swimming in is sometimes deep, currents vary, unknown beneath the surface of the water

Swimming is our biggest challenge, the first segment of the triathlon. Only we can make the difference for ourselves with a positive attitude before and during our swim to give us a good start toward training and competing, concentration and knowledge of all features and phases of our stroking cycle, and their purpose (understanding how and why), of our breathing, our body position 

Water is kinder to you and your body than the other segments of a triathlon. You can learn to appreciate and enjoy this kindness. During your swim you can mentally prepare yourself for the changeover to and for the next leg of the discipline so as to be more rhythmic, graceful, efficient in water.

We can develop a love for and enjoy the water for the medium that she is and look forward to the swimming segment of the triathlon training and competition

Did you know that the first triathlon in Africa, sponsored by Totalsport was held in Cape Town, January 1984 followed by The Peninsula Iron Man, February 1984


Friday, 1 November 2013

Thinking .... the effects on us and others .... post 7

Thinking .... mental thought (attitude/intention/listening) stimulates the brain (vision, hearing, balance, taste, smell). The brain controls behaviour, activates muscles, secretes chemicals such as hormones to send messages via the nervous system generating reflex responses as well as simple motor patterns such as swimming. We therefore can also determine and decide our own personal sense of comfort and freedom in water
We choose how we want to learn, how we will teach to the fearful beginner or athlete who needs stroke correction. Our observation of the water environment we find ourselves in or as a teacher the fears and faults we see or feel, we stimulate positively through our 'conscious thought' of the knowledge and experience we have gained of the situation that we see in each person

If it is knowledge and guidance you are looking for please re-visit my blog. As we move along slowly the ultimate purpose will be seen, which is, to learn to teach or to learn with sure, simple steps. These simple steps of attitude are the foundation on which to develop self confidence, self esteem, learn life skills. Using water as your medium, swimming skills as your tools you will gain a tremendous insight into your own ability and self

Developing as each Module is uploaded, my website is where you will find the tutorial on each visual Module you see on YOUTUBE. This is a charming and simple way to learn. Enjoy this journey with me .....