Monday, 31 March 2014

Swimming Sinkable Play Toys .... post 50

We all relate to toys in some way or another whether they are whole or not. Mostly, the toys we use in water are colourful, soft, pliable and safe. They are big enough to see yet small enough to hold in our hand/s

They have shapes like the toys we see outside of water, animals that live in water (fresh or the ocean). May be a doll, a ball, tiny cars, a fire engine, a train carriage, a plane or various surface and under water animals like ducks, fish, dolphins, octopus, whales or diving bags, sticks and rings

Our purpose for using sinkable play toys during learning / teaching swimming is to motivate the intention of picking them up without goggles on the eyes. We set a short term goal. We praise for an attempt and/or for the achievement. The reward of a sucker / lollipop at the end of a lesson will greatly stimulate motivation to achieve

We learn / teach to identify each toy by its shape and colour. In this way we can set a challenge to pick up a specific toy or toys. We use the same words for each toy each time we set a challenge. This identification ensures that as a whole each of us understands the same instruction and purpose

The ultimate purpose is to use the ‘big breath’ skills that we have been practicing regularly  post 40

©      To learn to ‘hold the breath’ to feel comfortable holding the breath for as long as it takes to pick up a toy or toys without panic

©      To learn to open and keep the eyes open under water while looking for toys

©      To learn to pick up toys under water without goggles on the eyes as part of swimming freely

©      To think about and remember the challenge set for picking up the toys

©      To enjoy being under water

©      This is a method to teach swimming and life skills ‘without teaching the obvious’

Picking up toys are not just learning and teaching swimming skills. These are games which we learn to share and play with all ages ....


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Swimming Guidance learn/teach skills Module 12 of 16 Kick with Arms over the Broomstick .... post 49

The ‘broomstick’ is a very versatile floatable swimming aid which we learn to control. The weight and strength of an adult is not sufficient to easily push and hold these two bottles down under the water. This marvellous swimming aid supports all ages at the surface of the water without causing fear of submerging, except by choice. This aid is safe to use for all ages  

Always supervise use of ‘the broomstick’ when in use by infants and small children who might let go with their hands or arms. Support everyone during the orientation and early learning stages of learning to kick to prevent the body from sinking down under the water

Additional restrictive ‘floatation aids’ should not be attached to anybody at any time as this defeats the objective of learning to swim independently and ‘freely’ post 14

Learning/Teaching swimming on the ‘broomstick’ is the first step towards becoming independent of support, our first step towards learning to and experiencing swimming ‘freely’

In a standing depth we can place the arms over the ‘broomstick’ to fit comfortably under the shoulders. The solid ‘broomstick’ supports the body across the chest. We can manoeuvre the ‘broomstick’ by pushing or pulling our shoulders from side to side when we turn around. We use our legs which will automatically manoeuvre to either turn around toward the left or the right

As we move forwards off of a solid footing our legs are free over deeper water to kick to stay on top of the water and to propel ourselves forwards to wherever we want to move to on the surface of the water. Continuous kicking of the legs is stimulated to prevent them from falling down under the water

Unconsciously we learn to lift the hips without trying to teach ‘the obvious’. This places the body in the correct position for swimming on the surface of the water. This action stimulates use of our ‘core muscles’. We manage our own ability and safety

Initially, with the arms over the ‘broomstick’ and around the neck to re assure ability we stimulate self confidence.

We progress to support of and use the ‘hand holding technique’ then progress to merely being within reach to re-assure ability and skill with the arms over the ‘broomstick’. We only use our legs for propulsion post 46

Encourage and ‘praise’ for each and every independent skill action. Be aware that at this stage all support is either under the shoulders or the hands. On the ‘broomstick’ all support is either under the shoulders or by using the hands only .... the body is free at all times. This link is a gentle reminder ....  post 47

We can now co-ordinate our breathing in and breathing out ‘bubbling blowing’ skills. We lift the head when we breath in to put the face in the water to blow ‘moo’ bubbles

©      Set short term goals for short term achievements. Stand further away from the ‘broomstick’ and encourage kicking to reach your hands
©      Slowly move backwards in a circle to encourage continuous kicking and continuous attempts to reach your hands. Motivate constant challenges which reach constant achievements
©      Slowly move backwards to each end of the swimming pool to touch the wall. The shoulders will activate turns so that kicking continues towards another end of the swimming pool. ‘Without teaching the obvious’ we learn to lead with the shoulders, use our joints. These skills are invaluable for advanced swimming skills and strokes
©      Be within reach to motivate kicking back to and recovering a standing position in a standing depth. This skill teaches ‘without teaching the obvious’ to recover the feet from a swimming (horizontal) position on top of the water
©      Rhythmically and continuously open wide big breath to blow bubbles while kicking
©      Place toys along the floor of the swimming pool to identify by colour or shape as we propel ourselves across the surface of the water

We are having so much fun. We are too skilled to think about being afraid of water depth. We do not want the lesson to end

We now progress to the last stage of being supported in the water, holding the ‘broomstick’ with our hands. We are supporting ourselves. Each direction we propel ourselves by kicking, each turn is completely our choice.

Stretch the arms out forwards as though pushing the ‘broomstick’ away from the face. Co-ordinate breathing in and blowing ‘moo’ bubbles out into the water.

©      Only the hands hold the ‘broomstick’
©      Bubbles are expelled long and explosively
©      Eyes are open under the water
©      The body is horizontal on the surface of the water
©      The arms and body are stable, not rocking, as though separate from the legs
©      Luca looks comfortable in the water

We have learned many more life skills. Those already learned are greatly developed and progressed. We are more independent, self confident, have self esteem. We can participate in the water with all ages. We can play games and have more fun!

Most important is that we have learned to be cautious, know our boundaries and abilities, be safe in and around water ....


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Praise and the sucker .... post 48

We value ‘praise’ as approval, to applaud, to say nice things, to notice and acknowledge, compliment, to express joy and excitement in a warm affectionate sincere manner. Shown differently for different ages and educational skills

‘Praise’ is the reaction to an attempted or an achieved goal. Lots of short term goals and lots of ‘praise’. This positive manner of expression indicates that attempt towards or achievement followed by progressive skills has purpose, will therefore stimulate and motivate us to reach for the unknown scary swimming skills we are not familiar with yet form such a necessary part of learning/teaching swimming

The need to ‘praise’ reflects that the skills being learned/taught are understood (either consciously or unconsciously), simple to follow, achievable and fun. We are trusted, lead by example, easily heard, speak and act kindly using the skills we know to share

There are many ways in which to ‘praise’ kindly and sincerely which is dependent on each personality. At the end of each session the sucker/lollipop is the 'prize' for all the achievements, completes each lesson, stimulates a sense of pride and well-being. It is the ultimate ‘praise’ .... and I know that in all my years of teaching the most personal link between us