Tips For Beginner Swimmers | Improve Your Swimming Confidence

– We’re taking things back to basics today and looking at the very
beginnings of how to swim. And I’m going to be making
no presumptions here, so we’re going to include the basics of what you might need, how to get into the pool
and how to get started whilst focusing on
building your confidence. (upbeat music) First up we need to make
sure you’ve got the right kit and the appropriate swimwear
is obviously essential, but any kit beyond that
is usually optional, although check with the
pool you’re swimming at ’cause some actually insist
that you wear a swim cap. And if you’re like me, you might not like opening
your eyes in the water so I don’t want you to invest
in lots of kit right now, but buying a pair of comfortable
goggles could a good idea as you’ll be able to
open your eyes underwater and that normally just naturally will help with your confidence. And then there’s floats, now I personally prefer to
use a woggle or a noddle, whatever you want to call it, ’cause you can simply place
that underneath your shoulders, under your arms or underneath your hips, and then as you start
to get more confident and find the right body
position in the water you can actually take that out. But note, these are floats,
they’re not safety devices, so if you are coming to the
pool for the first time, I’d recommend seriously
bringing someone with you who’s confident in the water already. And also finding a pool
that’s shallow enough so that you can stand up with at least your head and shoulders above the water. The biggest barrier when it comes to learning to swim is usually confidence, so make sure you come
prepared and as you naturally become more confident
you’ll find that you become more relaxed and that in turn will help with your body
position quite naturally. (gentle upbeat music) So we’re going to keep
it simple to start with, and I just want you to place
your face into the water for a count of five whilst continually exhaling
through your mouth, you can hold onto the wall for this, just give yourself some orientation. If that’s simple then progress onwards, but if you’re just sort of finding this a little bit of a challenge, then continue until you
start to feel more relaxed and you’ve really got
that breath under control. And now if you have been holding on, step away from the wall and this time you’re going to put your
whole head under the water. So take a nice deep breath and this time bend your knees, so you’re just going to put your
face and head under the water whilst still doing the
exhalation for five seconds. Comfortable with that? Time to progress again. And this time, you’re going to bend your knees
and you’re actually going to let yourself sink right down
to the bottom of the pool so that your bottom hits the
ground and continual exhaling and once you’ve got
the end of that breath, simply straighten your legs and you’ll come back up to the surface. And then just to ensure you’ve
got that real confidence and have it mastered,
repeat it several times, but making sure you get your breath back in between each one. (gentle upbeat music) Now you’ve got the hang of underwater, it’s time to focus on being able to be relaxed on the surface, yip, the all important floating. Now with enough air in your lungs and the right body position, pretty much all of us can float but you can actually increase
your chances of floating by making yourself larger, so by this I mean spreading
your arms and legs out wide into a star shape. Now once you’ve made this
position while standing up, I want you to very gently push
your feet up off the ground whilst putting your head back and trying to look at
the poolside behind you. You want to aim to have
the waterline sort of in the middle of your forehead whilst simultaneously getting your hips, focusing on them moving up to the ceiling. Now it is tempting once
you’re in this position to kind of check your body
and say, “Yeah, I’m floating”, soon as you lift your head up and look, you won’t be floating anymore. In fact, your body acts like a
seesaw when it’s in the water and it pivots around your torso, so if one end is up, then the other end is likely to be down. Now once you found this
equilibrium position and you’re nice and level in the water, you can start to really concentrate on relaxing those shoulders and thinking about your breathing, as you breath in you might notice that you rise slightly in the water and then as you breath
out, you’ll lower slightly. And this could be, if you’re struggling to
find that perfect position where an aid such as a woggle or a noddle will come in handy, you can place it under the area that might be struggling to float, which is usually your hips, but try not to become reliant
on this and still focus on keeping your head and
then once you’re ready you can simply remove that. Now we have started this by going face up, so on your back, now it’s time to flip it over
and go face into the water, and some people actually find
it easier this way around as it’s slightly easier
to get your hips up, so you will need to take a deep breath but start as you did last time, make that star position
and gently push off the bottom of the pool,
putting your face in, so again that pivot, try
to aim to have your face looking down at the bottom of the pool, maintaining that star position. And again, if you need the woggle, then you can simply
place it under the areas that you want. And just a reminder, practice
this in the shallow end so as soon as you feel the need, you can simply stand up if you want to. (gentle upbeat music) Moving on, let me introduce
to you mushroom floats and sink downs. So step away from the wall, and you need to tuck yourself
up into a small ball, so bring your knees to your chest and you’re going to hug
those nice and tightly with your arms and tuck your
chin down onto your chest whilst taking a big breath of air. And you’ll find that you
just float on the surface in a face down position like this. And now once you’ve nice and relaxed, I want you to gently exhale, and you’ll find as the
air leave your lungs, you should very gradually
sink down towards the bottom. Once you’re at the bottom, find the ground and then
simply push yourself back up to the surface. And once
you’re comfortable doing this, practice a few times, then it’s a good idea if
you’ve got the option, to progress to the deeper end. And this will start to
really help you have that body awareness in the water which will transfer later on when you come to learning the stroke. (gentle upbeat music) Right, I think we’ve done enough floating, sinking, staying on the spot, it is time to start moving
forwards, literally. So we’re going to use the wall
as momentum to help us here, and changing that star
shape float we’ve had into more of a pencil shape. So simply put one hand on top of the other and then extend your arms above your head so you’re in a really
nice streamline position and stand with your back against the wall. And from there, you’re going
to simply move forwards so you’re trying to put
your face in the water with your arms in front of you, whilst gently kicking up off the bottom until your feet place on the wall and from there you’re going
to very simply straighten your legs in a sort of
explosive type movement, which will push you forwards. And with the combination
of lifting your hips up and pushing off the wall, and
your head being in the water, you should find you naturally get that nice horizontal position. And with a nice lung full of air, I want you to just float
and see how far you can go until you need to take a breath, and that point simply stand up
and then return to the wall. And practice this a few
times, you should feel that, you find that you actually can start to get further on each attempt, concentrating on your streamlining, pushing of a little bit harder, and maybe even taking a
slightly larger breath. I am aware that this
is a lot of information on overload for you to concentrate on, so understandable if you’re
getting a little bit tired, but if you’re concentrating and actually going through the actions, and just take your time and make sure you perfect each stage
before moving onto the next, and I’d rather you did it that way than try and rush through it all and miss some of the key points. If however you still with
me and you feeling good, then we’ve got one final bit
to add into this session, we’re going to progress
onto the doggy paddle. This is as it sounds, and it’s probably the most natural way of propelling yourself forward
if you are a first timer. So we’re going to use the wall and the push off momentum
that we’ve already practiced, and from there you’re
going to alternately extend one hand out in front of you and then you’re going to
pull it underneath your body all the way back towards your hip, whilst the other one is
doing the opposite action. Once you reach the end of the doggy paddle
propulsion phase at your hip, simply bring your hand close to your body, all the way back through
to the front of the stroke, and you keep repeating this. Now your legs need to be doing a small alternate action out behind you, but we’ll concentrate
more on the leg kicking in a different video. And to start with you can do doggy paddle with your head up, but once you’ve been able to progress and put your face in the water, you’ll find it much easier
to get that position. And again, the key with this is really just taking it
small parts at a time, and always having a
rest when you get tired so you can concentrate on
perfecting it each time. These are the beginning
stages of learning to swim, and if you’ve got through this with ease then congratulations. If not though, stick with it because you don’t learn
a new skill overnight, and with plenty of practice you’ll soon find that your confidence and
your body position improves, just trying to really
master one of the phases before moving onto the next. If you’ve enjoyed this,
give us a thumbs up like, and find the globe on screen to subscribe. And that video, if you want to learn move about
how to kick for freestyle, you can find that just over here. And if you want a move of a overall video on how to swim the stroke of freestyle, you can find that just here.

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