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Increasing Confidence in Deep Water

Increasing Confidence in Deep Water
17 October 2014 3832 Views No comments

Even if children are perfectly happy in the water, they may have issues with going out of their depth. Deep water can be a frightening prospect for both children and adults, even if they are safe in a swimming pool. Overcoming this fear helps to develop swimming ability, improve confidence and make them happier in water.

No matter how old you are, you can be scared of swimming out of your depth. This can be for any number of reasons, but being out of control is a common one. In order to move past this, you should aim to restore control so that you know you can handle the situation. This guide can help you to do this, and could eventually see you happy enough to go right out of your depth in the water.

Get used to the water

Before even trying to swim into deep water, you should first get used to being in the shallows. Understanding your own natural buoyancy can help to alleviate the fear that you're going to sink and will also help you work out your weak points.

If you or your little one has trouble floating even when in shallow water, buoyancy aids could help to boost your natural ability and offer you a bit more security.

Try floating on your back, in a ball and in a sitting position. This will help you to see that it is difficult to sink, while also helping you to work on your buoyancy.

Tread water

Another thing you should learn before going deeper in the water is how to tread water. This is when you stay afloat, but in a vertical position. It is a good idea to know how to tread water for safety reasons, such as if you need to take a break from swimming or if you need to have a look around.

To tread water, you should be in water that is over your shoulders – if it is shallower than this, bend your legs. Lift your feet off the floor and use small hand and foot movements to keep yourself afloat without moving backward or forward in the water. You should be able to continue this for a while without getting tired. If you are getting tired quickly, your movements are likely too fast or big.

Make sure you keep your breathing easy and regular. Continue practising until you are entirely relaxed doing this. You shouldn't aim to move to deeper water until you are happy with your ability to tread water.

Move gradually

You should try moving to the deep end of the swimming pool by holding onto the side with your feet against the wall. This will make you feel more secure and let you go at your own pace. When you are as deep as you feel comfortable going, release your feet from the wall.

You should then put your face under the water while still holding onto the side of the pool and staying vertical, bobbing up to breathe when needed. Once you are happy with this, you can try letting go of the side of pool – without moving away from the edge – and going under the water or treading water.

It is also a good idea to try floating on your back while you hold on gently to the side of the pool. Once again, when you're happy, you can try to let go of the side of the pool while floating.

Let go

Once you are happy being out of your depth, you should try to move away from the side of the pool completely. Simply push yourself away from the side and then tread water for a few minutes, before swimming back to the edge.

Keep doing this, building up the distance you move away from the side each time, until you are happy to swim widths of the pool. If at any point you get tired, either tread water or float on your back to relax.

If you start getting worried at any time, take a breathe and concentrate on your breathing. It should be calm and even. This will help you to relax and allow you to carry on.

Get in the deep end

Once you have built up your confidence, try entering the pool from the deep end rather than getting in the shallow end and swimming out. When you are really happy in the deep end, why not try jumping in? This isn't recommended when you're still learning to swim, but can be fun once you are totally confident in the water.