Beginning swimmer

Decided It's Finally Time to Start Swimming?

Which type of swimmer are you?

Are you a Non Swimmer and afraid of the water? If that’s you, I urge you to head on over to the Non-swimmer page.

Or are you someone who isn’t afraid of the water, but isn’t comfortable swimming?

You find yourself out of breath and exhausted after swimming one length of a pool.

Then keep reading to learn what you need to do to improve your swimming!

Most beginning swimmers have a few common problems. Which one is you?

  • You can move your arms and legs but you don’t go anywhere
  • You can move but can’t turn your head to breathe
  • You can breathe but are exhausted after one length
  • You can swim in the shallow end are afraid of going in where the water is over your head.
  • You can’t float, therefore you can’t swim.

These are the main problems that most beginners have. And until you solve them it’s going to be difficult to learn to swim.

The good news is it’s pretty simple to solve all of these problems.

So no matter what your experience is in the water you CAN learn to swim.

Before we get into how to swim, let’s start with what I believe you need to be able to do to be called a “swimmer”. I’ve broken the skills into 8 areas. This makes it simpler to learn and focus as you practice.

Beginning Swimmer  Skill #1: Relax

Being able to relax in the water is key. If you’re not relaxed it’s difficult to breathe. If you’re not relaxed it’s difficult to control your body, arms and legs.

If you’re not relaxed, it’s difficult to have fun!

You will learn how to relax in the water, while you swim…and even in the deep end!


Beginning Swimmer Skill #2: Balance

Image of swimmer relaxing in the water

Not everyone can float. It’s really about balance. Floating is good but not critical. If you think you can’t float that’s OK. But you do need to learn how to be balanced in the water.

Balance and breathing are hard wired into your bodies. They are two of the most important reflexes we have. When you learn how to control your balance in the water, everything becomes a lot less scary and difficult.

You will learn how to be balanced in the water on your stomach and back. As you improve, you will also learn how to balance on your side!

image of swimmer doing freestyle

Beginning Swimmer Skill #3: Breathe

You need to breathe on the land. You need to breathe in the water. Many people say they can swim…but they can’t breathe.

There’s a few techniques I’ve learned in over 40 years of teaching swimming that makes breathing easy.

One thing you want to do is take more breaths…not fewer.

You will learn how to breath by both lifting your head up…and rolling to the side.

Beginning Swimmer Skill #4: Underwater

Beginning swimmers need to learn to swim in deep water

Once you realize how difficult it is going underwater, you’ll realize that swimming on top of the water is much easier than you thought.

Being able go underwater and swim helps you to relax. It gives you confidence.

Many adult swim lessons don’t teach the skill. I think it’s vital to being confident in the water.

Beginning Swimmer Skill #5: Propel

video swim lessons

This is what most people think about when they think about swimming. The think about freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke. And maybe even butterfly.

They think about moving their arms and legs and going forward in the water.

And propelling yourself is important, especially if you want to get exercise.

But notice how on the 8 skills, it’s only number 5. You have to be able to do the previous four first.

And once you are able to propel yourself, then you’ll want to learn how to do it better…faster…and further!

Beginning Swimmer Skill #6: Entry

image of swimmer diving into a lake

I believe that being able to jump and dive in the water is necessary for all swimmers.

If you ever fell into the water from a boat, a dock or the side of the pool, you need to be able to get to the surface, turn around and go back to the land.

Diving gives you confidence in the water. Plus it’s fun.

You don’t have to jump or dive in from great heights. You also don’t have to do the “Triple Lindy”. But being confident able to enter the water is a very important skill for all swimmers to have.

Beginning Swimmer Skill #7: Deep Water

Many people are comfortable being in water where they can stand up and have their head above the water. And many people are OK as long as they can see the bottom.

But put them in deep water or dark water then it’s a different experience.

Horrible visions of denizens of the deep coming up and pulling them down start appearing.

I believe that beginning swimmers must learn to swim in water that is over their head…6 to 12 feet at least. It’s difficult to find pools much deeper than 12 feet anyway.

The swimming skill of swimming in a  lake, bay or ocean is an intermediate skill and one that you learn after you become a stronger swimmer.

Beginning Swimmer Skill #8: Water Safety

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