Learning to swim is an important skill that should be learned at an early age. This is great for parents of eager swimmers but what do you do if your child is fearful of the water? The following tips can help ease your child into the water.
Take your Child’s Fears Seriously
Children need empathy and support when they are facing a fearful situation, such as swimming. Listen to your child’s fears about the water and make them feel understood. When a child feels like he can express his fears to you, he will become more open and explicit about what it is that scares him about swimming. Perhaps it is a fear of drowning, a fear of getting water in his ears or something that you had never even thought of, until you asked. Once you know what is scaring your child about the water, you can better work to remedy that fear.
Use Water aids—for a while
It is perfectly acceptable to use whatever toys or equipment it takes to get over a fear, but it’s important that your child practice swimming without goggles and floaties too. If a child becomes too dependent upon these devices, accidental drowning can occur if they fall in without their water aids and panic. Implement water aids when needed, but be careful not to let your child become too dependent upon them.
Create Small Goals
Meet your child where they are. If they are afraid to even get wet at all, make putting their feet in the water a goal. Once they feel comfortable sitting on the side with their feet in the water, make the next goal standing in the water up to their waist. Small, incremental goals will help your child build the confidence necessary to begin to swim.
Know When to Take a Break
Once your child shows disinterest in the situation, allow her to take a break. Especially for a child who is already unsure of the water, there is no reason to push it too far. This may be a good time to have a snack, take a short nap, or or play a game out of the water. By making each and every experience around the water positive, your child will likely come to love the water!
In teaching a fearful child how to swim, there are several methods you can use. First off, acknowledge their fear and let them know that you understand. Allow them to use water aids at first, but don’t allow them to become dependent upon them. Create small goals and move forward, and lastly, know when it’s time to take a break.
Have you ever seen someone traveling in a foreign country by themselves and wondered what it would be like? Solo travel provides so many opportunites that traveling in a group does not. If you have the chance to take a trip by yourself, do it! Why? You will enjoy complete flexibility, gain confidence and have the chance to self-reflect.
Enjoy Total Flexibility
One of the greatest perks of traveling alone is the ability to create, adjust and manage completely your itinerary. Traveling with friends or family is great but it is always difficult to manage more than one travel agenda at a time. When traveling alone, you have total control over what you do, where you do it and when. Perhaps you hear about a great local excursion and want to explore it that day. No problem! Traveling alone provides the flexibility the change your plans at the last minute with affecting anyone!
The Ability to Immerse Yourself
Another great benefit of traveling by yourself is the ability to completely immerse yourself into the culture. When traveling with a partner or a group, you tend to be less apt to strike up a conversation with a local. Being alone not only allows these natural interactions to occur, it sometimes necessitates it. Walking down a road and not sure where the closest cafe is? Ask a local. Not only will you get to experience their culture through organic interaction, you will probably get a way better cafe suggestion than any travel book!
Often times, getting out of your comfort zone is when you grow the most. By traveling solo, your confidence will inevitably increase. Not only are you undertaking an entire trip on your own, you are navigating unfamiliar areas solely based off of your own interests.
Time for Reflection
Many people go out of their way not to be alone. By taking a solo trip, you are leaning into what can be a very uncomfortable and unnatural experience. By allowing yourself time with just you, you can reflect on your life. You will have the chance to sit with yourself and think about whatever you would like, without any distractions.
Solo travel provides a different type of adventure. By traveling alone, you are facing every challenge by yourself. This may sound scary but it provides an opportunity for growth, reflection and increased confidence. Start out with a short trip alone and allow yourself to experience the beauty of solo travel.
Swimming World Magazine explains that swimmers can reap major benefits in the pool from strength and cross training on land. With so many options, it is important to evaluate the type of exercise you are doing out of the pool to ensure it will best benefit your stroke rate, pull, and kick.
Yoga is an excellent training addition for competitive swimmers because its movements yield flexible, supple muscles with a full range of motion. Yoga posturing also will work muscles in the upper back and shoulders and compensate for the over-development of the pectorals in the chest from swimming. Yoga emphasizes controlled breathing, an essential part of every swimming stroke. Swimming and yoga are more alike than you might think, and go hand in hand with each other.
UnderWater Audio writes that any type of running is beneficial to swimmers. Whether it be distance, interval, or hill training, running is a great way to train for mental and aerobic stamina.Runners tend to have lean, muscular bodies with a low body-fat percentage. This is ideal for swimming as well, since both sports require efficiency over bulky muscle mass. Running also promotes mental stamina, since it is physically grueling and repetitive, much like swimming. Building mental strength and choosing to keep going after exhaustion will generate discipline in the pool.
This one may seem like a no-brainer but water polo is a great complement to swimming. Aside from the obvious (swimming), it helps the swimmers get a good feel of how their bodies move in the water. It can also help strike a balance between keeping a swimmer in the pool year round, but not making them swim monotonous laps year round.
Swimmers are some of the hardest working athletes, and sometimes they need a break. Instead of sitting on the couch catching up on shows, swimmers are urged to get involved in cross-training. Yoga, running and water polo are all amazing accompaniments to competitive swimming.
Retired Navy Admiral Mark Heinrich is a dynamic leader in the global supply chain industry who is devoted to a number of exciting hobbies. As a longtime member of the Navy, he is a dedicated athlete and still remains very focused on health and fitness after more than three decades in the service.
Mark has a long history as a swimmer, spanning about 35 years. He swam in high school and in college, and for all four years of his college career he placed in the top 25 backstroke swimmers in the country. He was also the captain of his swimming team in 1979. Since then he has competed as a master swimmer and has been a member of multiple fantastic teams around the country.
Admiral Mark Heinrich is a former member of nonprofit organization U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) in the Gold Coast of Florida. He holds a pool relay record and has achieved All American Honors in long distance and pool swims. One of Mark’s favorite experiences is when he swam the Maui Channel.
Nowadays, although everyone in his age group tends to swim for fitness alone, Mark continues to have the competitive spirit that inspired him to join the navy and made him stand out from the start. He swims every morning with the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team, and what truly motivates Mark to swim is the sense of camaraderie. He enjoys working with teams, spending time with like-minded athletes, and learning improvement techniques from others.
“Drive and discipline are the most important part of becoming a master swimmer,” Mark explains. The sport requires the motivation to prioritize and, plain and simple, get started early in the morning. Mark enjoys seeing the sun rise every day as he swims laps.
In addition to swimming, Mark is passionate about numerous nonprofits which help people succeed and pursue their careers. He is a volunteer for Mission: Readiness, a national security nonprofit which encourages physical activity, reduces violent crime, and improves the quality of of education (and thus graduation rates) for young people. He is also a former member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, an agency which administers the AbilityOne employment program.
Admiral Mark Heinrich prides himself on being able to give back to the community which has already given him so much. The only way anyone can truly make a difference is by standing beside someone else, for it is only together that long lasting and meaningful change can be instituted in our perpetually changing world. Mark believes this change is rooted in education, for is education that will allow individuals to better their own lives, to depend on themselves instead of others, and to ultimately take charge of their own destiny. It was this understanding and the ensuing discipline that came as a result that has helped elevate Mark to where he is today.
Mark also uses his logistical background to support financial programs for current and former Navy members through the Navy Federal Credit Union. He is passionate about making lifetime financial services accessible to all Navy veterans.