Starter Kit for Learning to Swim

A teaching aid is anything that a teacher brings to a swimming session that assists students with the learning of a skill. Aids can be extremely useful and enable students to practice a desired skill with less fatigue. Teachers should be prepared to patiently lead students through a range of progressive activities supplemented with incidental use of a variety of equipment. Students will gradually recognize that the water will support them, with or without artificial support.

Flotation aids may help timid or poorly coordinated students to obtain sufficient control and balance to maintain a buoyant position. The use of different flotation aids is important, but dependence on them should be reduced systematically and eliminated as soon as possible.

Advantages of teaching equipment

The use of teaching equipment should either make learning more enjoyable or provide students with a temporary physical boost that helps them to concentrate on and achieve a particular skill level. For example, a toy can be used to encourage a hesitant child to immerse the face in an attempt to recover the toy, and may also help in developing an understanding of buoyancy. Teaching aids, when used correctly, enable the student to maintain correct body position and breathe comfortably while a specific kick is learnt.

Disadvantages of teaching equipment

Overuse of teaching equipment occurs when a student develops a dependency upon an aid, which either creates an impression that the skill cannot be performed without it or perhaps causes a fault in technique to develop. This sometimes occurs if a beginner always uses an aid to assist buoyancy and skills are never practiced without it; the student believes that the aid is solely repsonsible for buoyancy.

Teachers and students should be aware of the possible dangers of some teaching equipment. When using buoyancy aids such as flotation mats and large plastic toys it is possible for non-swimmers to be carried out of their depth by wind or water action, thereby creating an extremely hazardous situation.

Teaching equipment in poor conditions can be dangerous – for example plastic kickboards that leak or have sharp edges, or bubbles with faulty clasps. Aids are an assistance, ameans to an end; they are not ends in themselves. Used wisely, they enhance the learning process, but used unwisely their effect is negative. Having given a student an aid, the teacher must then devise strategies to withdraw it gradually, so that the student’s confidence is not lost in the process.

Types of equipment

Instructional/activity equipment

KICKBOARDS

  • Balls
  • Plastic hoops
  • Ice-cream containers (with drilled shower holes)
  • Small buckets
  • Dive rings
  • Water flotation mats
  • Flotation toys
  • Water puppets
  • Water Toys
  • Water logs/noodles
  • Small colorful toys
  • Broomstick handles
  • Platforms (to alter the dept of the water)

For hygiene purposes, teachers should avoid toys that retain water!

Sea Squad Squirty Toys

Parents should be prepared to get wet too with these cute and quirky Sea Squad Squirty Toys. Swim toys are a fantastic way for little ones to have fun with the family in the pool or in the bath at home. Build your baby’s confidence in the water and help make bath time their favorite time of the day. Play, squirt and splash with these colorful Sea Squad characters.

BUY those Cute, squirty bath time and pool companions from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.

More important than equipment, students need teachers with imagination and enthusiasm.

Skill development equipment

FINS/FLIPPERS

  • Pull-buoys
  • Hand and finger paddles
  • Leg bands
  • Drag suits

Water safety/rescue equipment

  • Boogie boards
  • Balls
  • Inner tubes
  • Water logs/noodles
  • Pull-buoys
  • Rescue poles
  • Buckets
  • Cool plastic storage containers
  • Throw rope
  • Plastic weighted hoops
  • Plastic dive discs
  • Dive rings
  • Rubber swimbricks
  • Flexible dive sticks

Sea Squad Spinning Dive Toy

A Sea Squad Spinning Dive Toy means young swimmers will be learning to swim without even realising it! Cleverly combining learning with play, swim toys are a fantastic way for children to practise diving, holding their breath and swimming underwater. You can even introduce them to a bit of competition in the pool by throwing them in and seeing who can collect these shark-like swim toys the quickest!

BUY this Family fun with a functional twist from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.

Dry activities equipment

  • Videos
  • Posters
  • Manikins

Aqua Belt

Aqua belt is designed to help you get the most from your swim workout. Each training aid will work a particular part of your body, so you can focus on increasing strength, stamina or tone where it suits you.


BUY this Aqua belt from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.

In or out of the water?

This question is a common concern of many swimming teachers and is governed by the answer to another question: How many students can the teacher see at any given moment? Obviously, the answer has to be “all of them”. If the teacher, when in water, can safely observe the entire class at all times, then this is considered permissible. However, to be in the water at the same level as the students, so that only a few of them can be seen, is considered an unsafe practice. The ability levels of the students also need to be taken into consideration, as beginner-level students need to have the teacher in the water with them.

Beginner and intermediate students benefit more and often respond better by having interaction with the teacher in the water. As long as supervision is maintained, students benefit from teacher demonstrations, communication on the same level, and a greater sense of safety and comfort.

TEACHING TIPS

  • When instructing in or out of the water, the teacher should be able to observe the students at all times.
  • The teacher must be prepared to enter the water in the event of an emergency and therefore must be appropriately attired.

Sea Squad Float Suit

Colorful fun for little swimmers. Sea Squad Float Suits use foam inserts to help your child learn swim strokes without the restrictions of arm bands – the perfect way to improve your little swimmer’s confidence and get them on their way to proper swimming.

BUY from Speedo and support SwiMMinD

Swimming Self-esteem is developed when…

A) the instructor believes in the swimmer and the parents

B) the parents believe in the swimmer and the instructor

C) the swimmer believes in the instructor and their parents

D) all of the above

Answer in the comments

If you like this swimsuit and want to support SwiMMinD click on it and BUY it from Speedo’s Affiliate Program.

How to motivate our children to swim?

When your child begins to like swimming, it is almost impossible to make him/her quit. There are numerous benefits from swimming; teamwork, reliance, winning attitude, compassion, fair play, setting and reaching goals etc.

However, how many children have the option to choose swimming as their main sport or have the privilege to swim regularly? How many kids have their parents as swimming role models? How many parents could motivate their kids to engage in swimming? How could swimming become a lifelong activity? How parents could provide consistent constructive support to their kid around their practices, games and events? 

It is well accepted that parents are an essential drive for a kid to choose an activity. They are role models and if they are doing an activity it is very likely that their kid will follow their example.  Swimming, biking, hiking with your family are not just activities, it is a lifestyle.

Igniting the love of swimming leads to the next step, the guidance of a professional – a coach. Being in a team, teach children of the complete set of rules, quality technique and how to have more fun while doing the sport they love.  

Parents must show a genuine interest about how practices are going and how their children feel.  As we all know, the secret is in the good attitude and the support of children’s interests!

However, between work, school, and home life; it can get very hectic trying to get children where they need to be. Some swimmers could even play consecutive and sometimes concurrent seasons of football, basketball and track. Thus, the process to arrange that support could be super cumbersome, expensive and time consuming! As a result, children could be constantly late or missing practices and events. Overwhelmed parents provide less and less support; in this situation everybody suffers (athlete, parent, and team).

Hydrasuit

The Hydrasuit is designed for regular swimming and offers a comfortable, durable fit. BUY this suit or other gear for you or your children from Speedo by clicking on the link and you will support the development of SwiMMinD’s automatic video analysis module.

Hydrasuit

The Hydrasuit is designed for regular swimming and offers a comfortable, durable fit. BUY this suit or other gear for you or your children from Speedo by clicking on the link and you will support the development of SwiMMinD’s automatic video analysis module.

This is a parent problem that everyone who raises/supports a child who swims can relate to.  However, despite that problem, parents continue to run down the side-lines because they love supporting their children and watching them swim. The joy of seeing of how children develop into leaders and team players both on and off the pool is immense. Therefore, no matter how hard it gets, parents must keep up with the swimming schedule of their children by seeking ways to provide their consistent support.  That is how parents become superheroes!

Relax, children acknowledge that parents do all that is possible to take them to practice, to do what they love, to swim. If a dedicated kid skips practice because his mom could not find a way to manage her day, that kid could find way to compensate that loss by putting her sports watch or just using an app at her mobile phone to track a run practice in the local park. The most important for kids is to have a great role model and motivation to continue forward because parents and children are also part of one team.

Show your children your dedication and you will see dedication!

Even though, participating in youth sports is expensive enough on its own, between travel, gear and the food; not to mention policies that don’t allow kids 16 and under to ride, parents should not give up on providing the best support they could give. They should even search for technological innovations. For instance, if a mom has four kids with four different activities, she could think of a trusted ridesharing community. There may be other superhero moms that could make the participating in youth sports not so cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive.

That is how Parents and kids both become superheroes!

In conclusion, be supportive, get your swim suit and dive into the joy of swimming with your children. When it gets tough, find ways to consistently provide to your children what they love because that helps them be more confident and excited about practicing their favorite sport, swimming.

Written by Lida Milkova