5 Tactics For Overcoming A Fear Of Swimming In Pools
Pools cause anxiety for many children unaccustomed to being in the water. Their sense of apprehension is usually psychosomatic. It rarely stems from an unpleasant incident in the past, but rather from uncertainty about the unknown.
Once most kids are in the water and feel safe, they forget their fears and enjoy the experience. Many develop a natural affinity for swimming.
Some children, however, need a little more time and encouragement to gain a level of comfort in the water. To that end, the following five tips will prove helpful in overcoming a fear of swimming in pools.
#1 – Eliminate The Mystery
The most common stressor among young people learning to swim is fear of the unknown. They don’t know what to expect once they enter the water.
You can help them to overcome the fear by eliminating the mystery.
For example, if your child wants to learn how to swim, explain how he or she can float on the water’s surface. Describe the feeling of the water filling his or her ears. Describe the sensation of the water filling his or her nose.
In short, prepare your child by explaining the tactile experience of being in the pool before they climb into it.
#2 – Focus On Making Gradual Progress
There’s no rush to learn how to swim. The important thing is that your kids feel comfortable. That’s the key to making forward progress.
Introduce your children to the pool by letting them sit on the edge and dangle their feet in the water. Then, invite them to stand in the shallow end, where they can easily keep their heads above the surface. When they’re ready to take the next step, encourage them to hold their breath, dunk their heads underwater, and blow bubbles.
These basic exercises will create a sense of comfort and help acclimate your kids to the pool environment.
#3 – Wear Goggles
Water in the eyes is a strange sensation for first-time swimmers. It can be disorienting, sometimes to the point of causing stress. Many new swimmers instinctively close their eyes underwater, which only exacerbates their anxiety.
Goggles protect the eyes and improve underwater visibility. They’ll encourage your kids to keep their eyes open, which will increase their comfort level. In that way, goggles are one of the most useful tools for overcoming a fear of swimming in pools.
#4 – Swim With Friends
Kids enjoy the company of their peers. This is especially true when they brave new experiences, and swimming is no exception. Children who are afraid of the water tend to become less so when their friends are present.
If you intend to teach your kids how to swim, encourage them to invite their friends. Make it a social event. The instruction can be presented in the form of games and other fun activities.
#5 – Enroll Into Swim Lessons
One of the best ways to help your kids conquer their fear of swimming in pools is to enroll them into swim lessons. The instructors will have experience in teaching young people to become comfortable in the water. They’ll also know how to keep them engaged to the instruction.
While group lessons are the most popular option, you can also enroll your children into private swim lessons. The important thing is that your kids receive the attention, encouragement, and guidance they need to defeat their anxiety about swimming in pools. Swim lessons are designed to address that issue by offering a positive, fun, and safe learning environment.
The swim instructors at the DuPage Swimming Center have helped thousands of young people overcome their fear of the water and become competent swimmers. If you’d like your children to learn how to swim, consider enrolling them into one of our programs. They’ll not only love the experience, but also master the skills needed to be safe and proficient in the water.