Overcoming Your Fears of Deep Water
Happy August, Adult Lessons Swimmers!
As we begin the season and move into bigger and better things, our series on deep water swimming is now coming to a close [insert frown emoji]. Last week, we finished up our instructional series on jumping in, and now we're going to end the series with some supplementary information and closing remarks. We've come a long way in terms of deep water comfort. Hopefully, this series has not only provided some instruction, but also some solace knowing that it is OKAY to have steps to be comfortable and that you are not alone in this journey. All we can hope to provide is a means for YOU, the swimmer, to experience the utmost joy in your swimming adventure. This week, to wind down our series, we talk about overcoming fears of deep water.
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1) Know your environment. It's important to be aware of the environment in any situation, but particularly so when working with a completely different medium. Water is daunting, and that's okay. Be aware of what is around whether you are in a lap pool with lane ropes and walls, or an open lake with maybe some tree branches or the edge of a watercraft. Being "in the know" means narrowing down your risks and mediating your comfort.
2) Swim with a side wall (or other grabbable barrier). In the early days of your deep water learning, there will be a lot more discomfort in the open point of any body of water. If you have the opportunity to drift along a wall of a lap pool, do so. The wall can be a tool just as much as a safety net, as we learned a few weeks ago with the deep water ladder and depth practice.
3) Get on your "X-Axis". We've talked about this on several occasions. First and foremost, it is a lot less strenuous to float than it is to tread water, as the video aptly mentions. In addition, using float transitions can give you the same horizontal back-to-front control that you may desire in any deep water scenario. Swimming and floating both rely on the X-axis.
4) Use the Up and Down. It's as simple as bobs. We've talked about, we can employ it. Those jellyfish skills of sweeping our hands from above our heads to down to our sides all play a role in this comfort.
Fact of the week: As we've completed several weeks of deep water skills, it is certainly okay to still feel ambivalent in a body of water in which you cannot stand. It's okay to still be honing your float transitions, or working on making it down the next rung of the deep water ladder. These lessons we have provided are simply a springboard to a greater journey. It could be scuba diving, triathlons, or crossing the English Channel. Whether for survival, or enjoyment, we want deep water swimming to be a possibility in your lives, and it's been a pleasure to walk through it thus far. This will not be the last of deep water content, but do look for new topics next week!
How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.
Looking forward to the start of a new season! It's the best time of the year to be learning how to swim as an adult!
The Sigma Team