The floating foundation vs. arm circles
One very frequently asked question by parents is, “when is my child going to learn big arms and swim with their arms out of the water?” Please keep reading for our answer.
“Learn to float,” Njswim’s philosophy and approach to swim lessons is based on building the floating foundation before introducing any stroke or body position that could compromise this safety skill, like big arms or arm circles. Learning how to float is the most important step in your child’s swim lesson journey. Our approach to floating is very gentle and what we like to call, Zen inspired. At times, I even find myself teaching my students to treat the water with care so it will treat us with care back, or in other words, help us float.
There is a beautiful phrase that we like to use, and that is, “let the water do the work”. Letting the water do the work is our way of teaching our students to be calm while performing a self-rescue like rolling to a back float or finding their way to safety versus panicked splashes.
I bet you’re asking yourself now, “My child can float, what’s next?” After a child can perform a relaxed back and front float in the water, we can then introduce paddling. Teaching a student to paddle their arms and pull themselves in a glide through the water is the safer and more effective alternative to big arms. When a child gently pulls themselves through the water, especially when first learning how to float, propel and glide, they are not compromising their balanced body position. We do begin teaching strokes shortly thereafter, however, the first stroke we introduce is backstroke versus freestyle.
In short, students learning how to swim should be taught the essentials – floating, propelling and gliding with a calm confidence.
Peace & Love – Miss Linda (Location Manager Njswim TAC)