One of the markers of success we work toward with beginning swimmers is The Safety Swim.  Successful completion of this skill means that the student can jump into the pool, come up for air, then swim back to the edge and get out without assistance.  On the surface, that might seem simple, but here are all of the elements that this complex skill requires:

  • The self-confidence to jump in voluntarily
  • The timing to start your exhale before entering the water in order to keep water from entering the sinuses or lungs
  • The control to exhale at a pace that allows you time to resurface
  • The awareness to sense your body’s position relative to the surface and move upward in the water
  • The ability to tread water long enough to inhale and turn around
  • The timing to inhale only when your head is above the water
  • The skill to spit out any unwanted water that enters your mouth
  • The finesse to switch your body’s position from horizontal to vertical
  • The strength to start swimming and create some momentum
  • The endurance to get to the edge
  • The determination to pull yourself up and out of the water

Not to mention, stringing all of that together!  The safety swim is a big deal, and once our students can complete it successfully, we celebrate it!  What a big win and confidence-booster.  We love seeing all of these skills develop and synthesize and parents love the peace of mind that comes with this huge accomplishment.

Key skills to conquer before the safety swim:

  • Nose bubbles
  • Jumping in unassisted
  • Treading water
  • Rebreathing
  • Exiting the pool in the deep end unassisted



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