Beginners- What Counts as Success

SUCCESS

NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE SUCCESS
BUT WHAT COUNTS AS SUCCESS?

BEGINNERS

Success is hard to define… we dream of it, people say they can smell and taste it (it’s sweet, apparently and failure tastes bitter!). Others claim they have the recipe for it or they have the key. They say it comes in ‘CANS’ and failure comes in CAN’Ts.

I have always thought that we should all have a good, general idea of what success LOOKS like and SOUNDS like in a swimming lesson??
As swimming teachers, we turn it into an artform.
It’s what drives and powers great feedback.

Here is my own LEARN TO SWIM checklist for Beginners. What to look for and listen for as they progress through my programme.

It comes in useful for personal reflection and it can even be useful for parents and others who sit and watch on poolside during those first few terms, with half an ear and eye on what we are saying and doing.

  • They look and feel ‘AT HOME’ in the water:

They feel and look ….

  • safe,
    • supported,
    • happy
    • relaxed and
    • confident
  • They know what the water FEELS like when they MOVE and PLAY in it.

They are physically ACTIVE, BUSY and moving for at least 90% of the lesson. Sometimes they just don’t want to stop practicing and I don’t really want to stop them.

They ENJOY every PRACTICE and CHALLENGE with ENTHUSIASM…. individually and as part of a pair or in a group

WHAT ELSE?

  • There is always a SENSE OF PURPOSE, intent, EXPLORATION and DISCOVERY.
  • There is a lot of LAUGHTER and there are many SMILING FACES.
  • They frequently appeal to each other as well as grown-ups watching on poolside – and their teachers: “WATCH ME!!” “I can do it” “I DID IT”
  • It is usually NOISY … in a playground sort of way, and MESSY in an aquatic sort of way.
  • They can put their FACES IN THE WATER; HOLD THEIR BREATH and GO UNDER WATER
  • They can EXPEL WATER from their MOUTH and NOSE if necessary.
  • They can BREATHE ‘AQUATICALLY’. It will be:
    • Controlled
    • Rhythmic and timed.
    • Trickle and explosive
  • They MOVE ABOUT EASILY and ‘FLUENTLY’
  • They are confident, relaxed and busy all of the time in every lesson.
  • They are not easily distracted or interrupted by splashes, or if they get water in their eyes, on their face or over their head.
  • They start off vertical, moving around upright; later they go horizontal or flat. Body positions are increasingly BALANCED and STABLE, movements are increasingly COORDINATED and CONTROLLED.
  • They FLOAT ON THEIR BACK AND ON THEIR FRONT; first with and then WITHOUT SUPPORT. They can make stable, tucked, narrow and wide SHAPES, with ease and confidence.
  • They can REGAIN A SAFE, UPRIGHT OR STANDING POSITION whenever they want or need to.
  • They KICK THEIR LEGS to stabilise a horizontal body position and to travel or MOVE backwards and forwards.
  • They can MOVE THEIR ARMS FOR PROPULSION in ways that help them to TRAVEL and CHANGE DIRECTION – confidently, competently, economically, and PURPOSEFULLY.
  • They can MINIMISE THE AMOUNT OF SPLASH and the sorts of waves they make when they move – if they choose to…
  • They can ROTATE, TURN AND ROLL from front to back and back to front when they choose or need to.

As a result of their progress to this point, as they now move on they are less likely to get tired or frustrated too easily. This means they tend to practice harder, remain motivated, committed and enthusiastic.
There is PROGRESS and IMPROVEMENT every lesson. They begin to travel further INDEPENDENTLY.

They get stronger.
They are READY to learn new skills and STROKES

THIS IS THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

IT IS BEST TRAVELLED IN SMALL STEPS

See… Small Steps to Successful Swimming.