How to get your child’s face underwater!

7th December 2018

This blog will outline our easy 6-challenge-method to get your child comfortable with putting their face underwater in the swimming pool.

Why get underwater?

Here at The Swim Specialist we really believe that learning how to swim is one of the most beneficial practical skills a person can learn, at any age, and that is why we do what we do!

The results of a 2018 study carried out by our very own swim school showed that out of the 97 parents sampled, 86% of their children struggled with putting their face under water. That's a lot of people!

Learning how to do this fundamental skill in the swimming pool is an essential step in learning how to float in the water and eventually how to swim.

As we have already mentioned, this is such a common theme amongst young and older people, and we think it all starts at the beginning.

A large number of people tend to be put off by a bad first experience with water. It could be from anything but the unpleasant memory can really stop people getting back into the swimming pool.

How do we start?

We think, to overcome a bad experience, you need to replace it with a great one!

This is how we operate at The Swim Specialist: teaching with fun through our innovative games, themes and challenges. The main objective is to get our participants to set goals and have an enjoyable experience in the water.

Today we are going to outline a 6 step challenge to get your child’s face under the water!

Now we have introduced and underlined the aims of today’s blog post it is time to get started on our 6 step swimming challenge!

Challenge 1

First thing's first. Let us start simple with our first challenge by getting in the pool and introducing getting our child’s face wet.

In this starter challenge we are going to keep it basic but take our first step on the road to getting comfortable under the water.

Start by pouring water, whilst in the swimming pool, gently over your head. For a lot of us, this may be easy as a lot of people do this in the bath or shower every day.

With some children however this really may seem terrible, but that can all be changed by following the six step challenge.

For the initial challenge we won’t be using goggles, to really get your child comfortable exposing their face to the water, so remember: it is essential for them to keep their eyes tight shut!

Although they won’t yet be submerging into the water, it is time to introduce them to the three essential skills for doing so:

3 Key Skills

Eyes closed

Goggles are great to see under water, but we need them to be ready to get in the pool without them.

Seal mouth

The last thing you want is for any water getting into their mouth, especially in the sea for example, can you imagine how salty that water would taste?

Take a breath

Unfortunately, us regular humans can't breathe under water, but we can hold our breath for a long time. Learning how to breath is a fundamental part of learning how to swim.

Now with our 3 essential tips in mind it is time to give challenge one a go.

To those swimmers who are less comfortable underwater, parents may start by pouring the water which will allow the student to have full focus on their eyes, mouth and breathing.

Once they feel more comfortable they can try it for themselves, as long as they feel happy to. I’m sure at this point they will be fully ready.

Well done! You have completed challenge one, the basics. The time has come to progress forward and move onto challenge two.

Challenge 2

Moving on from challenge one it is finally time to get our face under the water.

In this challenge it is time to use our good friend the floating hoop. The hoop is great for starting simple and increasing the difficulty gradually to achieve our final goal of getting underwater.

We are going to use it in stages to enforce the 3 essential tips outlined above: eyes, mouth and breathing.

Begin by holding the hoop in the water with one side raised slightly so your child can get underneath, parents are encouraged to adjust the gap in stages.

Stage one will be big enough to allow the swimmers mouth only to be submerged underwater. Have the hoop raised high enough so you both can do this, don't worry parents, you are in control so can feel comfortable working within your child’s capabilities.

After having completed stage one, it is time to lower the hoop ever so slightly and get their nose as well as mouth underwater.

This is where breathing really starts coming into play. Students should take a deep breath which will allow them to comfortably submerge underwater, remember the more breath they take, the more comfortable they will feel navigating the water.

Finally it's time to get some goggles on! Getting your child’s face underwater is important, but seeing underwater adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment to swimming.

It is a huge step in conquering the water. This time the hoop should be left to float naturally in the pool, and it is the task should be repeated. Remember the steps: breath, tight lips, relax. By the end of challenge two you will be laughing.

Bravo! Not only should your child feel calm getting underwater, but now they have experienced the gift of sight underwater! I think by now they are definitely ready to move on, let's get ready for challenge three.

Challenge 3

At this point we really have mastered the basics and hopefully your child should be a pro at getting their face under the water whilst feeling relaxed whilst holding their breath.

In this challenge we are ditching the hoop for a ball. The ball is going to be our guide and you are going to be its master.

Underwater movement is crucial and this section will focus on developing this key skill.

Okay, we are going to blow gently on the ball and push it through the water using our breath, with the swimmers chin in the water keeping their eye fixed on the ball.

Today is all about submerging our face so be prepared to see some bubbles when your blow the ball, it's all part of the challenge!

Next, instead of blowing to move the ball through the pool, we are going to push it with our nose.

In this challenge they will be going even deeper into the water so remember our top tip 'tight lips!' As long as they take a nice breath and control their breathing this should be easy.

Get your goggle's on! For this challenge your child will be using their head to push the ball.

This will be great to perfect your accuracy and confidence with your face moving under the water. Remember, deep breath before you start and concentrate on the ball.

Challenge 3 - completed! Let us move on to challenge 4, which will give us a slight break, it’s time to really have some fun.

Challenge 4

For this challenge we are really going to take charge of the swimming pool. Part 4 is completely about having fun and really building your confidence under the water, all you need is a mirror.

Parents, get your goggles on because we are going under, and in this challenge we really need to see each other.

Ask your child to take a deep breath and dunk under the water. Encourage them to take a second to look around and feel comfortable.

Great, now, parents you will need to holding the mirror to allow your child to see their own reflection. Yes, that is really them looking at themselves!

This task is all about showcasing their skills. How easy it is to hold your breath and bob under the water, so prompt them to really get loose.

Smile, blow into the mirror, pull funny faces, anything that makes them have a laugh: take a look at them, they have conquered the water!

I hope they enjoyed that and had some good fun! Hopefully now you know how in control they really are when underwater.

Next up is a challenge that will teach your child a few more skills to reach the final challenge in mastering getting their face underwater.

Challenge 5

At this point your child has become so accomplished under the water that they probably haven't even needed to take their goggles off.

It is an incredible feeling being able to see in a under water, imagine the adventures they could have in an ocean with lots of beautiful and exciting wildlife.

Introducing a really important part of swimming - underwater hand-signs.

Underwater hand signs are so important when diving. Why? Because you can't speak under water.

There is a whole load of different hand signs that can be used to communicate down-under but for this challenge we only want you to introduce you to a few that you can practice with your child.

With goggles on, ask your child to take a deep breath and follow our 3 key steps before submerging.

Dip under and try making some hand signs so your child can copy. Anything goes, this can be a thumbs up or an okay sign, whatever, feel free to throw some hilarious faces in there too!

By now you know a bit more about what can be accomplished under the water using hand signs. Ideally we hope at this point you and your child feel great when you are under and they feel more experienced holding their breath and moving.

Time for our final and most exciting challenge- Challenge 6!

Challenge 6

This is the most adept stage and will introduce your child to some underwater submersions. Submersion is a fantastic, exciting skill and it has many forms.

Ocean scientists and explorers sometimes use special air tanks and suits to navigate when diving in the deep blue sea. Divers get to see all sorts of underwater marvels.

Free diving is the practice of swimming under water for extended periods of time by only holding your breath.

Your child won’t be holding our breath for too long in this challenge, and you will be keeping it in the swimming pool, so don't worry, your child is 100% ready for this.

This challenge will implement our sinker toys which, when thrown in, will sink to the bottom of the pool.

Yes, that's right, it's your job to throw them and your child's to collect them. They can be moved wherever you like, to increase the difficulty as you go, with how many sinkers you place and how far away from the shallow end.

To start this challenge should be done shallow enough for your ability as this is blog is all about getting under the water.

Challenges completed!

Congratulations you have both done it! An underwater genius - you have overcome and completed our 6 step challenge.

Our specialist challenges are all about building skills slowly in stages and having fun in the swimming pool.

The skills your child will have learned from this are essential for the task, as long as you remember them you will never fail.

They can navigate the pool and from here they will be able to do anything. Staying underwater will become second nature, the more they practice, the easier it becomes.

Well done again, good luck practicing these new skills with your children. We really hope you have enjoyed todays blog and can't wait until next time!

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