The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Back Floating Trick for Infants & Toddlers

The last thing you will ever see me or a certified Swim Lessons University Instructor do is force a child to be on their back.  We feel that it is absolutely vital that a child-centered, progressive approach is taken in swimming lessons.

Generally speaking, for back floating or back kicking, we use songs, natural progression and encourage parents to take their time.  If the child is unhappy, sit them up. Then try again. But we want our Parent & Tot swim lessons full of HAPPY LEARNERS!  Most importantly, we want infants, toddlers and young children to WANT to come to the pool–not fear it.

While using this approach, Swim Lessons University instruction shares all kinds of games and tricks that make trying new things fun.   Today was a perfect example.  In the video below, you will get to watch my 2-year old student, Abby, be the star of a new trick that I created  today.  I’m calling it–“NOW I SEE YOU, NOW I DON’T!”

As you watch the video below, you can see how I then incorporated progression into the little game by asking Abby to do one more second on each attempt once she was successful.  It was almost magical the way she took to it!  I was so happy that I had my waterproof camera right there to catch it on film and share it with you today.   I wish you all the success with it too!

 

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Today at 2:28 am Comments (0)

How to Stop Drowning

Did you know that 70% of all childhood drowning occurs when the child was in the care of one or both parents?   Or that 75% of the time the child was missing for 5 minutes or less?  Watch this live news segment for some Tips on How to Stop Drowning:

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

 

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April 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm Comments (0)

Does your child REALLY swim like a fish?

How often have you heard a parent say, “oh my child can swim like a fish!”  When in fact, they may only have some basic skills, or a lacking skill set.  Combine the lack of understanding of what real swimming really is and the weak skill set, you have a serious problem.  One that could quite possibly get them into trouble due both the child and parent being overconfident of their swimming abilities.

A study by the American Red Cross backs my above statement up.  In that study, 80% of those interviewed said they could swim, but when tested, ONLY 56% were accurate.

Here is an interview I did with a Columbia NBC news broadcast.   I hope you enjoy the rest of the interview (BTW, the pool isn’t really green, LOL!  That is just our camera recording the clip off the TV).

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

 

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April 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm Comments (0)

Swim Instructor Feedback Mistakes

Far too often, I have found myself making the mistake of giving specific, corrective feedback first, and then using the student’s name.  The problem with this is that if you’re working with more than one student–your students really don’t know who the feedback was intended for, not to mention that your student may have not been truly listening to what you said.  By the time you say their name, well, quite frankly it may be too late.  On the other hand, if you call their name first, then give the correction–your student would immediately pay closer attention to your corrective feedback or tips.

For our complete certification course on the Foundations of Teaching and MUCH MORE specifically on Feedback Techniques, check out our “Foundations of Teaching” course on the Swim Lessons University website.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

 

March 27, 2017 at 12:43 am Comments (0)

How to Teach the Sidestroke Arms

When we first introduce the sidestroke arm pull, I still like to use this old analogy:  “Pick an apple off the tree, put it in the other hand, drop it in the basket.”  Once the student gets the general idea, you want them to be more efficient with the stroke or to refine the stroke.   To refine the sidestroke arms, we like these cues:  “Pull and Slide, Push & Glide” as seen in this video below:.

 

For our complete certification course on teaching Sidestroke, Elementary Backstroke and Treading, check out our Lifesaving Strokes 400 level Video Course on the Swim Lessons University website.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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March 20, 2017 at 2:32 am Comments (0)

Drowning Prevention Tips: How Parents Can Keep Their Children Safer In and Around the Water

WLTX News Anchor Darci Strickland interviews Swim Lessons University’s Jim Reiser.   Reiser shares Water Safety Tips for parents with children of all ages, highlighting strategies by the “Safer 3” as well as by Aquatic Safety Group.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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March 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm Comments (0)

How To Teach the Butterfly Breath Timing

Your student has the butterfly kick. Your student understands the recovery action of the butterfly arms. Your student’s body action and undulation is even looking good! So what is often holding your student’s butterfly skill mastery back? THE BREATH TIMING!

One of the most frustrating parts of teaching butterfly is getting our students to put it all the parts together and perform the butterfly the way it really should look. The majority of the time it is improper breath timing that is the culprit. The head position throughout the stroke is paramount, whether it’s during the entry, the pull, or the recovery of the arms.

In this short video clip, I’d like to share with you a drill that I like to use and have found it to be very helpful to my students when it comes to understanding the timing of the breath. Because the butterfly is complex skill, it still requires a lot of trial and error. In other words, it’s not a magical drill. However, at the very least, this drill will help your students understand what they are striving for each and every time you review it before your students attempt to practice it.

Would you be interested in a complete, detailed course on HOW TO TEACH THE BUTTERFLY?  Check out Swim Lessons University’s Butterfly video course.

 

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

 

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March 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm Comments (0)

Swim Lessons University’s Jim Reiser to Speak in Charlotte, NC on March 9th!

The 2017 Best Practices in Aquatics Workshop will feature Jim Reiser, world-renowned speaker, author and executive director of Swim Lessons University.  The conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 8th and 9th with an optional post conference CPO course beginning on March 9th in the afternoon and ending on the evening of March 10th.

Mr. Reiser’s presentation—YOU CAN TEACH LIKE A PRO—will be from 9:30 AM-10:15 AM on Thursday, March 9th.  The conference will be held at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC.  The post conference CPO course on March 9-10 will be held at a different location (see below).

  • The cost of the conference is just $60.00 and the deadline is February 24th!
  • You can also attend for just $35.00 if you would like to participate on just one day!
  • What an amazing deal!  Click here to register!

The 2017 Best Practices in Aquatics Workshop is hosted by the North Carolina State Recreation Resources Service—though the event will be held in Charlotte this year.

The Schedule:

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8TH

8:30 – 9:00 AM – Registration/Coffee

9:00 – 10:00 AM – Welcome & Session One:  Advocating for Aquatics with Decision Makers

10:00 – 11:45 AM –  How Can I Do My Job Better – Panel Discussion with Terri Stroupe, Dalace Inman, Laura Crumpler, & Michael Johnson

11:45 – 12:45 PM – Lunch

12:45 – 1:45 PM – Creative Ways to Provide Swimming Lessons

1:45 – 2:45 PM – Providing Equal Access to Aquatic Facility Locker Rooms

2:45 – 3:00 PM – Break

3:00 – 5:30 PM – Swimming Outside the Box – A Mecklenburg County Aquatics Tour

6:30 PM – Social

THURSDAY, MARCH 9TH

8:00  – 8:30 AM  –  Coffee/Danishes

8:30 – 9:30 AM – Getting Baby Boomers in Pools, Bill Brennen, Chief Operating Officer – U.S. Master’s Swimming

9:30 – 10:15 AM  – You Can Teach Like a Pro!  Secrets to More Effective Teaching 

                          Jim Reiser, Executive Director – Swim Lessons University

10:15 – 10:30 AM – Break

10:30 – 12:00 PM – Best Practices in Aquatic & Pool Operations

12:00 – 1:00 PM –  Lunch

CERTIFIED POOL OPERATOR COURSE  – REGISTRATION

1:00 – 1:30 PM – Registration (Optional – $200)

1:30 PM – 5:00 PM – CPO Class begins

FRIDAY, MARCH 10TH

8:00 AM  – 12:00 PM – CPO Class resumes

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch

1:00 PM -5:00 PM – CPO Certification Exam

PLEASE REMEMBER: The 2017 BEST IN AQUTICS WORKSHOP will be held at Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC.

The CPO Course will be held at the Mecklenberg County Aquatic Center, 800 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Charlotte.

If  you are going to stay the night, the Conference Hotel is the Best Western Plus Sterling Hotel & Suites, 242 East Woodlawn Road, Charlotte, NC

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

February 17, 2017 at 3:32 am Comments (0)

How Swimming Instructors Should Interact with Their Students

How should swimming instructors interact with their students?  One of the most difficult aspects of teaching, especially for a new teacher, is to find the best way to interact with students.   Some young teachers err in the direction of trying to make students “like” them. The role of the teacher is not that of a “friend.” Teachers should act in a student’s best interest from the perspective of an adult. At the other extreme, some beginning teachers are so concerned with losing control of their class, they are often reluctant to communicate their humanness to students. Students want a relationship with an adult that is supportive and guiding. They want to know that the teacher cares about them and about what they do.

Teaching is largely about affect: Adults who are caring and concerned professionals who have a responsibility to (1) help students learn and (2) promote students’ personal growth.

Through the manner in which they interact with students, teachers can communicate a professional and supportive relationship with their students that says. “I care.” At Swim Lessons University, I always train instructors to follow our proven lessons plans, use our lingo, use the step-by-step progressions, etc. But while doing that, I remind them that even while there is a specific way we want you to do things, that DOES NOT CHANGE your personality. I can’t teach personality. Each of you are unique individuals and you’ll find your own way of sharing yourself with our young swimmers to promote their own growth.

Here are some ideas that should be considered:

1. Learn your students’ names and use them.

No matter how many students you teach, an essential and minimal form of recognition for students is that you know their name. Using your class roster each class really helps. But please make learning names a priority.

2. Be enthusiastic and positive about what you are doing.

Enthusiasm is contagious. Many people assume that enthusiasm is a personality trait of very outgoing or “bubbly” people.   But enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily always have to be such high-energy behavior. Students will know by the tone of your voice and the manner in which you approach a class how enthusiastic you are about what you are doing.

3. Project a caring attitude toward all students.

Caring is projected primarily through a genuine interest and recognition of each of your students. Caring is projected by an instructor through a sensitivity to the feelings of students and the significance your students place on their interactions with you. Caring swim instructors tune in to the child. Caring swim instructors do not condone misbehavior, but in dealing with misbehavior they do not undermine the integrity of the individual child as a person.

4. Reinforce basic values.  

I’m talking about honesty, tolerance, respect, and effort by modeling these behaviors, as well as reinforcing them in your swimming classes. According to Good and Brophy, 1990, when you teach a responsibility for developing prosocial behaviors, you can create personal growth. Prosocial behaviors are simply the behaviors stated above and ones that demonstrate a responsibility for helping people without being prompted by external rewards.

5. Discipline.

Do not reinforce behavior destructive to self or others by doing nothing about it. Students learn acceptable ways of interacting with each other not only by what you do, but also by what you don’t do. Values, tolerance, and respect for others are learned. Swim Instructors must find ways of communicating what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.

 6. Treat all of your students fairly.

Make it a practice to intentionally treat your students impartially. It is easy for teachers to gravitate to the more skilled students or even to the students who the teacher believes will threaten their class control. Attention to all students can be facilitated if you make a conscious effort to consider each student, and make it a point to give attention to students you may have been unintentionally slighting.

 7. Learn to be a good listener and observer of student responses.

We can easily become more attuned to our students by listening to and observing the subtle meanings of their messages communicated by the manner in which they interact with you, each other, and learning skills. This is one that I have really had to work on, and I am still not as skilled as my wife, Coach Heather. I am always stunned when she observes my classes and later points something out that I never saw. So we all have things we need to improve and while we may never be perfect at everything. Personally, I think there’s a lot of fun in the challenge to improve on something which is a weakness.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

February 16, 2017 at 3:04 am Comments (0)

Research-based Practice Methods for Swimming Instructors

Practice time is perhaps the single most critical element in the learning of swimming skills.  An inspirational quote by Publius Syrus about the value of practice, he said: “Practice is the best of all instructors.”  In today’s blog, let’s take an in-depth look at nine research-based practice considerations.  The best, most effective instructors consciously or unconsciously utilize these nine methods when they are teaching:

    1. Maximize Practice Time: Maximizing practice time should be a primary concern of every swimming instructor when it comes to the design of a learning experience.  Practice is the “mother of learning.” Practice is king!
    2. Design Appropriate Learning Experiences: To teach swimming skills or concepts to swim lesson students, instructors must design learning experiences that lead the learners from where they are to the desired objective or goal of performing the skill correctly.  Without appropriate learning experiences, swimmers of all ages and abilities will struggle.
    3. Quality of Practice: Not just practice, but quality practice has the greater potential to contribute to learning (Ashy, Lee, and Landin, 1988; Buck Harrison and Bryce, 1991; Goldberger and Gerney, 1990; Silverman, 1985).  Regardless of the success level of a student at a task, if they are practicing a skill incorrectly, it is highly unlikely that they will learn the proper way to perform that skill.
    4. Degree of Engagement: Cognitive engagement during practice is more likely to be effective (Magill, 1989).  Using Checks for Understanding, and a variety of activities and games can enhance the degree of engagement.
    5. Class Organization and Class Management: Several studies reported that a very small amount of practice time is spent in appropriate practice. (Godbout, Brunelle, and Tousignant, 1983; Metzler, 1989).  When investigators looked how teachers were spending time, they discovered that much time was actually being wasted because of poor organization and management, as well as by simply talking too much to students about what to do and how to do it (long, wordy instructions).  Students were waiting their turn or spending much of their time just listening.
    6. The Learning Experience Must be Appropriate: The most effective teachers understand that students profit from a learning experience that is appropriate to their level of ability.  If there is a range of abilities, skilled and experienced teachers use skill progressions that make the skill achievable for each student. Swimming instructors must design learning experiences that challenge students, yet are within reach of all students in the class.Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. In fact, play is the real work of childhood.”  – Fred “Mister” Rogers
    7. Integrate “Play” within the Practice: Practice is more meaningful when “play” or “games” are incorporated into the lesson.  Play makes learning more fun and more meaningful.
    8. Plan for Repetition while using Distributed Practice: Effective teachers understand that skills are learned through practice.  However, they don’t spend an entire lesson on one skill (Massed Practice).  They used Distributed Practice by spacing practice throughout a session or over several months as its’ proven to be more beneficial than spending an entire lesson practicing one skill.
    9. Plan for Safety: While increasing practice time is the goal, one exception to maximum activity would be if it could cause a class to be unsafe.

 

I would invite you to look at a few of my blogs like this one on the use of progressive flotation vest. The use of a progressive flotation vest can give you the best of both worlds.   A safer environment and maximum activity.   This blog also several videos embedded in the blog to demonstrate the points.

In fact, the benefits don’t end there. You can customize the level of buoyancy so it can lead to the student desired objective or goal of performing the skill correctly.   The flotation vest also improves the quality of practice allowing children to perform skills correctly because they have better body position in the water vs. decreasing the quality because they aren’t strong enough or proficient enough to perform the skill yet.

By using the Progressive Flotation device, you can gradually reduce the buoyancy as they become stronger at the skill, therefore you are implementing the progression principle. It also makes the learning experience more appropriate as you can challenge students but yet the skill is achievable.  You give the students just enough support to be safe and successful.

If you can implement these proven pedagogy practices in your learn-to-swim classes, you will take your teaching to a whole new level and your students will flourish under your guidance! I hope you found this blog on Research-based Practice Methods helpful. Thank you for visiting!

 

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 9, 2017 at 2:49 am Comments (0)

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