When swim instructors start teaching formal swimming strokes in their learn to swim classes, we often forget how monotonous the repetition involved with mastering a new stroke becomes. This monotony leads leads to boredom, and boredom leads to uninspired students. Uninspired students leads to students “going through the motions.” If your students are “going through the motions,” the chances of them making technical improvements, or even fundamental improvements in their stroke are drastically reduced. You can give the best, corrective feedback available, but if your students aren’t inspired to make a change, they simply won’t.
How do you change this? First, understand the way a typical child approaches his/her activities. Unlike adults, very few children are naturally inspired to be the most technically-sound kid on the block. What do we know about children? They want to race, play around, go underwater, and simply have fun–especially when they are in the swimming pool! So as swimming instructors, we have to be one step ahead. Here is a simple little game I use with my stroke classes that the kids really love, it’s called the “Olympic Games.” Here’s are some basic instructions:
Step #1: Give an Overview, i.e., “Now we are going to play a game called the Olympic Games.”
Step #2: Determine the skill you will award them on based on their performance: “If you show me super nice, big strokes on your freestyle, will will pretend you won the gold medal. If they are good, we will pretend you will won the silver medal, and if they are pretty good, we will pretend you won the bronze. If they are bad, we will pretend you won nothing at all (I am usually silly when I say this and rarely give nothing at all).
Step #3: Start your student, and upon completion, give your student some feedback or a brief evaluation.
Step #4: Tell him/her what medal he/she won.
Step #5: Celebrate it in a fun way, whether it’s doing a body bump, a high five, or pumping their fists-make it fun and let them come up with some fun ways to celebrate on their own.
Swim Lessons Games really can lead to improvement. I hope you and your students enjoy this game while making some stroke technique strides in the process!
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).
December 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm Comments (0)