The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

American Swimming Coaches Association announces Learn to Swim Clinic in Washington, DC »« publishes “Should Flotation Devices be used in Swim Lessons?”

WikiHow features article on “How to Teach the Back Float in 60 Seconds or Less!”

How to Teach a Child to Back Float in Swim Lessons in 60 Seconds or Less

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Would you like to learn how to teach a young child (age 3 & over) to float on the back in one minute or less? Read on!


  1. Drop the Back Float from the Lesson Plan when Teaching a True Beginner! Because floating on the back requires the student to relax—beginner swimmers do not have the necessary prerequisite skills to learn the back float. It is simply a waste of time.
  2. Why Is It a Waste of Time? Beginner swimmers don’t know how to relax yet, and because of that, far too much time has to be devoted to learning to float on the back. Therefore, teachers unnecessarily waste valuable practice time teaching the back float too soon.
  3. Skill Breeds Confidence. Teach the beginner swimmer skills. Nervousness won’t prevent your beginners from learning other swimming skills in which all beginners can learn. So instead, teach breath holding, breath control, kicking on the front and back, and swimming with the face above and even in the water.
  4. Confidence Breeds Relaxation. Now that your student has developed a sound repertoire of skills, you don’t have to teach the child to relax. Relaxation comes naturally.
  5. Back Float Naturally! A child who is confident and has developed some foundational swimming skills will learn to back float in a fraction of the time. In fact, if you drop back floating from the lesson plan while your student develops skills, confidence and learns how to relax, your student learn will learn to back float in 1 minute or less!


Watch a free video sampling of Jim Reiser using both fun and innovative methods to teaching young children to swim.

Sources and Citations

  • Original Source,
  • Visit Swim Lessons University for more information on instructional swimming DVD’s for swim teachers and parents.

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from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

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January 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm
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