The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

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Swim Lesson Games

When should you “play games” in swimming lessons?   When I coached USA Swim Age Group Swimming full time, I always reserved about 20 minutes every Friday for Water Polo unless we had a swim meet.

For swim lessons, however, I think it’s a little different, especially if your lessons are 30 minutes or less.

With young children, say under the age of six, there is no question that you should make learning like play.  You can call them games–I call them Swim Lessons Activities.  In my new Swim 101 DVD and in my older video, Home Swim School, I packed the video and lessons with activities that make learning more fun for preschoolers.

Here is a short list of examples:

  • Kicking – “Let’s Go Grocery Shopping”
  • Breath Control – “Hide Frog Hide”
  • In-Line / Prone Kick – “Super Heroes”
  • Back Kick – “Sing Yourself to Sleep”
  • Paddle Stroke – “Pretend You’re a Puppy”
  • Swim with Face in the Water – “Swim Like a Fish”

In fact, you can watch some video examples on my YouTube station on both Swim 101 and Home Swim School.  For this age group, you can’t go wrong with using swim lesson themes and swim lesson activities to make learning fun.

For children age 6 and over, I really focus more on skills when I teach.  I keep learning fun and positive, but I don’t necessarily incorporate swim lesson games into my swim lesson plan.   I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, and if you have some good ones, I’d love to hear them and I will be happy to give you credit for them if I decide to post (totally up to you)!  But in general, I think that when we have 30 minutes to teach a child age 6 or over,  “swimming” at this age is fun in itself.

On the other hand, preschoolers and young children under the age of six years old need activities to redirect them and make something that may seem a little scary more like play.  So in our swim lesson plans that we do with this age group—the children are learning and practicing skills without even realizing how hard they are working . . .   That’s what swim lesson games are all about!

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September 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm
1 comment »
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